The Kootenay Columbia Trails Society announced the opening of a new public use trail, located in East Trail, following the official ceremony Monday, Sept. 17.
The new Bluffs Trail is a 2.7 km loop for hiking and biking. This new trail extends off the long-standing Miral Heights and associated Raven’s Rock Trails to the viewpoint (with flagpole) above the Hospital. The new Bluffs Trail goes further up the hillside to a higher viewpoint (with flagpole) above Sunningdale..
The new trail is beautifully constructed with many rock walls as it weaves through rugged terrain with open forests. This month, the brilliant yellow of the poplar leaves is an added bonus. Views are stunning. They range from near the U.S. border to halfway to Castlegar and up from the river and Sunningdale past Trail, Teck Operations, Warfield, and ski runs on Granite Mtn. to the Record Ridge skyline.
This new trail, and the Antennae Trail in Montrose, compliment the higher elevation trails in the regional network around Rossland due to these trails in the Columbia valley having open forests, great views and availability later each fall, and earlier each spring.
Funding for any new trail is key to its creation. The City of Trail and the Beaver Valley provided seed money by allocating some Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives funds last spring. These funds were sufficient to employ a 3-person crew to construct half of the trail during the month of July. After a break during the heat of August matching funds were generously provided by Teck Trail Operations, and participants in the Waneta Expansion Project: Emil Anderson, Redpath/FKCI Waneta Tunellers, SNC-Lavalin and Columbia Power Corporation.
These funds enabled the crew to return during September and complete the construction of the trail. Further, never to be forgotten is the essential support of the private landowners and the BC Government allowing the trail to be located on combination of private and Crown Land.
The Bluff’s Trail Loop can be accessed from Miral Heights trail. This can be reached in 20 to 30 minutes of hiking, either from the Miral Heights trailhead (with sign), or from the hairpin turn between the High School and Hospital (trailhead with sign).
The Trails Society is pleased to have been part of this project. We believe the Bluffs Trail will become highly valued by residents of Trail and region. We urge everyone to try it out; it is pretty special. The grades are easy and the distance is moderate – about 1 hour round trip to the bottom of the Bluff Trail and another 1 hour to hike around the Bluff Trail loop past the high viewpoint: A wonderful family outing.