Letter: Small communities with vision for a rail trail

Lake Country rail corridor purchase is about grabbing a one-time opportunity to improve our future.

Small communities with vision for a rail trail

subhead:  This is about grabbing a one-time opportunity to improve our future.

To the editor:

On three occasions I have cycled from Nakusp through to Roseberry, New Denver and to Three Forks, (the Galena Trail). The rail bed starts again in Slocan to Winlaw, South Slocan and onward to Nelson.

I’m always impressed. First there’s the beauty of Slocan Lake, the lupens in bloom along the shore and the Valhalla Mountains as a backdrop.

Secondly, its impressive how those small communities (basically abandoned silver mining towns) have come together to maintain the trail and profit from it.

In the summer it’s difficult to find accommodation in New Denver unless you book ahead. There’s a hotel, a motel, and several B&B’s. There is further accommodation along the trail.

The trail is clean, hard packed with a couple of immaculate outdoor bathrooms enroute. Past Slocan, following the river there is a spot with bleachers to observe nature.

In addition, there are plaques about the local history. For example during the war, there were two large internment camps along the route.

With the aid of local trail groups those small villages have embraced the abandoned railway as an opportunity to profit for their own citizens and to boost tourism.

Why can’t Lake Country do the same?

Personally, the decision is not about whether the money is needed to fix roads or other infrastructure. That will always be a constant. This is about grabbing a one-time opportunity to improve our future.

The Slocan Valley 50 km Rail Trail is managed on behalf of the Province of BC by the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society, a 100% volunteer organization that depends on donations, volunteers and grants. Go to www.slocanvalleyrailway.ca for more information

Diane Clement,Lake Country