Monday, September 12, 2016

Tall Trees Trail gets official reopening

Plans to rebuild some of the popular trail systems across the North Coast took a giant step forward this spring and summer as work got underway on rebuilding the Tall Trees Trail and the success of that project was on display recently with a celebration of the Re-opening of the Trail, thanks to a significant $125,000 investment from Pacific Northwest LNG.

The official unveiling of the 4.6 kilometre trail took place with local politicians joining members of the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society and representatives of the LNG company to mark the completion of the project which wrapped up earlier this month.

During the course of the project a redesign of the trail system was put in place, with removal and replacement of existing stairwells, bridges and boardwalks, as well relocating potions of the 4.6 kilometre trail. Brush removal took place to make the trail system more accessible and the introduction and installation of interpretive signage completed the final stages of the development.

Trail enthusiasts will be celebrating the announcement
that the Tall Trees Recreation Trail system is now open.
Representatives of local government, the province, the
Kaien Island Trail Enhancement Society and Pacific NorthWest LNG 
were on hand for the Grand reopening.
(Photo courtesy Pacific NorthWest LNG)

A section of the recently completed rebuild of the
Tall Trees Trail system which is now open
(Photo courtesy Pacific NorthWest LNG)

In a media release from the weekend, Pacific NorthWest LNG's Tessa Gill, outlined how the Northwest LNG company became involved in the project and how the work from all involved will enhance the outdoor experience in the North Coast.

"We heard from the community that there was not enough access to nature in the Prince Rupert area, and that a number of the local trails had not been adequately maintained ... The restoration of the Tall Trees Trail creates increased access to nature for the community and First Nations, as well as education and informative environmental activities"

More comments from provincial and local government officials on the reopening of the trail and added access to the regions back country can be reviewed from the information release found below (click to enlarge):

The trail was first constructed back in 1991 as an 8 kilometre journey onto the mountainside of Mount Hays, but had become overgrown and relatively inaccessible for many as the years went by, The reconstruction project reclaims over half of the original trail and provides for a number of impressive views of Kaien Island, Metlakatla, the Butze Rapids area and City of Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert harbour.

Now open for use by the public, the Tall Trees Trail will be maintained by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, through their Recreation Sites and Trails Branch.

The new hiking option was proving to be a popular location over the weekend, with a number of cars lined up along Highway 16 at the start of the trail on Sunday as many North Coast residents made their way up the mountain.

Word of the new outdoor experience for the region will be enhanced with the Tall Trees Trail is added to the province's inventory of Trail sites found from their website here, a listing that could make the North Coast a destination for those that enjoy the outdoors.

Access to the trail is from Highway 16 just past the Butze Rapids Trail parking lot, on the mountain side of the highway.

The Maps Below, featuring both the Butze Trail and the Tall Trees version outline the options that are available for outdoor enthusiasts, though it should be noted that for beginners, while portions of the newly rebuilt Tall Trees Trail make for a moderate effort, tackling the full 4.6 kilometers is probably somewhat more of a challenge than the Butze Rapids version.

Location Maps identify the two trail options found
along Highway on the outskirts of the City of Prince Rupert

The Tall Trees Trail map highlights both the rebuilt section 
and the original path of the 1991 trail which is not maintained

With the Tall Trees Trail now complete, the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society will be turning its attention towards other trail remediation projects, fundraising has been an ongoing project for the group which is looking to continue with their work to rebuild the trail systems of the North Coast.

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