Green light for trail upgrade
Story courtesy Fraser Hayes
The Columbia Trail, which links the communities of Castlegar and Trail by way of Ootischenia on the east side of the Columbia River, is receiving upgrades thanks to a successful a proposal by Castlegar Friends of Parks and Trails (CFPT). CFPT is a registered charitable society established to encourage the creation, maintenance and use of environmentally sensitive public trails. CFPT has almost 70km of trail under its care in the Castlegar area.
Formed in 2001, CFPT’s vision is to encourage outdoor activity by maintaining existing trails, and creating new trails where desired by the public as CFPT is able. CFPT has been a member of the Katimavik volunteer program for two of the past three years. Katimavik is a national volunteer program for youth and is designed help develop their skills, build their work experience, and learn about different parts of Canada. CFPT has happily been able to hire one of their volunteers on a full-time basis for the Columbia Trail upgrades now underway.
Work is being completed on the Columbia Trail under a matching funds program administered by the National Trails Coalition (NTC). The NTC’s funding comes from a $25 million investment by the Government of Canada through the Economic Action Plan. The Kootenay Columbia Trail Society and Backcountry Horsemen of B.C. will also be out to help on the Columbia Trail this year.
This summer CFPT completed upgrades to the Skattebo Reach trail, which can now be accessed from the Park and Ride by the Brilliant Bridge. This first section of the Skattebo Reach Trail – through the Brilliant Canyon – can be used to access Dove Hill, Elk Cut-Off, Brilliant Overlook, and the Doukhobor Waterline trails. The trail can also be taken all the way to Glade, on to the Ward’s Ferry trail to the Slocan Canal. Regular annual maintenance – clearing deadfall, brushing and grubbing – on all CFPT trails was also completed this spring and summer.
Along with the upgrades to the Columbia trail, CFPT will also be making some changes to its website. For more information about CFPT – including maps, newsletters, and membership forms – visit http://www.friendsoftrails.org/.