11 trail enhancement projects in the East Kootenay will be included among 25 set to receive a share of almost $500,000 from Columbia Basin Trust.

The projects in the East Kootenay will see funding go to improving trail networks in Cranbrook, Kimberley, Creston, the Columbia Valley, Elkford and Golden.

CBT said the goal of the projects is to make trails safer and more accessible.

“Basin residents have told us that outdoor recreation opportunities are essential for their physical and mental well-being,” said Michelle d’Entremont, Manager of Delivery of Benefits with the Columbia Basin Trust. “With more people staying and exploring their local surroundings, these projects will provide greater access to rehabilitated and new trails so we can continue to enjoy and benefit from them.”

Projects will also focus on repairing damage, addressing environmental issues, incorporating Indigenous cultural or heritage values and repairing or adding trail infrastructure and amenities

Elkford

The Trust will provide $25,000 to the Elkford Trail Alliance Society to create multi-season trails that will link three areas of the community.

CBT said the trails will be easy enough for residents of all ages to walk or bike between Elkford’s downtown, middletown and uptown. The trails will also link to others that venture into the surrounding wilderness.

“Currently, there are streets, sidewalks and motorized trails that connect these areas, but much of it is too steep or rough for non‐motorized use,” said Katherine Russell, Board member with the Elkford Trails Alliance Society. “This project will enhance recreation and physical activity by providing safe, easy, non-motorized trails that will appeal to children and novices.”

Creston

A new hiking trail will be added from the Rim Trail to Bonnie Lake by the Creston Valley Forest Corporation.

CBT said $8,533 will be used to build the 1.8 km trail, which will also upgrade the roughed-in camping area with a picnic table, fire ring and bench.

“Hiking is a key outdoor activity for area residents and visitors, and Mt. Thompson is an iconic feature and landmark for Creston and the region,” said Jerry Bauer, Board member with the Creston Valley Forest Corporation. “The new trail will provide access to a small, alpine lake, thus providing a different and unique hiking experience and the opportunity for backcountry picnicking and camping.”

A full list of the projects and their funding amounts can be found below.

More: CBT Trail Enhancement Grants (Columbia Basin Trust)