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Waterfront access to come with restoration of Rushbrook Trail

The prospect of renewed waterfront access is in the cards for Prince Rupert with the restoration of the Rushbrook Trail.

The trail has been closed since 2003 based on concerns that loose rocks could potentially to fall from the cliff next to the path. But this week, the City of Prince Rupert signed an agreement to lease the trail to the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society to restore the path.

“The rehabilitation of the Rushbrook Trail was identified as a community priority in the city’s ReDesign Rupert initiative and is going to greatly increase the safety of the area, as well as access across our waterfront,” Mayor Lee Brain said. “Increasing the walkability and access to our community is important to residents, as well as to council.”

In December 2016, the volunteer-led trail organization presented council with a plan to create a network of existing trails that had fallen into disrepair as well as newly forged trails. This plan was completed through in-kind services from Urban Systems Ltd. and McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.

Now that the land has been leased to the trail society, members will begin reconstruction of the Rushbrook Trail starting in the spring and they expect to be completed by the fall.

Work to the trail will include installing guardrails and bridges for safety, as well as signage on nature and culture.

“Restoration of the Rushbrook Trail is an important step toward restoring Prince Rupert’s status as a place where urban and backcountry hiking options are extensive, accessible and safe,” Sean Carlson said, the president of the Kaien Island Trail and Enhancement Society.

“We’re especially excited that the re-opened Rushbrook trail will provide access to a significant stretch of scenic waterfront within the community’s inner harbour.

Although the trail has been officially closed for some time, many residents have continued to walk, or run, the 1.5km trail along the decommissioned CNR railway track. The trail is being moved away from the rock face hazard and closer to the water.

To get involved or to learn more about the city's trails visit the Kaien Island website.

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