If you have been on the Trans Canada Trail lately between Eagle Ridge Rd and Fisherman’s Creek, you will have noticed a great deal of activity with volunteers cutting overhanging branches, grown-in brush and leaning trees, and hauling all the slash away to burn piles at appropriate sites along the trail. All this work is being done in preparation for an upcoming project that will see significant improvements to the trail surface.
The Grand Forks Community Trails Society successfully applied for a Gas Tax grant from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary for this project, which will extend the new surface installed on the Lower North Fork TCT in 2016. A local contractor is expected to begin grading and rolling later this month, producing a smooth, level and compact surface that will improve safety and access to this scenic section of the trail with beautiful vistas of the southern Granby Valley. Trail users should expect equipment on this section between Oct. 26 and Nov. 12.
Currently, the surface has been loosened and rutted, making it challenging for walkers, unsafe for cyclists and difficult to establish winter ski trails. The trail will be widened enough to accommodate different user groups, with the extra width allowing for another “lane” that isn’t being negatively impacted by machines. OHV operators and equestrians will be asked to use a designated side of the trail and pedestrians, cyclists and skiers will use the other side, preserving a surface conducive to “people-powered” activities.
There is also new signage on this section of the trail limiting speed to 25 kilometres per hour, which is standard on multi-use trails. As Grand Forks Community Trails Society maintains stewardship, speed limits have been posted at different access points out of safety concerns for a trail predominately used by pedestrians and to extend the life of the trail surface.
We anticipate that these improvements to the surface and the safety of the North Fork section of the TCT will encourage even more of our local population to come out and enjoy all that it offers. It will also benefit the community by making it an attractive tourist destination. Mutual respect and cooperation between all users, abiding by the speed limit, and keeping to the side of the trail designated for one’s chosen activity will preserve this trail for the enjoyment of all for many years to come.
On another note, don’t forget your camera while you are enjoying our trails, and be sure to enter our Boundary Trails Photo Contest. Winners will be displayed in Gallery 2 next spring! Details can be found at https://www.gftrailsphotocontest.ca.