Radium – Invermere Link
There is currently a lack of safe, non-motorized corridors where Columbia Valley residents & visitors can commute & recreate off of the busy Hwy 93/95. The connection between communities and the associated economic benefits are lacking because individuals and families are unable to follow established trails from Radium Hot Springs to Invermere. The development pressure in these natural and unique landscapes is high and needs to be conserved. The Radium – Invermere Link, which will eventually form part of the Upper Columbia Spine Trail Network, directly addresses these needs.
Phase I: Radium to Dry Gulch Link (Old Coach Trail)
The Old Coach Trail, which runs 9 km, was successfully completed in Spring 2007. The trail runs between Dry Gulch and the Village of Radium Hot Springs. Perfect for the whole family to bike or hike, it winds along the bench lands above the Columbia River, allowing for outstanding views of the Columbia Wetlands National Wildlife Area, which is part of one of the longest contiguous wetland systems in North America. Natural hoodoos are visible from the trail, and it passes through grasslands which are habitat to ungulates such as Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
The Old Coach Trail companion brochure is available at the Radium Hot Springs Information Center.
Phases II & III: Dry Gulch to Crossroads Link
In the next two phases of work, CRGA plans to extend this trail another 10 kms, to connect Invermere to Radium. The second phase will connect Dry Gulch to the Kinbasket South Boundary, and the third and final phase will connect the Kinbasket Land boundary to the Crossroads (linking up to the Athalmer Trail).
Map of The Upper Columbia Trail Network – Dry Gulch to Crossroads Section– Proposed
Current Status/ Trail Update (February 2013): These two sections are currently in the planning phase. Landowner consultation has been conducted and it is nearly completed. In 2013, the CRGA will be working with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on the use, design, and location of potential road crossings and installation of concrete barriers where highway shoulder travel may be required. The CRGA will also be working with the Regional District of the East Kootenays (RDEK) to finalize maintenance and liability arrangements.