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Trail network branches from Rushbrook to McClymont

Kaien Trail society receives council approval to move forward with McClymont Trail upgrade design

First Rushbrook and now McClymont Park, the vision for establishing the Kaien Island Trail Network continues to expand.

Imagine a trail network that stretches from the waterfront, through the heart of the city, out to Butze and Galloway Rapids. Although the Rushbrook Trail is the primary focus for the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society, McClymont Park Trail is an essential section in the society’s master trail plan.

“McClymont Trail is the logical next step because it’s an existing trail. It already connects one well used space, which is the civic centre to Rushbrook that will hopefully be completed by the end of this year. It will then also form part of what the society envisions as the ideal trail,” Sean Carlson said, president of Kaien Trails.

On May 23, Carlson and Frances Riley presented the society’s next trail project to city council and then asked for approval to move forward.

Kaien Trails is applying for grant money through the BC Rural Dividend Fund to complete upgrade designs for the McClymont trail. Engineering and environmental fees are estimated to cost approximately $60,000, with the capital budget to be determined once the design is in place.

Currently, the existing trail is a mixture of gravel pathways with exposed roots, boggy areas and steep sections making the path only accessible on foot. Kaien Trails wants to make McClymont accessible to bikes and wheelchairs by widening the path and grading it for everyone to enjoy.

In order to apply for funding from the province Kaien Trails needed council approval, which they received with flying colours.

“I really appreciate the work you’re doing around town especially with the Rushbrook Trail and now this one,” councillor Barry Cunningham said.

“I grew up on 8th East and spent a lot of time on this trail as a kid and I think it’s a great trail and I would love to see it come back,” councillor Wade Niesh said. Council passed a motion to support the project.

Two stakeholder groups, Ducks Unlimited and North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society, have also expressed interest in rehabilitating part of the trail.

Kaien Trails is riding the momentum following the success of the Rushbrook Trail, a project that has been in the works for 14-years. The tender period closes on June 9, and Carlson is optimistic that they are within budget.

The predicted timeline aims to have the McClymont Park trail upgrade design completed by the end of the year, when work on Rushbrook Trail is expected to be finished.

“What we want to have in place is a shovel ready project. We don’t have any of the capital budget in place. Once we have this design and a cost estimate then we can go out to our corporate sponsors to get support for redevelopment,” Carlson said.

If all goes according to plan, upgrade work on McClymont will begin next spring and ready by summer or fall of 2018.