Friday, February 17, 2017

City of Prince Rupert makes Rushbrook Trail handover official

For outdoors enthusiasts on the North Coast the rebirth of a once popular walking trail is soon to get underway, as the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society get set to start work on the Rushbrook Trail on the city's east side.

Yesterday, the City of Prince Rupert outlined the details of an agreement that they have signed this week with the Society, one which puts the focus on the trail that follows the Prince Rupert waterfront travelling east from the Rushbrook Floats.

The Rushbrook Trail traces the eastern waterfront, following a long since decommissioned rail line to the Seal Cove area of the City.

The trail has been closed to the public since 2003 owing to a number of safety issues and while plans to rejuvenate the trail have been proposed in the past, funding and time commitments seemed to pose obstacles for those projects.

The Kaien Island Trail enhancement Society, which is a volunteer based organization in the city took a look at the prospect of tackling the project last year, we first offered up a glimpse to what the Trail Society had in mind with our blog item of December.

In a media release issued on Thursday, Mayor Lee Brain provided some background on the work ahead.

"The rehabilitation of the Rushbrook Trail was identified as a community priority in the City's ReDesign Rupert initiative and is going to greatly increase the safety of the area, as well as access across our waterfront ... The City is inspired by the leadership of the Kaien Trail Enhancement Society to create an interconnected network of trails through our community and is excited to support this project. Increasing the walkability and access to our community is important to residents, as well as to Council."

A key element of the project comes by way of the City of Prince Rupert leasing the Rushbrook Trail to the Kaien Island Trail Society, though no terms or conditions that are related to that agreement were included as part of Thursday's announcement.

With the paperwork now out of the way, the first of the shovels to hit the ground will come in the spring with work to be completed within the year.

Among some of the features for the refurbished trail system will be safety measures such as guardrails and bridges, along with new trail signage that will accent the natural an cultural highlights of the area east to Seal Cove.

Sean Carlson, the President of the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement Society noted how the work on Rushbrook is another step as part of the organizations plans for a larger network of hiking and back country trails.

"Restoration of the Rushbrook Trail is an important step toward restoring Prince Rupert's status as a place where urban and backcountry hiking options are extensive, accessible and safe ... We're especially excited that the re-opened Rushbrook Trail will provide access to a significant stretch o scenic waterfront within the community's inner harbour."

The plans for the remediation of the Rushbrook Trail are just the start of an
ambitious program of trail redevelopment across the Prince Rupert Area.
(From the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society Master Plan)

The complete media announcement released by the Trail Society can be reviewed here.

A look at the complete Master Plan for the Kaien Island Trail Network is available from the Trail Society's website.

You can also review a short video presentation from the Kaien Trails Society below, which outlines some of their plans for the trail remediation project and how residents of Prince Rupert and the North Coast can help out or volunteer of their time towards the work ahead.

While the announcement has not yet been added to the City of Prince Rupert website, Mayor Lee Brain did share his excitement at the announcement through his civic Facebook page.

As the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society moves forward with their work in the months ahead, we will keep you up to speed on when work events take place or fundraising campaigns are launched.

With plans now in motion for the first of many phases of development, we will be tracking items of interest related to the Kaien Island Trail Society from our newly created archive page here.

That archive can be found as part of our North Coast Review Sports and Outdoor Activity listings as part of our right hand column.

You can also keep an eye on our Community Notes page and accompanying link on our right hand column for those updates through the year.

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