Trans Canada Trail in
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Friends of Trails
Media News re trails 2007
Nov. 24, 2007, Red Deer
Advocate, by Penny Castor
Bridge over trail waters
The progress of the Central Alberta section of a cross-Canada trail
has taken several steps forward with a promise of money for a pedestrian
bridge across the Blindman River.
"Alberta TrailNet has pre-approved $100,000, as soon as we get the
engineering done," said Debbie Olsen, president of the Central Alberta
Regional Trails Society.
Because the engineering hasn't been done yet, there is no estimate
of the ultimate cost.
Engineering for a bridge to carry the trail across the Battle River
north of Ponoka is complete and a figure of $500,000 has been mentioned.
Olsen said there is hope that number can be reduced and that a more
economical bridge can also be built over the Blindman, possibly using a
A Bailey bridge uses a system of prefabricated steel trusses to
create spans that can be built quickly. They are used in many places but
are commonly used in military situations.
Olsen said such possibilities as providing the material and getting
Canadian Forces to build the bridges may be examined. That has been done
on the trail in other parts of the country.
"If we can (use Bailey bridges), our grants would go a long way
towards building the bridges.
In the meantime, various sources of funding are being examined or
In other areas, Olsen is hopeful a section of trail between
Springbrook and Penhold is closer to reality.
One km of trail is to be built in Springbrook in the spring, said
Pettypiece is vice-president of the Central Alberta Regional Trails
Society and president of the Springbrook Community Association.
"It's a start," said Pettypiece, who has been working to get the
trail built between Penhold and Red Deer for eight years.
"We're fairly anxious to get the thing done," said Pettypiece.
It had been hoped that the trail would run beside Hwy 2A but Red
Deer County preferred a route alongside RR 281, about 1 km west of the
It would require permission from landowners.
The county had planned to have meetings with landowners and
stakeholders by Sept. 30, said Pettypiece.
The consultation process is now scheduled for February, said Jo-Ann
Symington, community services manager for the county.
She said the county is in the process of developing implementation
strategy for the trail between Red Deer and Springbrook.
Oct. 15, 2007, News Release,
World's longest trail a step closer to
completion in Alberta
A $1.2 million investment from the Alberta government will support
efforts towards completing the province's 2,200-kilometre portion of the
Trans Canada Trail.
"The Trans Canada Trail is a key component of our provincial trail
network," said Hector Goudreau, Minister of Tourism, Parks, Recreation
and Culture. "It draws important tourism dollars to communities across
Alberta, and gives Albertans a great way to stay active while enjoying
our province's natural beauty."
The Alberta TrailNet Society will administer the grant, which is
provided through the Alberta Lottery Fund. This funding will be used for
trail planning, design and construction as TrailNet continues to work
with local stakeholders to expand on the 60 per cent of the Alberta
portion already open.
As Alberta's provincial trail council, TrailNet is responsible for
promoting development and responsible use of the provincial trail
network in the interests of a broad range of user groups. It also
implements the Alberta portion of the Trans Canada Trail.
"This new funding provides critical support to our local and
community partners who are working hard to build the Trans Canada
Trail," said Peter Barr, president of Alberta TrailNet Society. "It will
enhance the efforts of dedicated volunteers, as well as help fully
maximize donor contributions to make the Trans Canada Trail through our
province a reality."
Alberta is a hub for the Trans Canada Trail with the east-west land
route, the north-south Arctic land route, and the Arctic water route
meeting in Alberta. The 2,200 kilometres of trail showcases local sites
of interest and the diversity of recreational, historic, natural and
cultural opportunities across the province. More information on the
Alberta portion of the Trans Canada Trail is available at
TrailNet and its national, provincial and territorial partners hope
to complete the Trans Canada Trail by 2010. Once complete, the trail
will be an 18,000-kilometre recreational corridor that winds its way
through every province and territory, linking over 800 communities along
its route - the longest trail of its kind in the world. More information
on the Trans Canada Trail is available at
Supporting Alberta's trail network is part of Premier Ed Stelmach's
plan to improve Albertans' quality of life. Other priorities for the
government are to govern with integrity and transparency, build a
stronger Alberta, manage growth pressures and provide safe and secure
July 18, 2007, Red Deer Advocate, by Paul Cowley
Council approves three new
trails for county
Red Deer County council has approved construction of three trails,
kick-starting a major effort to boost recreational opportunities.
A 3.6-km trail will be built from Springbrook to Penhold, a 6.8-km
trail will be built between Spruce View and Dickson and a one-km trail
will be constructed at the west end of Glennifer Lake to provide public
access to the Red Deer River.
The University of Calgary's Urban Lab has been contracted to
prepare project plans for the trails and consult with area landowners.
The trail project plan is expected to cost $10,000. The county has
$90,000 earmarked for trail development in its budget this year.
"I'm glad we're finally doing something," said Councillor Penny
Archibald. "It's long overdue." The county's existing trails are well
used and will get busier as people seek to take better care of
themselves, she said.
The county's effort to increase its network of trails will not come
cheap, said Councillor Jim Lougheed. "But I think it is well
Trail development is not supported by all landowners, but the
county's proposed projects show routes can be found that fit in with
"I'm encouraged by this. I look forward to seeing this," Lougheed
Archibald also wants to see a trail considered for Township Road
362, which approaches Pine Lake from the west. The county redid that
road a couple of years ago but did not put a trail in at the time.
It is common to see people walking along that road, which also sees
a lot of fast-moving vehicles, she said.
Councillor Jim Wood agreed that the road needed a trail. "Every
time you drive down the road, there are people walking on it."
The trails will be well used, he predicted.
Apr. 14, 2007, Red Deer
Advocate, by Lana Michelin
Trail bridges proposed
Trans Canada project targets Battle River and Blindman River
Trans Canada Trail organizers are looking at bridging two
rivers to accommodate hiking and biking trails between Red Deer and
"Rivers are major trail blockers. You can't build trails
without building bridges," said Derry Armstrong, trail co-ordinator with
the Trans Canada Trail Foundation.
His foundation is scoping out locations for two pedestrian
spans -- over the Blindman River near Blackfalds and the Battle River
north of Ponoka.
Armstrong said the preliminary design work hasn't been
completed for either bridge, but the Town of Ponoka supports the one
The Ponoka pedestrian bridge is estimated to cost $250,000.
It is expected to need funding from the government, private sources and
Armstrong believes the Blackfalds area bridge will cost even
more, since it needs to be longer to span the Blindman River.
The group is approaching the counties of Lacombe and Red Deer
to seek permission to build this bridge.
"There's a lengthy approval process," said Armstrong, who
believes it will take a minimum of two years before construction begins.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada rules must also be followed to
cause the least disruption to aquatic species.
Once the bridges are built, hikers can use quiet country
roads to get from Red Deer to Ponoka, but Armstrong's group eventually
plans to build offroad trails for hikers and cyclists linking Penhold,
Springbrook, Red Deer, Blackfalds, Lacombe and Ponoka.
In the larger picture, Armstrong envisions trails between
Calgary and Edmonton.
The goal on a national level is to have trails right across
"The idea is you can get onto a trail in Lacombe and hike all
the way to St. John's, Nfld.," said Armstrong.
Compared to other Canadian provinces, Alberta is behind on
creating public trails, said Armstrong.
This is partly because fewer railway right-of-ways exist and
also because many rural Albertans were initially distrustful of having
trails along their property, Armstrong added.
"There was some rural backlash, but I think that's changing.
People aren't as threatened by trails."
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