From Thompston-Nicola Regional District: https://www.tnrd.ca/new-blue-river-pedestrian-suspension-bridge-connects-trail-network/
All trails lead to adventure in Blue River, and a newly-completed Pedestrian Suspension Bridge now connects the Blue River Trail Network on both sides of the Blue River, providing a pathway to year-round recreation in the pristine North Thompson Valley.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), the Government of Canada, the Province of B.C., and local partners Trans Mountain and Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing held a grand opening event on August 17, 2023, to celebrate the completion of the Blue River Pedestrian Suspension Bridge and its first full year of operation.
The Blue River Pedestrian Suspension Bridge was fully completed in December 2022, rejoining the trail network for the first time since a previous structure was washed away by heavy rains in the late 1980s. The Pedestrian Suspension Bridge was identified as a top priority in the Blue River Trails and Active Transportation Plan that was completed in July of 2021.
Located on unceded Simpcw territory within TNRD Electoral Area “B” (Thompson Headwaters), the Blue River Trail Network provides outdoor opportunities year-round, such as walking, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and more. The trail system is comprised of 27.5 kilometres of hiking and biking trails, which in the winter transform into 11.8 km of groomed cross country skiing trails and 13.2 km of ungroomed snowshoeing trails. The trails take you along river vistas and through valley floors lined with cedar and spruce trees in this inland temperature rainforest. Trail heads are located both east and west of the Blue River townsite.
The TNRD provides Tourism Marketing as a service that is specific to Electoral Area “B,” and the Blue River Trail Network is a key component of outdoor recreation in the area that is promoted through this work. With long, unhurried days and mountains of possibilities no matter the season, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had in Blue River. To find out more, visit: blueriverbc.ca, or follow Explore Blue River on Facebook or Instagram.
- Trans Mountain Community Benefits Agreement: $80,000
- Canada Community-Building Fund: $60,000
- Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing Resort: $37,500
- TNRD Electoral Area “B” Parks Budget: $56,166.83
- Total Project Cost: $233,666.83
About the Canada Community Building Fund:
The Canada Community Building Fund (CCBF) is a permanent source of funding provided twice per year to provinces and territories, who in turn flow this funding to municipalities and regional districts to support local infrastructure priorities. Local and regional governments select how to best direct the funds to a range of eligible projects. The CCBF is administered in British Columbia by the Union of BC Municipalities.
Lee Onslow, TNRD Electoral Area “B” Director: “We are fortunate in Blue River to have so many outdoor opportunities right at the doorsteps in this small town. With the pedestrian suspension bridge and an ongoing project to establish trail signage and infrastructure, the Blue River Trail Network continues to grow as a destination for people seeking many outdoor activities,” said Lee Onslow, Electoral Area “B” Director. “The community also appreciates the funding contributions that have helped make the pedestrian suspension bridge possible, through the Canada Community Building Fund and the generous contributions by Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing and Trans Mountain.”
Honourable Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Province of B.C.: “I recognize that the Blue River community has made many improvements to enhance the Blue River Trail Network, and the creation of the Pedestrian Suspension Bridge is one example. This project highlights that with the right support and tools, all communities across B.C. can grow and thrive. The Suspension Bridge will allow residents and tourists a chance to witness the beauty of our natural environment, while living an active and healthy life.”
Deanne Carson, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Government Affairs, Trans Mountain: “We are pleased to provide funding for the pedestrian suspension bridge in Blue River as part of our Community Benefit Agreement announced in 2015. Trans Mountain values the relationships it has built with communities along the pipeline corridor over its almost 70-year history. We are thankful for the town of Blue River’s ongoing support and the opportunity to provide lasting benefits to the community.”
Elias Ortner, General Manager, Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing: “Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing (MWHS) and the Wiegele family is honoured to be able to contribute to this project to support the community and outdoor recreation. Connecting the trail network with this pedestrian suspension bridge enhances the experience in Blue River for locals, visitors, MWHS guests and employees. We want to thank the TNRD for completing this bridge, and we are looking forward to enjoying it in the years to come.”
- Blue River Trails and Active Transportation Plan: https://www.tnrd.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/2021-Blue-River-Trails-Active-Transportation-Master-Plan-Final.pdf
- Blue River Trail Maps: https://www.blueriverbc.ca/maps/
- North Thompson Valley 100 Adventures That Await You: https://issuu.com/thompsonokanagantourism/docs/ntv_guide_2022_web
- News Release: May 4, 2023: TNRD Receives Funding for Blue River Trails Signage, Wayfinding and Infrastructure: https://www.tnrd.ca/tnrd-receives-funding-for-blue-river-trails-signage-wayfinding-and-infrastructure/