The trail system near the south bank of the Illecillewaet River (pictured) is being studied as part of a trails and cycling network initiative designed to better interconnect the city.

The trail system near the south bank of the Illecillewaet River (pictured) is being studied as part of a trails and cycling network initiative designed to better interconnect the city.

New bike network will connect RMR to Mt. Macpherson

Revelstoke is set to get a series of bike paths and trails that will run through the city from Revelstoke Mountain Resort all the way out to Mt. Macpherson.

Revelstoke is set to get a series of bike paths and trails that will run through the city from Revelstoke Mountain Resort all the way out to Mt. Macpherson.

The network will be made possible by $289,141 of tourism infrastructure funding that was recommended by the city’s Tourism Infrastrucuture Committee and approved by city council at their July 12 meeting. (See page three for a list of the other nine projects that received funding.)

“What the tourism committee is really keen on seeing and what they think will help tourism is a dedicated bike trail that would go from RMR all the way down, across the river, over the Big Eddy Bridge and then connect to the mountain bike trails on Mt. Macpherson,” said Alan Mason, the director of economic development who is the staff liaison on the tourism committee.

The funding is directed at three items – one is a bike trail through the city, from the resort out to the Big Eddy. The second is a new beginner/intermediate mountain biking trail that will provide an easier connection from the city to the Mt. Macpherson riding area. The third aspect will see work done on the Illecillewaet Pedestrian Bridge trails.

The bike path through the city will largely involve placing signage along existing roads. The trail will start at the resort, go north on Camozzi Road, down Nichol, along Airport Way, up Fourth Street, onto Third Street and then down Douglas Street, over the Big Eddy Bridge and out along Big Eddy Road.

John Guenther, the city’s director of planning, said bike signs would be painted along existing roadways and separate bike lanes would be created on busier roads, like Fourth Street. Signs are expected to go up towards the end of the summer, he added.

The new Mt. Macpherson trail, known as the Dolan Creek trail, will stretch about seven kilometres from near the northern section of the existing Tantrum trail to the Beaver Lake area.

The aim is to provide an easier route to and from Mt. Macpherson than the existing, technical Tantrum trail.

“I think it will be a smoother, flowy trail like the newer trails are now. More on the lines of Stimulus or Dusty Beaver – that type of trail,” said Travis Hunt, who is heading up construction of the new trail.

The budget for the trail is about $80,000 he said and the goal is to start work by the end of July and have it finished in the fall. A short spur of the trail was built last year.

“We’re in the process of getting the bids out to contractors but the idea is the trail will be finished by the end of this year,” said Hunt.

The final part of the cycling network will consist of a full map of the trail networks along the Illecillewaet Greenbelt to prepare for the construction of the pedestrian bridge across the river.

“The third layer is mapping all the trail connections in that network that’s currently there and then looking at opportunities for the connections we need,” said Guenther.

The planning department has summer student Chris Larson mapping out the network.

One of the challenges, said Mason, was to work out arrangements with property owners in order to create connections from Arrow Heights to the city.

Once all is said and done, the goal is to have a network of trails that will lead down from Arrow Heights, across the new bridge and through the Greenbelt to downtown.