This summer, a crew of about 15 former miners carved a trail out of the bush that overlooks the town of Tumbler Ridge.
It was part of a job creation partnership with the local chamber of commerce and the province, who announced today that it will be giving $193,500 to the roughly quarter of a million dollar project. The 15-kilometre Quality Lake trail takes hikers up a steep ridge to a radio tower that looms over the town of 2,700 before rounding a bend for a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains.
Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier was in Tumbler Ridge today to officially announce the province's contribution, which he said will allow workers to stay employed a bit longer.
Bernier followed that up with news that the Kinuseo Falls road, officially known as the Murray River Forest Service Road, would also be getting provincial help.
"That's a forest service road and it's not maintained because there is no (logging) activity," Bernier said. "It's been like that for years so I made an arrangement with Minister Stone."
That arrangement will see the province take over operation of the road on a seasonal basis at around $200,000.
"They'll do annual maintenance and grade it," Bernier explained.
Mayor and council for the District of Tumbler Ridge have put forward several motions at past Union of British Columbia Municipalities meetings to have the province look at maintaining the road, which leads to a popular tourist destination.
The sticking point had always been the road's designation as a Forest Service Road which the province is not responsible for, Bernier said.
Maintenance work will begin this fall with additional work planned for the spring. The road will only be maintained in the summer months.
New road, new name
The Ministry of Transportation and the District of Tumbler Ridge will work together to create a new name for the road that reflects the link to tourism in the area.
In addition to providing a route to the falls, the road also acts as access to a large portion of the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark, which is designated as an area with international geological significance by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The road has had maintenance done on it by the province before, as recently as 2011.