After seven months of planning, partnering, grant writing, provincial permit applications and nail biting the pieces have finally come together for us to operate a paid trail crew for this summer. Salmo local Randy Boardman won the trail construction manager position and we are busy with the hiring of our four trail crew members. The crew will be in place and ready to work for May 3rd with some of the crew working into September.
We have received a total of $96,000 of funding from three grants – BC Rural Dividend Program, Columbia Basin Trust Recreation Infrastructure Grants and Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust. Grant applications included partnerships with the Village of Salmo and Kootenay Mountaineering Club. With the funding we will be able to be move forward with a number of new trails (about more 13km!) and restoration on some existing trails to better serve our community, neighbours and visitors. Details of all the projects will be up on our website www.salmovalleytrailsociety.org
People are already talking about our first project, an intermediate hiking trail on the bluffs above Delaurentis and Airport Road. In our 2015 ski hill survey many people wanted a Pulpit Rock (Nelson) and Bluffs (Trail) style option and this location will be perfect for that. The loop portion of the trail is 1.5km with another 0.5km up to an amazing lookout point. From there the crew will move on to the Salmo Ski Hill, to further expand the biking and hiking options, and then up to the Salmo-Creston highway where they will be reclaiming a trail to the top of Lost Mountain. We also hope to have time to restore the bridges on the trail to Panther Lake and are in discussions with BC Parks for a short nature trail at Erie Provincial Park.