PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 16, 2017
PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- The City of Prince Rupert this week signed an agreement to lease the Rushbrook Trail to the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society, a volunteer-led organization that will be restoring the waterfront walkway as part of its initiative to develop an integrated trail system in and around the city.
The Rushbrook Trail has been closed since 2003 due to safety concerns related to the adjacent rock slope along the route that connects the Rushbrook dock (one kilometre north of Cow Bay) to Seal Cove. The trail is 1.5 kilometres in length and follows the path of a CNR railway track which was decommissioned in 1985.
"The rehabilitation of the Rushbrook trail was identified as a community priority in the City's ReDesign Rupert initiative and is going to greatly increase the safety of the area, as well as access across our waterfront," said Mayor Lee Brain. "The City is inspired by the leadership of the Kaien Trail Enhancement Society to create an interconnected network of trails through our community, and is excited to support this project. Increasing the walkability and access to our community is important to residents, as well as to Council."
In December 2016, the Kaien Trails society completed a draft master plan for a network of interconnected trails, integrating many existing routes which have fallen into disrepair or disuse. The plan was completed through the donation of time and services by Urban Systems Ltd. and McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.
"Restoration of the Rushbrook Trail is an important step toward restoring Prince Rupert's status as a place where urban and backcountry hiking options are extensive, accessible and safe," said Sean Carlson, president of the Kaien Island Trail and Enhancement Society. "We're especially excited that the re-opened Rushbrook trail will provide access to a significant stretch of scenic waterfront within the community's inner harbour."
Reconstruction of the Rushbrook trail will begin this spring and is due for completion within the year. In addition to introduction of safety measures like guardrails and bridges, new trail signage will accent natural and cultural highlights of the area.
The Kaien Trails organization is also responsible for resumption of the popular Quickclimb timed ascent of Mt. Hays. The annual event restarted in 2015 as a fundraiser for trail development.
Additional contributors to the Rushbrook Trail initiative will be announced in the subsequent months. The public is invited to review the master plan for the Kaien Island Trail Network at the society's website: www.kaientrails.ca.