Construction has started on a paved path between Smithers and Telkwa, also known as the Cycle 16 trail.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held this morning (Friday) at Laidlaw Road where the trail will start.
This is phase one of the project that has been in the works since 2015, but the idea was brought forward in 2000.
During the ceremony dignitaries and the Founder of Cycle 16 said a few words and recognized organizations and people who contributed to the project.
Skeena- Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach applauded the Cycle 16 Trail Society for their hard work.
“They’ve put so much into this and brought this vision from a place where I think a lot of people thought that it couldn’t be done, that it was too big of a vision or that the hurdles and the barriers were just too many and they just kept working away at it and sharing the vision,” he said.
Bachrach added that he is looking forward to seeing the momentum of the trail all of the way to Telkwa.
Smithers Mayor Gladys Atrill said when she thinks of the trail being built today it’s also about building something for the future.
“I think that’s what’s so amazing about the residents of the Bulkley Valley, it’s coming together, sharing spirit, sharing dreams and not being willing to hear it’s not going to work people, tried it already it’s not going to work,” she said.
Founder of Cycle 16 Trail Society Tony Harris said it was emotional for him to attend the ceremony.
“I can’t begin to tell you all how appreciative and how excited I am today and we still have a ways to go,” he said.
So far, the society has received $2.3 million in funding from fundraising and grants.
Harris added that earlier this week the society received an anonymous donation of $25,000.
The society says this multi-use trail will allow a healthy and safe transportation option for people of all fitness levels.