Once again, it’s great to see the progress that’s happening on the Trans Canada Trail all the way from Round Prairie (just north of Elkford) to Elko. What a great collaboration of the communities in the Elk Valley. Here are some of the highlights, broken down by sections.
Round Prairie to Elkford
Authorization for significant re-routes and upgrades to the Mountain Walk Trail was granted by the BC Recreation Sites and Trail Program, Rocky Mountain District. 2.3 kilometres of new trail has been constructed by Cornerstone Excavating to bypass the central section that was damaged by motorized use. It is looking great and will make for a high quality cycling trail once the remainder of the Mountain Walk upgrades have been done. Cabin Forestry will be doing the remainder of the upgrades and re-routes on this trail. The south end will require a re-route to straighten out the alignment and bring the grades down to the targeted 10 per cent. The north-central section is already a great bike trail and only needs minor upgrades and a few short re-routes to bypass steep gully sections. The north end of the trail at Round Prairie has been affected by logging, blowdown and flooding in Crossing Creek and will need some significant work as the trail is not even discernible in many spots. Layout and planning of work in this section is complete and work is scheduled to begin in September. Users of this trail are requested to respect the non-motorized designation of the Trans Canada Trail. New trail sections are still soft and are particularly vulnerable to damage from motorized use. This is currently being addressed through signage, community notifications, and word of mouth via the Elkford ATV club.
Elkford to Line Creek
A land use agreement is in place for establishment of this section of the Trans Canada Trail, which is located on private property owned by Jemi Fibre. Approximately 1.8 kilometres of new trail will be constructed on the east side of the Elk River to connect Elkford with the Sulphur Springs forest road. Cabin Forestry will be completing this section starting in late September and October.
A new route is being developed that will utilize 3.5 kilometres of existing low-use forest road combined with approximately 2.75 kilometres of new trail between the Elk River and the main Sulphur Springs forest road. This route will pass by the Sulphur Springs, an interesting natural feature. Planning and layout work is still underway in this section.
Line Creek to Sparwood
Heading south from the Line Creek Road the Trans Canada Trail will follow a three-kilometre section of Highway 43 as well as most of Lower Elk Valley Road. Permission from Teck was recently granted to construct a 3.8 kilometre section of new trail on their property north of Wilson (Cummings) Creek just outside of Sparwood. This is excellent news as this will make for a wonderful section of trail through a beautiful natural setting on open bench lands next to the Elk River. Planning and layout work on this section will be occurring over the next few weeks.
A full scale upgrade to the Cypress trail within the District of Sparwood is underway, with the trail work being done by Elk Valley Excavations. This trail is partially open now and should be fully completed in the near future. Elk Valley Excavations will also be constructing the one-kilometre Whiskey Jack frontage trail that will connect the Cypress Trail to the Wilson Creek Bridge.
Submitted by Robert Champagne