Local stewardship groups can expect to continue working with the Regional District of Central Kootenay to ensure the West Kootenay section of the TransCanada Trail is completed.

Local stewardship groups can expect to continue working with the Regional District of Central Kootenay to ensure the West Kootenay section of the TransCanada Trail is completed.

TransCanada Trail improvements to be completed by 2017

The Regional District of Central Kootenay renews commitment to work with stewardship groups to complete West Kootenay improvements.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay will continue working with local stewardship groups to ensure the TransCanada Trail is completed.

The national goal is to complete all the improvements by Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.

RDCK planner Mark Crowe has prepared a report with a map of the proposed West Kootenay route which connects existing and prominent trails.

The section stretches from Gray Creek Pass on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake, across the ferry following Highway 3 on the North Shore into Nelson where it connects to the great Northern Trail and Morning Mountain trails in Blewett to Castlegar where it forks to Trail and Christina Lake.

There are several spurs to Slocan on the Slocan Valley Rail Trail and another to Salmo via the Nelson Salmo Great Northern Trail.

Crowe’s report states that one of the benefits of the trail improvements will connect and enhance the usability of many of  the regional parks including Pass Creek, Brilliant Suspension Bridge, Glade, Morning Mountain (RDCK tenure), Cottonwood Lake and the Nelson Salmo Great Northern Trail.

There is support within Official Community Plan documents and the Nelson Recreational Masterplan for trails and a “shift in regional thinking towards trails and trail development.”

However the report did state that it is challenging for RDCK staff to move forward with a coordinated level of support for the initiative without having a regional trails strategy in place.