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TCT Track

 

 

The East Shore segment of the Trans Canada Trail begins in Kootenay
Bay. The traveler, after enjoying the free Kootenay Lake Ferry will
follow HWY 3A to the Artisan community of Crawford Bay. Continuing
south for 1km the authorized off-highway route begins. A trail head
kiosk greets trail users with orientation, historical information,
user sign in, and a map.
The trail begins with occasional up’s and downs but for the most part
meeting 10% sustainable grade trail requirements. The trail soon
connects to the original hand built road and continues south with
spectacular views of Kootenay Lake and the Selkirk mountains. The
trail itself winds through varying old growth forest types, granite
rock outcroppings, numerous viewpoints and occasional dynamited (from
1918) trouble spots similar to rail-trail routes in other parts of the
interior.
Before the trail route reaches the first private property in Gray
Creek, it slowly descends back to the highway to a number of inviting
public beach accesses including Starbelly Beach for which the local
music festival was named. From here it’s a short 2km to the Gray Creek
Store. It’s here that up to date information on the rest of the route
over the Pass Rd and on to Kimberley can be acquired. This route
provides an unique example of canadian history and our determination
to connect rural communities. The primary users of this route are
expected to be residents of Crawford Bay and Gray Creek as it provides
a spectacular and safe commute for Mountain Bikers and Hikers. Of note
however, is the TCT section near Nelson BC confirmed 12,000 users in
it’s first season. This may signal a new era of visiting trail user on
the East Shore. The trail will be promoted through ESTBA, Kootenay
Lake Chamber of Commerce, Kokanee Springs Golf Resort and the TCT
Society.
The “off HWY” segment between Crawford Bay and Gray Creek is complete.
Work entailed development of 3 major sections needing to be connected
as the original historic route has at times been amalgamated into the
newer highway.

The southern trail, just north of Starbelly Beach and Weasel Creek, is
in itself a unique and accessible trail experience.

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