The Old Coach Trail sits between Radium Hot Springs and Invermere

Radium gives green to Greenways for trail project

The Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance is working to create a new route of travel between Invermere and Radium

The Village of Radium Hot Springs has given the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance a boost, as the organization is working to create a new route of travel between Invermere and Radium Hot Springs.

Greenways’ bold project, the Upper Columbia Trail Network, already connects Dry Gulch with Radium Hot Springs — and they plan to add an extension to Invermere.

The 2014 grant in aid disbursements were announced at Radium’s regular council meeting on Wednesday, March 26th, and Greenways received $10,000 in support for the project.

Last summer,  the Columbia Valley Community Directed Funds Committee committed $100,000 to the project. This support, however, is largely contingent upon reaching a land-use agreement with the Shuswap Band, as the trail is proposed to be built through Shuswap land.

If Greenways is given the green light, a gravel trail will be built before a subsequent paving. The total cost for constructing the Invermere-Dry Gulch portion — including bridges, paving and interpretive signage — will be more than $500,000, said Mark Halwa, chair of Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance.

“This will be a way to commute without burning fossil fuels,” he said “It’s safe and off the highway. Parents can send their kids down it and know they’re not near any high speed vehicles.”

Mr. Halwa and Radium mayor Dee Conklin both compared the project to popular trails between Banff and Canmore, and Kimberley and Cranbrook.

“I look forward, as do so many of us, to having a trail between Radium and Invermere,” Mayor Conklin said.