Submitted by Al Skucas
Trails BC announced Monday, May 14, that work on the Cranbrook Great Trail Loop Project started last week with machinery breaking ground at the Isadore Canyon Trailhead of the Chief Isadore Trail.
This 3.5 kms of new 1.3-metre width trail development when complete will connect the Isadore Canyon Trailhead to trails at Kettle Lake in the Cranbrook Community Forest (CCF). This new trail will have grades of 5 per cent or less which will make the trail more accessible for seniors and families. Additionally, upgrades to existing trails at the South end of the CCF along the gas line corridor will provide better accessibility during the wet shoulder seasons by providing compacted gravel to the route.
This new trail combined with the existing legacy Rotary Way paved pathway in Cranbrook and utilizing existing trails within the CCF will establish a 16-km loop trail that would be half urban pathway and half forested rustic trail with a limited amount of new trail construction required.
This new trail designation would integrate the Cranbrook Community Forest, Idlewild Park, downtown Cranbrook, city and private campgrounds, the newly established Chief Isadore Trail as well as links to the popular NorthStar Rails to Trails and the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center
Additional Project Outcomes
a. Combined with the Chief Isadore Trail and the NorthStar Rail to Trails would help develop the Cranbrook region as a Great Trail (formerly named Trans Canada Trail) destination area, especially for cyclists.
b. Provide visitors and locals with an identifiable loop trail to complement the other longer greenways trails in the vicinity
c. Most infrastructure already in place, limited investment dollars of about $70K required
d. Make the CCF an even more popular recreational asset to the community
e. Provides an easy trail access to the Kettle Lake region of the CCF in the fall when the North Gate road access to the Community Forest at the Fire Attack Base is closed for 6 months from November 1st to June 1st
Trails BC is the project proponent and we are happy to collaborate on this initiative with our partners Wildhorse Cycling Club, Cranbrook Community Forest Society and the City of Cranbrook. Trails BC has currently raised over 95% of the $70K required and we like to thank our major funders for their support, the Columbia Basin Trust via their Community Infrastructure Program and the Trans Canada Trail Foundation as well as RSTBC and numerous small donors.