A new trail has opened up opportunities for Armstrong and Spallumcheen residents to be active.
Running along the east side of Highway 97A, from the lights at Smith Road to Rosedale Avenue, the new trail was celebrated with a ribbon cutting recently.
“The hope is for a continuation of this trail in the future in order to have a safe route for bikers and walkers who live in Spallumcheen to get to Armstrong,” said Jill de la Salle with the Armstrong/Spallumcheen Active Communities trail committee.
The project was a joint initiative between Spallumcheen council, which paid for the gravel used in the trail construction; Hoban Construction, which donated its time, equipment and other supplies to build the trail; Armstrong/Spallumcheen Active Communities trail committee, which proposed the project; and the Ministry of Transportation which gave the approval to build the trail in the highway right-of-way and supported development of the project.
The approximately half-a-kilometre trail not only offers an opportunity for residents to walk or bike to and from town, but makes it safer for kids commuting to school.
“We hope to do more things to make it a safer route for kids to get to school,” said de la Salle.
The latest trail addition adds to the region’s efforts to build and maintain ways for residents to stay active.
The region is also home to the Rose Swanson trail, which offers a network of trails for hikers and bikers with a view.
“Living in the Armstrong/Spallumcheen area, we’re lucky enough to have a mountain in our very own back yard,” said de la Salle.
Recently, a variety of volunteer efforts have been made to keep the Rose Swanson trail accessible by removing windstorm debris.
“Every time there’s a windstorm there’s trees that fall down across the trail,” said de la Salle, noting Suzy Sims, David Maw, Wally Brodie, Myron Scott, Lou Cyr, John Shumyk, Walter Edwards and the Vernon Outdoors Club as just some of the volunteers who take their saws when they go for a hike and clear the trail for others or who clean up the parking lot.
Unfortunately, efforts to clean up the trails continue to be needed as winds continue to fall pine beetle kill.
Another highlight in the area is the Thomas Hayes Ecological Reserve – an easier hike than the Rose Swanson trail network.
“It’s easy to access and is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or morning,” said de la Salle of the site that includes a picnic table (donated and installed by the Lion’s Club).
Bobby and Richard Wallace, David and Ruth Maw and their daughters are some of the volunteers who maintain this trail.