Montane Pipeline trail. (Images courtesy of Pat Gilmar)

City of Fernie throws support behind repairs to Easy Beaver trail

The Montane trail took damage in the November 2021 floods

The City of Fernie is supporting upgrades to the Easy Beaver adaptive trail in the Montane network.

According to a correspondence to the city from the Coal Creek Heritage Society (CCHS) and Cycling Without Age (CWA), presented to council on Aug. 22, the CCHS is planning upgrades to the trail to address damage from the November 2021 atmospheric river event.

“These planned repairs and enhancements will restore accessibility while making the trail safer and more robust,” reads the letter requesting support addressed to Fernie councillors.

The total budget for the project is $115,000.

The work is expected to lead to a ‘great deal’ of volunteer hours, with heavy construction tasks to be performed by professionals.

The City of Fernie is supporting the work with $20,000 from the Resort Municipality Initiative.

Included in the correspondence is a draft letter of support on behalf of the city addressed to the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) in pursuit of a $60,000 grant, which would be the largest funding chunk among a few other possible sources.

The other expected funders are Teck ($10,000), the Regional District of East Kootenay ($5,000), Parastone ($10,000), and other private/corporate ($10,000).

The letter to the city says that the Montane Hut is a popular year-round destination for both tourist and locals. It says the city’s support for the repairs and enhancements will ensure the trail’s integrity for years to come, and that a lack of timely action would result in unsafe conditions are/or loss of trail use.

“This trail is used by many different user groups in all seasons, including families, seniors, mountain bike coaching groups, hikers, snowshoers, cross country skiers, fat bikers and runners.

“It is one of the most used trails in all of Fernie, and we want to make it last.”

READ MORE: Illegal short-term rentals in City of Fernie’s sights


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