The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is looking to build a Trails Master Plan for the community of Blue River.
The plan will guide the development and management of trails in the small town over the next 10 years and will include trails within a seven-kilometre radius. In addition, the plan also will explore the potential of year-round tourism.
Blue River is known for its access to the great outdoors and the trail network is a key component of the community’s outdoor recreation, including hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and motorized activities such as snowmobiling and off-roading, the TNRD noted on its website.
A benefit of an improved trails network is the potential boost the economy year-round, the site continues, due to Blue River’s natural environment, link to large population centres and fame as a desitination for heli-skiing and snowmobiling.
In addition, mountain bike trail initiative in nearby Valemount, Clearwater and Simpcw First Nation provide a foundation to build on.
The TNRD notes the first round of public and engagement, through an online survey and workshop to happen in May 2021, and a draft of the master plan will be available in July, where a second round of public input will take palce before the final plan will be created near the end of summer.
The Trails Master Plan includes the area west of town with trails like the Green Mile and the area east of town that features walking paths and cross-country skiing trails, in addition to motorized trails, such as the Cedar Connector. Apline riding areas, however, are outisde the planning process.
The Plan is guided by the TNRD staff and Blue River Trails Working Group, made up of key stakeholders, and is being developed by LEES+Associates. The TNRD notes there will be multiple opportunities for public participation and input to ensure the priorities of Blue River residents are reflected in the plan.
Those who wish to participate can fill out the survey found the TNRD website. The survey is open until May 30, 2021.