The Kootenay Columbia Trails Society (KCTS) successfully secured a grant from Columbia Basin Trust.
The KCTS will receive $25,000 to complete upgrades to the Rossland Aqueduct Trail. Approximately 1.5 km of the existing Aqueduct (Blackjack) trail is to be upgraded to a standard suitable for safe summer trail use in 2021.
The network of trails around Rossland and, Greater Trail in general, include wide and gently angled historic rail grades, winding paths through forested glades and across streams, trails that climb past historic mining ruins to panoramic views, as well as precipitous drops with jumps and stunts for expert mountain bikers.
“There are trails for every ability level, dedicated to the non-motorized pursuits of walking, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and horse riding.”
The grant is one of 25 new projects receiving funding totalling almost $500,000 to help improve trails throughout the West and East Kootenays.
“Basin residents have told us that outdoor recreation opportunities are essential for their physical and mental well-being,” said Michelle d’Entremont, Manager of Delivery of Benefits with the Columbia Basin Trust in a release. “With more people staying and exploring their local surroundings, these projects will provide greater access to rehabilitated and new trails so we can continue to enjoy and benefit from them.”
Several non-profit, government and Indigenous groups will receive funding to create new trails and repair damaged ones. The goal for many is to improve accessibility for a variety of users, incorporate Indigenous cultural or heritage values, and mitigate environmental damage.
Nelson’s Friends of Pulpit Rock Society was granted $25,000 to build a trail from Lyons Bluff to Pulpit Rock to alleviate congestion on the later trail.
The Nelson Nordic Ski Club also received $11,800 to improve its trails along the Salmo River and Busk Connector.
In the Slocan Valley, the North Slocan Trails Society will use $24,500 to rehabilitate two trails in the Idaho Peak area.
The Valhalla Foundation for Ecology will develop a nature interpretive trail at the Snk’mip Marsh Sanctuary with $20,246, while the Valhalla Hills Nordic Ski Club has been granted $10,500 to reroute and rehab a trail at the edge of a marsh area.
The Kaslo Outdoor Recreation and Trail Society and Kaslo Mountain Bike Club are spearheading a project to build a new 4.5-kilometre trail that will connect existing Upper Songbird Trail to Upper Bucky Cabin on Mount Buchanan.
Later, if additional grants are approved, a trail will be built right up to the Mount Buchanan summit and lookout, which overlooks beautiful Kootenay Lake.
“This project will establish an important link in the expanding Kaslo and area trail network system and provide the foundation on which to further develop trails on Mount Buchanan,” said Stuart Heard, Secretary of the Kaslo Outdoor Recreation and Trail Society. “It will promote and enhance accessibility to the outdoor environment for all ages, including families and seniors, and encourage people to become physically active in and around Kaslo.”
Learn more at ourtrust.org/trailgrants or kcts.ca for more info on Rossland trails.