200 communities across Canada celebrated the completion of the Trans Canada Trail, Saturday. Pictured above, Fernie Trails Alliance President, Terry Nelson, cuts the ribbon, signifying the opening of the Elk Valley Trail, which connects Elko, Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Canada celebrates TCT completion

Two hundred communities around Canada participated in the opening of the Trans Canada Trail, Saturday August 26. Now connected, the great trail extends 24,000 km across Canada.

From Fernie, bikers rode to Hosmer, where they met riders from Sparwood. Family and friends in Elkford celebrated the opening of the trail with a ribbon cutting and scavenger hunt.

Christie McKee catered to approximately 120 riders who met in Hosmer, providing snacks, burgers, salads and refreshments.

The oldest rider on the trail that day was an 86-year-old who rode from Fernie, and the youngest was a six-year-old who also rode from Fernie.

The Trans Canada Trail was an idea started 25 years ago, nation-wide.

The Elk Valley Trail, also serving as a part of the Trans Canada Trail, now connects five communities on this 135km trail: Elko, Fernie, Hosmer, Sparwood and Elkford.

The Districts of Elkford and Sparwood, the City of Fernie and the Fernie Trails Alliance formed a partnership two years ago, working towards achieving the goal of connecting these communities via trail. Once all logistics and funding was completed, actual construction of the trail took eight months.

Substantial donations from the Columbia Basin Trust as well as the Trans Canada Trail foundation helped to fund the $860,000 trail. Teck Coal also gave a $1,000,000 donation to the Trans Canada Trail.

“This trail wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of all three communities and the groups that came forward to make this happen,” said Sparwood Director of Community and Facility Services, Duane Lawrence.

He also thanked all the landowners who allowed them to build this trail, from small land holders to large ones such as Jemi Fibre.

BC Trail Coordinator for TransCanada Trail foundation, Sarah Meunier, was very excited to be able to see the trail open on Saturday.

When she started with the foundation in the Kootenay’s, she was told to not waste her time in the Elk Valley.

“It’s was just too big of a challenge, so much trail to build, we would’ve needed a lot of money, and I was told to focus my energy in areas where it was more realistic to make progress.

“I just thought it would be worth giving it a try anyways…”

There were concerns that the majority of the trail would run on service roads. However, this is not the case. Only a small section of the trail in the Elk Valley is on dirt roads.

It was only 16 months ago that the Fernie Trails Alliance signed an agreement with the Trans Canada Trail foundation to start construction. With a long, cold winter and a wet spring, construction has been tricky.

“I’m amazed at what’s been accomplished,” said Meunier, admitting she had her doubts they would meet the July 2017 deadline.

“But I had a feeling the right people were taking this on,” she said.

Just Posted

Medicinal cannabis clinic opens in Fernie

A new cannabis clinic is open in Fernie, with plans to transition to a dispensary, come legalization

Columbia River Treaty meetings hear farmers’ plea

Ranchers say this is Canada’s last chance to restore their agricultural industry

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

High school presents Alice In Wonderland

Since January the students, costume designers, set designers and musicians worked on this performance.

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

B.C. ‘will be ready’ for marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says some stores open by Oct. 17

Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

Most Read