The valley is home to many bike trails. Some official sanctioned trails and some throughout the area are unsanctioned. One prominent trail in the Radium area is the Old Coach Trail, the development of which has been put on the back burner with the Westside Legacy Trail development underway.
“The coach road from Radium to Dry Gulch is completed to the stage that it was ever planned to be developed initially and that was done through Greenway Trail Alliance,” said Radium Mayor Clara Reinhardt. “There is a plan to go all the way to Invermere connect with the Invermere trails and then eventually hook up with the legacy trails so that we would have a trail from hot springs (Radium) to hot spring (Fairmont) that’s the vision.”
Plans to connect the trail with the Invermere trails was halted by a need for grant of access across Shuswap Band land. That access has been granted and the agreement has been signed by the area G Regional District.
“Now, the money that had be allocated to the (Old Coach Trail) development of that got reallocated to the Legacy Trail through Westside Road. That was because they were moving on that and we had land owners that were working with us. So now it’s going to be a matter of finding money again to complete (Old Coach),” said Reinhardt.
At the Wednesday, June 8th council meeting, the municipality of Radium discussed the issue of users accessing unsanctioned bike trails – the trails in discussion is the Deja View bike trail that go along the ridge off the Coach Road. Council made a motion to write a letter to John Krebs, Director of Resource Management for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, regarding the lack of communication between council and the ministry regarding the trail.
“We had a meeting with him saying we had been trying to work with his staff, the ministry staff, to try and determine which trails we could bike on which ones we couldn’t, because we didn’t feel a flat ‘no’ never any was the way to go when your trying to work with people,” said Reinhardt.
Council had that meeting with the ministry in the winter of 2015 and still have not heard anything back.
“There had been a verbal agreement that if we stayed off the trails that were north, closer to Radium where there was more badger activity and where the sheep often were then we would have access to one loop on the bluff on the Deja View. So people could come up the coach trail part of it, go along the bluff cross the highway on the juniper side and it would be a pretty good loop back to Radium” said Reinhardt.
The village of Radium Hot Springs left the meeting in 2015 with the belief that the ministry staff would communicate with them in a timely manner. Now council feels that the project to create a sanctioned trail has stalled and there is feeling a level of frustration as they cannot proceed with bringing in cycling events until those trails are sanctioned by the ministry.
“There are cycling events that we could be trying to attract here. Until we have sanctioned trails, we are kinda in a limbo,” said Reinhardt.“It’s about promises that we heard from the minister regarding his staff activity and we don’t feel that thats happening.”