The Nakusp and Area Bike Society (NABS) has nabbed a boost in funding for the first phase of its Mount Abriel Project.
The project is just starting to take off, but NABS has big plans for it.
“We’re going to be developing some trails just below the highway, and it’s going to be 8.7 km of loop trails, and something for everybody,” said Leigha Anderson, vice president of NABS. “There’s going to be cross country, and kids trails, and we’re also going to be putting in an adaptive trail for people who have physical limitations and they can use a hand bike on there.”
Helping NABS with the project is $100,000 in funding from the BC Rural Dividends Program. NABS also recently learned they were approved for $122,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Rural Infrastructure Grant.
Most of the money the society has received will go into hiring work crews, training crews, and material. The plan is to get a trail crew which will consist of a supervisor, some lead hands, and some general labourers.
Money will also be spent on materials like rock and timber because NABS plans on building some bridges along the trails as well.
“We’re pretty stoked, because it’s starting up and it’s going to be full on for this whole summer, we’re just kind of waiting for the snow to melt so we can get started,” said Anderson.
The goal is to start on April 1, even if it’s just a matter of getting machines in to start clearing land for a parking area.
“Eventually what we’re going to do there is build a campground, and we have support from Recreation Sites and Trails to put a rec site there,” said Anderson. “We’re going to be doing a planning of that in the fall. It’s really cool because NABS will actually be managing that campground, so it’s going to be a way that we can bring in a revenue to maintain our trails in the future, so it’s an ongoing sustainable plan for us.”
This is the first truly big project for NABS. Before this the society worked on maintaining various trails in the area, like those at Box Lake which will be eventually developed by the Ktunaxa First Nations group.
For Anderson and the rest of NABS, this project will keep them busy for a while, most likely a couple of years. She said it’s a learning process for the society, but they’re really excited to create an area that can be used for all types of people, whether or not they have a bike.
The Mount Abriel Project could also be good not only for locals, but for tourism in the area, especially with the adaptive mountain bike trail.
“I think it means awesome stuff,” Anderson concluded. “For locals it’s going to mean a whole new area to recreate and play in that’s going to be developed for our community, but what’s also great is it will draw in some tourism. We’re going to be creating a high end trail system. We’re going to make this and do it the right way so we attract users from all over B.C. or Canada, whoever wants to come.”