The Rushbrook Trail restoration is finally, officially complete.
On July 14, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the trail’s entrance next to Rushbrook floats to celebrate the conclusion of the project that has been over a decade in the making.
“After 14 years of getting to this point we’re happy to say that the trail is now safely open to the public to walk,” said Bill Nicholls, treasurer of the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert.
All of the primary parties involved in the trail’s revitalization — including the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert, the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society (KITEARS), the Port of Prince Rupert, the City of Prince Rupert, CN and Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group, as well as a throng of eager Rupertites — were present at the ceremony, which also included a barbecue lunch.
After the ribbon was cut and the trail’s new sign was unveiled, attendees eagerly walked the new path and enjoyed the views made available by three bridges installed at separate intervals along the route.
“It’s amazing to see the pickup and the number of people who are benefiting from this trail,” said KITEARS president Sean Carlson. “I think before it was open and before it was rebuilt, people still used it unofficially, but now that its open, and now that it provides this whole different vantage point to the water, it’s amazing to see the community enjoying and benefiting from that.”
Construction on the old trail began in the fall of 2017 and was completed at the end of June, 2018 with the installation of the bridges.
Now that the work is done, Carlson said the trail society plans to continue to developing a trail network on Kaien Island. The Rushbrook Trail is one piece of a larger loop that KITEARS plans to revitalize and build in coming years. He said in addition to the enjoyment such trails bring to residents and community members, Prince Rupert as a whole will benefit as the natural landscape is developed.
“Outdoor recreation opportunities and access to our waterfront is what people move to Prince Rupert for,” Carlson said.