Valemount’s Swift Creek Trail has a new suspension bridge spanning the creek, replacing an old, damaged bridge that was no longer safe. The project was funded in part by the Trust.
The bridge is part of a community vision to establish a mountain bike trail system and park, one that will serve residents and draw visitors to the area. The project is being overseen by the Valemount Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA), which represents a variety of community stakeholders in developing and maintaining local backcountry recreation. Partners include the Yellowhead Outdoor Recreation Association (YORA) and Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
“This project has been a long-standing dream of many residents in the area,” said Curtis Pawliuk, VARDA General Manager. “Valemount currently has the infrastructure—hotels, restaurants, etc.—to support increased tourism. Developing a mountain biking trail network is a logical and viable next step that will foster community recreation and health, as well as support the local economy due to increased tourism spending. The Swift Creek bridge is the backbone of this proposed system.”
“This project is an excellent example of partnerships and community participation,” said Lynda Lafleur, Columbia Basin Trust Community Liaison. “VARDA, YORA and other community partners have been working toward this vision for over seven years, and public meetings have highlighted the residents’ interest in promoting Valemount as a recreation destination. This project has the potential to enhance the livability of the community while attracting a new form of economic benefit.”
The bridge is opening to the public in spring 2015, and the next step of the project is to upgrade the current Swift Creek Trail.