The community of Lac La Hache, is the latest community in the Cariboo Chilcotin to develop a wheelchair accessible trail, announces the Cariboo Regional District.
It’s called the Lac La Hache Community Trail and was built in partnership between the Cariboo Regional District (CRD); the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development; Northern Development Initiative Trust; the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, and the Lac La Hache Community Club.
“I am extremely pleased that we have now completed the Lac La Hache Community Trail,” stated CRD Chair and Electoral Area G Director Al Richmond.
“This is the next step in making the Cariboo Chilcotin one of the most attractive wheelchair accessible tourism destinations in the world. Projects such as the Lac La Hache Community Trail show what can be accomplished through regional collaboration and commitment to improving the quality of life for residents and visitors of all abilities.”
The wheelchair friendly trail is approximately 620 metres long, and takes visitors to picturesque views of Lac La Hache from several viewpoints. The trail starts from an expansive accessible shelter with picnic tables, and heads down to the lakeshore where it meanders along the lake until it crosses an accessible bridge. After crossing the bridge, users can loop back to the accessible shelter, or continue along the lakeshore enjoying the scenery along the way. The trail is made of a packed, crush gravel surface and includes a gentle grade with one steeper section after the bridge that loops back to the accessible shelter.
“I have been involved in the Lac La Hache Community Club for more than 20 years and during that time, the club frequently discussed constructing a trail beside the lake so the current Garlic Festival site would be able to be enjoyed by more people from the community,” stated Larry McCrea, president of the Lac La Hache Community Club.
“The club is very pleased that the trail is now completed. We offer our thanks to everyone involved and invite the public to come and take a stroll along the lake.”
“When our government announced the $30-million Community Recreation Program, the Lac La Hache Community Trail was exactly the sort of project we had in mind.
“We wanted to support communities with improvements to infrastructure — to make communities healthier, more active and accessible places for people of all ages and abilities,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett.
“With the new upgrades, this wilderness trail gives everyone the opportunity to get out and enjoy the magnificent outdoor amenities this region has to offer. I commend everyone involved for bringing this valuable project to fruition.”
“Northern Development is pleased to assist Lac La Hache and many other communities in the Cariboo expand their wheelchair accessible tourism opportunities through our Community Halls and Recreation Facilities grant program,” Janine North, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Development Initiative Trust.
“The Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition (CCBAC) funds projects like these where there are strong partnerships to help our region economically, environmentally and socially,” said Mayor Kerry Cook, Chair CCBAC. “The Lac La Hache Community Trail is beautiful and a scenic highlight for our area.”
Construction funding was provided through the provincial Community Recreation Program, Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, and the Lac La Hache Community Club. Ongoing management of the site will be provided by the Lac La Hache Community Club.
The board passed a resolution in 2006 to work towards 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’s Sisters Creek Trail, Cottonwood Historic Site, Sepa Lake Accessible Trail and the Horsefly Salmon Spawning Trails. There are currently 13 other accessible wilderness trails being developed by the CRD, some of which were funded through the Community Recreation Program.