Trails society looks to make Seven Summits a loop

The Kootenay Columbia Trail Society hopes to make Rossland's Seven Summits bike trail into a loop.

The Kootenay Columbia Trail Society has its sights set on turning the famous Seven Summits bike trail into a loop. Currently, the Rossland area trail is ridden as a one way, 30 km trail, but the KCTS told council last week that they are looking at the possibility of making it into a 65 km loop.

Isaac Saban, president of the KCTS said that the extra 24 km, which would connect the city to Nancy Green summit, would cater to the long distance bikers.

The city of Rossland currently contributes $19,000, as well as another $14,000 indirectly through the regional district.

The society has a total budget of about $100,000 he said, which comes through donations, membership and other contributions.

That allows the KCTS to pay for insurance and maintenance on the trail network, which is required for the insurance policy to provide public access on private land.

“The vast majority of the trails are located on private land,” he said.

Saban argued that the KCTS provides great value for money as the $100,000 in funds allows something like 120,000 individual uses of the trails.

“That’s us looking at the numbers that we see in the sign-in areas,” he said. “And using counters that unfortunately only pick up bicycles, because they require the metal to trip the counters.”

Because of that he estimates there are more people who are walking or running the trails, who are not counted.

Saban said that the trails around Rossland are also being used as a model for others in Western Canada.

“Other areas are not as fortunate to have the funding we receive, and it makes all the difference in the world,” he said. “People who come here and use the trails are blown away by the quality of trails and the maintenance here that they don’t see anywhere else.”