Friday, May 26, 2023

Metlakatla Wilderness Trail reopens after extensive remediation

What was a popular destination for those looking to explore some of the north coast wilderness has reopened to the public with, the Metlakatla First Nation announced the resumption of access to the Metlaktala Wilderness Trail.

The trail which was closed five years ago owing to damage from a sever wind storm has seen an extensive bit of work to bring it back to a standard where travellers can use it in safety.

The opening of the 8km trail, which winds along the shores north of the community, follows extensive engineering work to ensure the safety of the suspension bridges and work to clear out wind throw that had destroyed a portion of the pathway. Along with the suspension bridges, highlights of the trail include a viewing tower that offers a 360-degree view over the canopy, picnic sites along the coast, and various access points to beaches along the way.

A photo from this weeks reopening of the Metlakatla Wilderness Trail
(from PRPA)

As we outlined earlier this week, Members of the Metlakatla First Nation celebrated the re-opening on Thursday and now the welcome is out for all in the region and visitors to the North Coast to come take a look at the remediation work.

“The Metlakatla Wilderness Trail highlights the beauty of the Coast Tsimshian Territory and offers an opportunity for all people to respectfully experience some of the natural areas that have sustained the Metlakatla First Nation for millennia. It is our hope that this trail will become a showcase piece for those spending time in the territory,” -- Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton.

The Work that went into the remediation efforts  to re-open the trail was funded in part by the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund with a $172,032 contribution, the Metlakatla Development Corporation (MDC) and Northern Development InitiativeTrust, all of whom recognize the outstanding recreation opportunity the Metlakatla Wilderness Trail provides. 

 “The Metlakatla Wilderness Trail is a world-class hiking experience that provides benefits well beyond outdoor adventure and breathtaking scenery by connecting users and visitors to the rich culture and values of Metlakatla First Nation. We are proud to collaborate together to restore this extraordinary recreational asset to enable greater recreational, cultural, and economic opportunities for Indigenous-led tourism and showcase one of the most beautiful places on the north coast,”  --  Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO, Prince Rupert PortAuthority.

With the trail now back in service, the Metlaktla First Nation is making plans towards bringing visitors across the harbour to explore the Wilderness Trail.

In order to accommodate visitors who may wish to experience the trail but have no access to the area, the Metlakatla GoverningCouncil is providing a twice-weekly charter that will be limited to the first 20 hikers. 

The Charter Service which will start on June 6 will leave the Metlakatla Ferry Dock below the Crest Hotel on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and return from the dock in Metlakatla at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

Those on the charter will be asked to sign in to ensure those on the trail can be tracked for safety purposes.

For hikers that may wish to explore the trail, some advice from the Metlakatla First Nation notes of the supplies you will require for your tip.

Please note that anyone hiking the trail is asked to bring water, food and any necessary supplies as there is no opportunity to purchase food, drinks or supplies once in the community of Metlakatla. As well, given the rich cultural history of the area, hikers are asked to be respectful of the trail and beaches and not remove any materials.

Follow the Metlakatla First Nation social media stream for updates.

More notes on Metlakatla can be explored here.

Notes on past investments in the region by the Prince Rupert Port Authority Community investment fund can be reviewed here.

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