Happy trails ahead for active Albertans

Dec 17, 2018

Hikers, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts will be able to explore more of Alberta thanks to new provincial funding for trails.

Breaking new trail, enhancing existing trail and adding bridges and signage are some of the 12 Great Trail projects that will receive funding.

“Alberta’s incredible trail network attracts tourists from around the world, helps Albertans be more active and connects people to nature. We are pleased to contribute to this legacy with our continuing support for The Great Trail.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

The Great Trail, formerly the Trans Canada Trail, is a national network of trails stretching more than 24,000 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Three thousand kilometres of trail are in Alberta.

Alberta TrailNet is a non-profit organization that represents the province for The Great Trail. It will manage the new $1.93 million in funding for Alberta trails.

“On behalf of Alberta TrailNet Society and its regional and local trail partners, I’d like to express our sincere thanks for this funding which will enable continued work on the trail. Provincial funding has been critical in mobilizing volunteer resources and community support and in leveraging investments from donors and other levels of government. Many communities and thousands of recreational users have benefited from this and other provincial investments in the trail.”

Ross Hayes, president, Board of Directors, Alberta TrailNet Society

Alberta has the second-longest portion of The Great Trail. The trail passes through 77 of Alberta’s cities, towns and villages, 24 rural municipal districts and several Indigenous communities. Portions of the trail are being moved off roadways to improve safety. To date, the Alberta government has invested nearly $10 million in The Great Trail.

Support for The Great Trail aligns with the guiding principles of a pan-Canadian policy document released in May 2018, A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Living in Canada.

These projects received funding:

  • Peace River Wilderness Trail (near Smith) – improvements to trail surface and drainage, and construction of a staging area, including washrooms, at the southern end.
  • DesNethe’ Discovery Trail (near Fitzgerald and the NWT border) – surface improvements, clearing, and installing culverts.
  • Will Marx Trail (north of Grouard) – bridge installation.
  • Arctic Water route (between Athabasca and Fort Smith) – signage, including design, locations, materials and installation.
  • Electric Dielectric Trail (between Canmore and Deadman’s Flats) – footbridge installation.
  • Irricana to Beiseker Trail – new trail construction, including surfacing, fencing and signage.
  • Hope Adventure Camp Trail (Sturgeon River) – upgrading of existing trail, including widening and adding signage.
  • McKelvie Trail (near Ponoka) – trail development and suspension bridge installation.
  • Opal Area Grazing Reserve Trail (Athabasca Landing Trail, northeast of Edmonton) – trail development to connect Athabasca Landing Trail to Half Moon Lake Trail.
  • Meanook to Perryville (Athabasca Landing Trail) – development of small staging area and preservation of existing trail.
  • Diamond Willow Trail (south of Ponoka) – bank stabilization and engineering work to preserve existing trail.
  • Beiseker Station Grounds Trail (near Beiseker) – new trail construction, including fencing, signage and a staging area.

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