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New low-mobility trails expand accessibility in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Sep 2, 2020

Sept 2, 2020
20-31
For immediate release

WILLIAMS LAKE, BC - The Cariboo region’s newest low-mobility wilderness trails, at Hotnarko Falls and Nimpo Lake were unveiled last week. A third accessible trail, at the Bullion Pit historic site near Likely, will officially open in mid-September. The three trails expand the Cariboo Regional District’s accessible trail network to 28 locations. Funded in part by the BC government’s Rural Dividend fund, the low mobility trail project was a cooperative effort involving the regional district, Northern Development Initiative Trust, and the West Chilcotin Tourism Association.

“These low-mobility wilderness trails create more opportunities for everyone to enjoy British Columbia’s beautiful and pristine trails,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our government funds projects like these in rural communities throughout the province to help create new economic and employment opportunities for the people who call these communities home.”

The three trails are part of a network of accessible trails across the region, designed to facilitate physical activity and outdoor recreation regardless of mobility level. The hard-packed trails are suitable for use with mobility aids such as wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and walkers. They can also accommodate walkers with mobility issues, child strollers, and able-bodied users such as hikers and runners.

The expansion of the low mobility trails network strengthens a niche tourism market in the regional district, catering to an under-served market (visitors with mobility challenges). Those efforts are paying off.

“Low mobility trails in the CRD are now seeing thousands of visitors every year,” said CRD Chair Margo Wagner. “Providing accessible trails expands the market for Cariboo-Chilcotin tourism, delivers greater inclusivity, and can be a driver in attracting and retaining new residents to the region.”

“The Trust is very pleased that these accessible trails are being opened to the public in the CRD,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “Now, more than ever, being able to get out and about for physical activity is so important for people of all abilities. Trails like these keep communities moving and are an attraction for those visiting from other parts of our region.”

This allows us as tourism operators to feel comfortable and proud to be able to encourage our guests of all physical abilities to get out and enjoy these trails,” noted Donn Irwin, owner of the Retreat Wilderness Inn and a director with the West Chilcotin Tourism Association. “They are also being very well received and used by the local residents.”

CRD Accessible Trail Network Statistics

Total number of accessible trails in the region: 28

Length of new trails:

Hotnarko Falls – 400 m
Nimpo Lake Community Trails – 1100 m
Bullion Pit historic site – 700 m

Trail type: The trails utilize materials designed to compact and harden with use. This delivers a smooth, stable surface providing low rolling resistance for wheelchair and mobility scooter users, along with solid footing for those with mobility challenges.

CRD accessible trails information: https://www.cariboord.ca/services/recreation-2/accessible-trails 

Grand Opening -- Nimpo Lake Community Accessible Trails

Photo credit: supplied by CRD

Photo: Nimpo Lake Community Accessible Trails opening attendees, from left to right:

Jason Hadath – CMS Clear Consulting
Jayme Hills –  Recreation Technician, Recreation Sites and Trails BC
Gerald Kirby - Director, Area 'J' Cariboo Regional District
Donn Irwin – Owner, Retreat Wilderness Inn and Director West Chilcotin Tourism Association
Lee Mitchell - Owner, Retreat Wilderness Inn and Director West Chilcotin Tourism Association
Darron Campbell - Manager of Community Services, Cariboo Regional District

 

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Media Contact:

Chris Keam, Manager of Communications 
250-392-3351 or 1-800-665-1636
ckeam@cariboord.ca 

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Page last modified: October 30, 2018 09:50:58 PDT