Trail ambassadors Katie Watt and Tryg Strand are on a mission to proclaim that the first nine kilometres of the Westside Legacy Trail are open and ready for hiking, biking, roller blading and more.
“It’s plenty for people to start to use and get out to enjoy,” said Mr. Strand. “Our main objective this summer is to get as many people as possible out on the trail.”
Picnic tables, benches and interpretive signs now line the first nine kilometres of the trail, which begins south of the CastleRock Estates entrance on Westside Road and immediately south of the cattle guard.
The trail ambassadors are holding a grand opening event to celebrate the paved trail that’s accessible for wheelchairs and strollers and that is appropriate for people of all ages, including children learning to run with their no-pedal bikes (however, leave your dogs at home please).
On Saturday, August 4th the Westside Legacy Trail ambassadors will host a free Children’s Run-Bike Race at 10 a.m., where kids and their families will test out the trail.
“We’re doing a fun little scuut-bike race for the little kids,” Mr. Strand said, adding that the ambassadors will set up a course and provide music.
While the event is geared at children, Ms. Watt said everyone is welcome to attend.
Anyone who is interested is also welcome to sign up for free biking and walking tours of the trails.
Walking tours will take place at 9 a.m. on Sundays mornings and will be offered until the end of September. The walking tours are expected to last around an hour and a half.
Biking tours will be available at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and will run until August 23rd. The biking tours are expected to last an hour and a half to two hours.
Guests on the biking and walking tours will get to check out stunning viewpoints and learn how the community came together to support the trail.
“I grew up running on Westside Road with nothing on the shoulder. To have this now is pretty incredible,” Mr. Strand said. “You don’t have to be worried about cars coming up behind you or blind corners.”
Ms. Watt also appreciates not having to watch out for potholes on the fresh pavement.
“It’s really nice to use the trail for biking instead of being on the road,” she said.
Around 75 people are hitting the trail on a daily basis during the week and the numbers nearly double on the weekends. As the summer is progressing and word is spreading, Mr. Strand said more and more people are using the trail.
“As soon as people get out here, they’re just like ‘oh my gosh, this is beautiful,’ he said. “It’s pretty easy to have a good mood out here too. Everyone’s just happy to be outside and to enjoy the views on the trail.”
While the trail will be 25 kilometres long at completion and will stretch out to Fairmont Hot Springs, it is being built in sections so people can get out and enjoy the trail while construction and fundraising continue. So far organizers have received $5.6 million in grants and donations for the $8 million project.
For more information about the Westside Legacy Trail or to donate, visit ourtrail.org.
To register for the Children’s Run-Bike Race or sign up for a guided walk or bike ride, email email@example.com.