Government leaders officially opened the Dugan Lake Accessible Trail Friday near 150 Mile House.
The trail was built thanks to a partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD), Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT), Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition (CCBAC) and the provincial government through the BC Community Recreation Program.
“Enjoying nature and our regional surroundings is an important part of living in the Cariboo,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “I wish to congratulate the CRD on continuing their work on making the Cariboo an accessible area through trail development with the opening of the Dugan Lake Accessibility Trail.”
Approximately one kilometre long and featuring a packed, crushed gravel surface, the trail traverses along the shoreline of Dugan Lake.
Dugan Lake is situated among rolling hills in a spruce-lodgepole pine forest, offers a BC Forest Service campsite and is a great spot for viewing wildlife.
An accessible dock on the low mobility trail also allows visitors to cast a line into this popular fishing lake.
The trail has a gentle grade with one steeper section. An accessible outhouse, accessible dock, three benches and a kiosk at the trailhead with information about the trail are also available for users’ convenience.
“It is with great pleasure we are able to officially open another trail in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and take the next step towards developing the region as an accessible and inclusive tourism destination,” said CRD Electoral Area F Director Joan Sorley. “Thank you to our partners including the Williams Lake Indian Band, the province, NDIT and CCBAC. It is through these types of projects that we can continue building communities together.”
WLIB councillor Willie Sellars described the trail as a perfect example of partnerships.
“Through these relationships we have delivered something that will help bolster the already growing trail network and contributes to more trails in the local area,” Sellars said. “Providing another tourism option will also further diversify our economy and give people more of a reason to visit our area, take in the views and experience the Cariboo.” British Columbia’s Cariboo-Chilcotin is known for its rugged and beautiful landscapes, but these amazing parts of the province are often difficult to access for people with mobility issues, said Janine North, CEO NDIT.
“Accessible travel is one of the fastest growing tourism markets in North America, and this trail project means our region has become that much more accessible to residents and visitors alike,” North added.
Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson chairs the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition said projects such as the Dugan Lake Accessible Trail improve communities by making the region accessible to all and enhance the visitor experience in the Cariboo Chilcotin.
“The Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition is excited to be a part of this regional project,” Simpson said.
The new trail is located approximately 24 kilometres east of Williams Lake on the Horsefly Lake Road, about 2.5km past the junction of the Horsefly and Likely Roads.
Ongoing management of the site is provided by Recreation Sites and Trail BC.
In 2006, the CRD board passed a resolution to work toward developing the Cariboo-Chilcotin as a world leader in accessible outdoor recreation and tap into niche tourism markets for persons of low mobility.
Other wheelchair accessible sites within the CRD include Tatlayoko, Kersley, Cottonwood Historic Site, 108 Mile/Sepa Lakes, Lac La Hache, Horsefly Salmon Spawning Trails, Gavin Lakeshore Trail, and most recently the 99 Mile Accessible Trail which was officially opened last fall. There are currently seven other accessible wilderness trails being developed by the CRD, some of which were funded through the Community Recreation Program.
For further information about the growing list of accessible trails within the Cariboo Regional District, visit the cariboord.ca and look under services/recreation.