Thanks so much for putting an article in the Pioneer on our trail (the Luxor Trail, mentioned in the September 23rd Pioneer). Its probably only the old-timers here that remember the route being open all the way through, for horses at least.
At present we are working with the Landowners and Shuswap Band to find ways to protect the high ecological and archaeological values at sites along the trail. Its not quite an all-season trail because of these factors, so some restrictions to some areas of the trail may likely be applied but for the most part it is a sturdy, gravel surface through lovely rangeland and mountain creek valleys.
The missing link of the Vermilion/Luxor Trail was actually found with assistance from Cameron Moore and from Gordon Harrison who rode over the trail with respected Canadian Alpine Club Outfitter Bill Harrison.
Since then there have been zero tax dollars spent on restoring the trail, although it would be a great asset to summer and winter access to cross country skiing, biking, horse riding and walking for Edgewater residents and visitors alike. The work of restoration has been done by volunteers and Columbia Basin Trust Youth Link with constant maintenance by Luxor Creek Stables who run guided horse trips up the Vermilions.
We have asked the Greenways Alliance for advice on how to create easements through the private land, and realize this expensive process would need funding from somewhere. But for Edgewater to enjoy access to a greenway, she would have to build it herself. And this is the job ahead of those of us who remember fondly the 40 kilometres of cross-country trails in the Kirksland and the unrestrained walking, skiing and riding we enjoyed up to the Vermilions.
With understanding that there must be a place for foot-powered recreation too, and respect for the scant topsoil on the Benchland range, we should be able to have a non-destructive recreational and educational resource right here, right now.
Besides accessing the new Luxor Linkage of Nature Conservancy of Canada, the trail can bring us closer to the Native Peoples who lived here for hundreds of years, who frequented the trail and doubtless left important sites we have yet to rediscover. These trail-side destinations may reacquaint and educate us with the original inhabitants and their long-enduring settlement pattern.
For very little money and a lot of understanding, and good will, 20 kilometres of a heritage trade trail could be at our feet again.