Improvements are coming to the Skattebo Reach Trail between Castlegar and Glade thanks to a number of grants and the Castlegar Parks and Trails Society (CPTS).
The project will focus on widening and improving the trail in order to make it cyclable. The 12-kilometre stretch runs along the east bank of the Kootenay River and is part of The Great Trail and CPTS has a bigger goal of eventually making a cyclable path all the way from Nelson to Trail without having to pedal on a highway.
While a lot of work the society does is carried out by volunteers, this project is being done by a contractor due to the level of expertise needed to complete the work which includes flattening grades and widening portions through narrow rock bluffs.
Work on the project started a few weeks ago and the first kilometer is already complete.
The project will cost about $200,000 with funding coming from Trans Canada Trail, Regional District of Central Kootenay, Columbia Basin Trust and the Stronger BC grant program.
Hikers can still use the trail during construction, but should notify construction crews as they near an area where work is being done. Crews will then escort users through the active construction area.
The trail will continue to be for non-motorized use only.
CPTS will also be making upgrades to the Waldie Island Trail this year. Work there will include widening the trail and replacing stairs at the Brilliant end of the trail with a more gradual approach, making the trail more accessible for cyclists.