By Miriam Schilling–
Our community completed a Trails and Recreation Strategy Plan in March 2015 and constructed the first multi-use trail at Deep Creek during the summer of 2015.
Due to the success of our first trail initiative and very strong community support, we started the development of multi-use hiking and biking trails at Soda Creek, which is currently in its second phase.
During Phase 1 we developed the “Crazy Ant” trail which connects Highway 97 with Xatśūll Heritage Village. The trail includes a number of wooden features and is designed and built to accommodate the greatest possible range of mobility among visitors including children, elderly, and those with disabilities. The project also includes the development and installation of informational and way-finding signage to educate visitors regarding the overall historical and cultural significance of the area and the individual sites located along the proposed trails.
We are currently in Phase 2 of the project and our crew is building a trail that will connect Highway 97 with Blue Lake. We are working on completing a climbing line that allows for easy hiking and uphill biking as well as a downhill line that will include some new wooden features for mountain biking.
The Xatśūll First Nation views the new trails as a means for initiating what could become an extensive network of trails that will make a significant contribution to the region’s trails and the growing mountain biking and hiking sectors.
Overall, trails provide a venue to participate in an active and healthy lifestyle and increase recreational opportunities for both visitors and residents of the community.