From left to right: Jason Hadath – CMS Clear Consulting, Jayme Hills – Recreation Technician, Recreation Sites and Trails BC, Gerald Kirby - Director, Area 'J' Cariboo Regional District, Donn Irwin – Owner, Retreat Wilderness Inn and Director West Chilcotin Tourism Association, Lee Mitchell - Owner, Retreat Wilderness Inn and Director West Chilcotin Tourism Association, Darron Campbell - Manager of Community Services, Cariboo Regional District attrending the opening of the trails. (Photo courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District)
The Cariboo region has two new low-mobility wilderness trails with another one opening up later this month.
The new trails which are at Hotnarko Falls and Nimpo Lake were unveiled last week. The third trail at the Bullion Pit historic site near Likely will officially open in mid-September.
The three trails are part of a network of accessible trails across the region, designed to facilitate physical activity and outdoor recreation regardless of mobility level. The hard-packed trails are suitable for mobility aids such as wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and walkers. They can also accommodate walkers with mobility issues, child strollers, and able-bodied users such as hikers and runners.
The trails will utilize materials designed to compact and harden with use which delivers a smooth, stable surface providing low rolling resistance for wheelchair and mobility scooter users and solid footing for those with mobility challenges.
Chris Keam, the manager of communications with the Cariboo Regional District, said that they are excited to introduce these trails to the public.
“Accessibility is a great thing to be able to offer people. We are happy to be known as a region with a lot of accessible trails,” he said. “Anyone can use these trails, and they take you to some pretty spectacular places, and that’s not always available for people who need to use a wheelchair or a stroller. We are excited to offer these two new ones and then another new one coming soon.”
Keam added that they love the trails because people like them, and it’s a cost-efficient way for them to get people outside.
The three trails expand the Cariboo Regional District’s trail network to 28. The Hotnarko Falls trail will be 400 metres long, the Nimpo Lake Community Trail will be 1,100 metres, and the Bullion Pit historic site trail will be 700 metres.
Costs for construction on the three trails averaged $35,000 each. With project management included, the total grant for three trails was $130,000.
The trails’ money was funded in part by the BC government’s Rural Dividend fund; the low mobility trail project was a cooperative effort involving the regional district, Northern Development Initiative Trust, and the West Chilcotin Tourism Association.