With $40,000 in funding in place and a tentative map outlined, the Prince Rupert Back-Country Society is moving on to the next stages of its Kaien Island Trail Network.
Society director Steve Milum told Port Edward council on March 24 that talks are continuing with businesses and landowners to make the massive project a reality.
“We will be working with the Province, the Prince Rupert Port Authority, First Nations and anyone who has land titles. We definitely want to meet with those people and try to get buy-in for the project. In the past we have had problems building a trail here or there because people don’t necessarily see the bigger picture, but I think connecting everything will make that difference,” he said, noting support for the project has been strong.
“When we were fundraising for this project, we had one major company commit to helping build trails and many others were more than interested in funding the building of trails, though they didn’t want to be directly involved in the building … people are really engaged in helping build something the community can see with perhaps a sign saying ‘this trail funded by’, which is going to be a big part of this next phase.”
As for the network itself, Milum said the idea is to offer something that will appeal to everyone who has an interest in outdoor recreation, including trails for mountain bikers. General trails, he said, would be designed to accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians.
“If we’re going wide enough for bikes there would need to be space for them to pass people, so I am picturing something sort of like the Seawall in Vancouver. It wouldn’t be that extravagant, but something similar with two lanes and a line in the middle that would have walkers on one side and bikers on the other,” he said.
After being questioned by council, Milum said the society will look at creating a trail that connects the network to Port Edward. If that is included, Port Edward chief administrative officer Bob Payette said the district would look after the liability.
“For us it’s about economic development and having the amenities people want in the community,” he said.