The Elkford Trails Alliance (ETA) celebrated the official opening of their first trail on Monday (July 18).
The celebration was for the northern portion of the trail, which was completed last year, according to ETA vice president Katherine Russell. The trail was used through the winter but hadn’t yet had a formal opening.
“This is our very first trail, so this is totally enormous for us,” she said.
The southern portion is about halfway done being built and may have an opening date around October.
The official names for the upper and lower portions of the northern half were also announced Monday following a trail naming contest.
The bottom section is called ‘Turtle Power’ and the upper section is called ‘Cowabunga’.
Russell said those names will ‘set the tone for the whole network’.
“We’re building new trails, and new connectors, and it will all have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme.”
Colin Standish, director of communications with the ETA, was the winner of the naming contest.
He said he was a childhood fan of the Ninja Turtles and thought the theme would suit the different kinds of trails they would have in the area.
“I’m a bit surprised but definitely happy that the board went and chose my theme,” he said.
Monday evening’s event took place at the trailhead just up from the Esso in Elkford on the way to Lost Lake.
Present were members of the ETA board and volunteers, along with members of the District of Elkford. There was a ribbon cutting, speeches, and a short hike.
Standish said about 30 people attended, and that he is ‘very thankful’ for the over 500 volunteer hours that were put into the 4.2 kilometre trail.
He said the contractor, Backcountry Trail Experts, was ‘fantastic to work with’, and thanked the trail’s major sponsors, the Columbia Basin Trust ($44,000 contribution) and Teck ($10,000 contribution), saying they couldn’t have done it without them.
Russell said the event mustered a ‘great turnout.’
“We’ve been in existence for less than two years, and we have a trail that’s already opened and being used,” she said.
“I think the momentum that we’ve started with is pretty great.”