99 Mile Accessible Trail Officially Open
99 Mile, B.C. – The 99 Mile recreation area in the South Cariboo is the latest community in the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) for development of a wheelchair accessible wilderness trail. The 99 Mile Accessible Trail was built in partnership between the Cariboo Regional District (CRD); the Hun City Mountain Bike Club Society; the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development through the BC Community Recreation Program; Northern Development Initiative Trust; and the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition.
Approximately 1.7 kilometres long, the trail winds through verdant forest and features four viewpoints, including one overlooking a wetland and another providing an expansive view of 100 Mile House and Stephenson Lake. Accessible picnic tables and benches are interspersed along the trail route. The trail terminates at the Nordic Beanstalk cabin site, which features the cabin and a fire pit as well as an accessible outhouse and accessible picnic table.
“The Cariboo Regional District is to be applauded for making wheelchair accessible trails a priority. For people with mobility issues, providing accessibility is more than just creating smoother pathways. It’s about opening up opportunities to participate more fully in life,” said The Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. "Its completion represents one of approximately 13 accessible trail upgrades in the Cariboo region that we were pleased to support with a grant of $401,250 through the Community Recreation Program.”
“I am extremely pleased that we have now completed the 99 Mile Accessible Trail,” stated CRD Chair and Electoral Area G Director, Al Richmond. “This is the next step in making the Cariboo Chilcotin one of the most attractive wheelchair accessible tourism destinations in the world. Projects such as the 99 Mile Trail show what can be accomplished through regional collaboration and commitment to improving the quality of life for residents and visitors of all abilities.”
“Northern Development is proud to have provided financial support for this project through our Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program,” said Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO Janine North. “The development of these wheelchair accessible wilderness trails means that more people will be able to enjoy this beautiful part of our province, which will increase recreation opportunities and visitor numbers to the area.”
“This is the kind of regional project that the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition is excited to be a part of,” stated CCBAC Chair, Chad Mernett. It is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when supported by partnerships which demonstrate cooperation and collaboration. Projects such as the 99 Mile Trail improve our communities by making our region accessible to all, and enhance the visitor experience in the Cariboo Chilcotin.”
“Our Club is very excited to showcase the new fully accessible trail at 99 Mile Hill,” said Hun City Mountain Bike Club Society Director, Steve Law. “We would like to thank all of our partners who joined us in making this trail a reality. People who could not previously experience this area are now included and will really enjoy this beautiful trail.”
The trail has a packed, six foot wide crushed gravel surface and a gentle grade, interspersed with a 600m section of moderate difficulty and a 100m steeper section of higher difficulty.
The 99 Mile Accessible Trail is located about 2 km south of 100 Mile House at the Hun City Mountain Bike Club parking area. Ongoing management of the site is provided by the Hun City Mountain Bike Club.
About Community Recreation Program
The $30-million Community Recreation Program was developed to address the unique challenges faced by communities in the Province with respect to meeting their recreational infrastructure needs. The program invests in local government capital projects that make communities healthier, more active places in which to live. Through the duration of the program, the B.C. government provided grants for 98 recreation projects throughout B.C. – to help fund everything from bike paths, trails, fitness facilities and walkways to playgrounds and recreation centres.
About the CRD Accessible Trail Network
The CRD Board passed a resolution in 2006 to work towards developing the Cariboo Chilcotin as a world leader in accessible outdoor recreation and tap into niche tourism markets for persons of low mobility. Other wheelchair accessible sites within the CRD include Tatlayoko, Kersley, Cottonwood Historic Site, 108 Mile/Sepa Lakes, Lac La Hache, Horsefly Salmon Spawning Trails, Gavin Lakeshore Trail and most recently the Interlakes Heritage Trail. There are currently nine other accessible wilderness trails being developed by the CRD, some of which were funded through the Community Recreation Program.