Rehab needed for Castlegar’s Waldie Island Trail

Group eager to get to work on popular Columbia River hiking destination

Much had been damaged in the high water over the past year

Heavy and sustained rainfall mixed with heavier than usual snow melt last spring wreaked havoc across Southern B.C. and the resulting damage is still apparent in many locations.

Waldie Island on the Columbia River is one of particular interest to the folks involved with the Castlegar Friends of Parks and Trails Society.

A big job for the group, according to president Lawrence Redfern, is to get to work on the remediation.

“It’s a real challenge,” he related on Feb. 16, “it was completely destroyed by the high water. The boardwalks we had, they’re destroyed. So we’re talking five to ten thousand bucks to get that fixed.”

The park and trail ‘friends’ deal with a network of about 80 kilometres of trails, of which those situated on and near Waldie Island are especially popular with hikers.

“We want to have a way of fixing it so if the water comes up as high as it did last summer, again, rather than destroy the infrastructure it’ll just have to be fitted back into place or something. It’ll be a little more resilient.”

Waldie Island’s close proximity to Castlegar is likely one of the reasons for it’s populatiry, but that’s just one of it’s appeals.

“There’s a whole bunch of issues with Waldie,” added Redfern, “because it’s an ecological reserve for the herons. So as we rebuild that trail we also want to make sure that if there’s a chance to improve that trail so it has less of an environmental impact… now’s a good time to do that, so we’re researching that as well.”

A number of goals are present on the society’s list, and a clearer picture of what may be tackled and what may have to be postponed will be revealed following funding and strategy-related meetings and appointments which are set to be held soon. Here are some of the items furnished listed by Redfern on the group’s agenda:

• Waldie is closed until repairs can be made. Hope to do so this spring

• Plan a regular maintenance schedule for the summer

• Hope to add to our downhill mountain bike trails in Merry Creek

• Seeking to place a bridge over Rover Creek on the Ward’s Ferry Trail

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