The Elkford Trails Alliance (ETA) has officially completed its first major trail construction since it was first formed in 2020.
The as-yet unnamed trail is 4.2km of bi-directional multi-use goodness, helping link trails throughout the Elkford area.
Trail planning director with the ETA, Dan Sarkany said that while there hadn’t been a ribbon-cutting yet, “it definitely looks like its getting some good use so far.”
Elkford is known for its proximity to nature and its beauty, and Sarkany said the new trail helps take trail users closer to the best the area had to offer, with a flowy trail design that takes advantage of the terrains characteristics.
“It has numerous vistas along the way, and it takes you to one of the vest views of Elkford,” he said.
A straight shot trail, it’s bi-directional allowing trail users to go out and back. It also links with other trails, creating loops for users that fancy a different way home.
Going by the ETA’s vision for a trail network, the new trail is designed for use by hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, fat biking and trail running – in other words, everything non-motorised.
“The trail is in line with our vision for an extensive four-season, non-motorised, multi-user trail network within and surrounding Elkford that doesn’t impact the terrific motorised network that already exists,” said Sarkany.
Crossing through Canwell land, the ETA did construction work and will carry out ongoing maintenance thanks to a land-use agreement with the District of Elkford.
Some $55,000 in costs went into developing and constructing the trail, with funds coming from the Columbia Basin Trust ($44,000), Teck ($10,000), the Elk Valley Thrift Shop ($1,000) and grants from the District of Elkford and the East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) to buy tools for construction and maintenance.
With approvals to work on the trail from Canwell only coming through in early September, volunteers were hard at work over the last two months with a whopping 603 volunteer hours going into getting the trail ready for eager users. Sarkany said work on the trail was a true collaborative effort, with wood shared with the club from the Elkford ATV Club for bridge construction. The wood was originally donated to the ATV Club by Teck in the previous season.
While winter is just around the corner, the new trail will be able to get plenty of use through the colder months thanks to funds donated by the Elkford Project Society which allowed for the purchase of a Snowdog trail groomer.
As mentioned, the trail is yet to be named – keep an eye out for ETA outreach on ideas on what to name the trail.
It’s the first, and it will be far from the last trail opened by the ETA, which has plenty more plans for new trails in the not-too-distant future.