A wheelchair-accessible loop trail has been completed near the Seven Summits trailhead along Highway 3B.
The one-kilometre trail takes people through the forest and around Booty’s Cabin and a popular ski and snowboarding ramp.
Friends of the Rossland Range Society (FORR) member Rob Richardson worked with various contractors during the summers of 2019 and 2020 to complete the project.
FORR members first worked with Three Tree staff to clear trees and debris off the proposed route of the trail. After, Simms Contracting used their machinery to help transport and pack down over 280 yards of rock onto the trail to make it even and smooth.
Columbia Steel helped to design and build a collapsible ramp from the trail up to the cabin to make it accessible for everyone. The ramp will be stored underneath the cabin during the winter months.
Near the end of the project, Interior Signs placed signs around the trail to make it easily navigable.
Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTB) also donated a wheelchair-accessible outhouse for people along the middle of the trail.
“We’ve already installed wheelchair-accessible outhouses throughout the district and when we heard about what the society was doing, we wanted to help them out the best we could,” said RSTB spokesperson Travis Mitchell.
“This outhouse is quite a bit larger in size then a normal outhouse and there are bars in its interior to help people in wheelchairs.”
Kyle Hahn, a Rossland resident who lost his ability to walk following a motorcycle crash in 2018, said the new trail means everything to him.
“This trail gives me the ability to get out in the wilderness and enjoy everything that it has to offer,” said Hahn.
“This project also shows that people who don’t necessarily have mobility issues are putting in the effort to help people like me get outside for our physical and mental health.”
Hahn said the trail will be also be great for families with baby strollers and elderly people.
Hahn hopes this project will inspire people to build more wheelchair-accessible trails in the West Kootenay region in the future.
Of the total $65,000 projects costs, Area B of the Regional District Kootenay Boundary donated $35,000 and Columbia Basin Trust donated $25,000.