The view from the Eager Hill lookout in the Cranbrook Community Forest. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

The view from the Eager Hill lookout in the Cranbrook Community Forest. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

New ‘Padawan’ trail at Eager Hill now open and ready for use

The 5km green flow trail is suitable for all ages

A new trail has been added to the Cranbrook Community Forest and is now ready to explore.

Construction has been underway over the past few months in the Eager Hill area of the park. Jim Nicol of the Cranbrook Community Forest Society says that the new Padawan trail that circumnavigates Eager Hill is open and ready for use by foot and bike traffic.

“The tread is still soft in places, so please use caution and tread lightly, avoiding equestrian use at this time,” said Nichol.

The Padawan trail is a five kilometre ‘green flow’ trail and is suitable for all ages. Nichol adds that the trail was built to green square adaptive standards, meaning it is naturally surfaced using dirt that was already in place.

Padawan is also an adaptive trail, designed to be suitable for those who cannot ride a typical two-wheel bicycle whether it be due to mobility, vision or cognitive limitations, says Nichol.

“The trail is therefore slightly wider, with longer radius curves,” Nichol explained. “The trail is complete and accessible, however work is still being done to improve universal access at both trailheads. It can be travelled in both directions, but riding counter clockwise is the intended direction of travel.”

An eight kilometre extension loop is also under way, with a completion goal of next summer. The Pod Racer trail will be a similar style, except it will be slightly more difficult, says Nichol.

“We would like to thank our supporters,” Nichol said. “Recreation Sites and Trails BC who work with us through the multi-faceted process of application, examination and approval. The Province of British Columbia through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) program, Columbia Basin Trust, FortisBC, RDEK, and Wildhorse Cycling club through their many individual donors and volunteers. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the local trail construction contractor, Lifetime Outdoor Inc. who helped us stretch our budget and make this extraordinary trail a reality.”

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