Skattebo Reach Trail Upgrade

Skattebo Reach Trail Upgrade

Castlegar Parks & Trails Society is planning to upgrade Skattebo Reach trail to improve access for both cyclists and hikers. Skattebo Reach trail is 12 km long and connects the Ootischenia area to Glade. The trail is located alongside the east bank of the Kootenay River. It was built and is maintained by Castlegar Parks & Trails Society for non-motorized use, only.

While the work is in progress, there may be some disruptions to access. These will be minimized, as much as possible, so that portions of the trail can still be enjoyed while the work is ongoing.

Castlegar Parks & Trails Society encourages the public to provide comments and queries before October 9, 2020 to the email address found at the end of this document.


Skattebo Reach Trail was built about 20 years ago by the Castlegar Parks & Trails Society. It is located alongside the east bank of the Kootenay River and provides non-motorized access from the Highway 3A Brilliant bridge to the Glade settlement. The Skattebo Reach Trail has been designated as part of the Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail) and is part of the main trail that crosses Canada. It is also a key component for a major recreational trail network which, when completed, will connect the large urban centres in the West Kootenays (cities of Trail, Castlegar and Nelson) with an off-highway, primarily non-motorized access route along the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers (see Key Plan).

Hiking the entire length of the 12 km long Skattebo Reach Trail from Highway 3A Brilliant bridge to Glade is suitable for fit hikers. While biking is permitted, it is only suitable for expert mountain bikers and, even then, sections must be ‘hike-a-biked’. The proposed upgrades will improve access sufficiently to allow less skilled cyclists to ride the trail, as well as making hiking the entire length of the trail a less strenuous and more pleasant experience for those who prefer to walk.

Proposed Upgrading:

The estimated $175,000 cost for the proposal is being funded by grants from the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the Trans Canada Trail and the Columbia Basin Trust. Castlegar Parks & Trails Society will manage the project, utilizing technical assistance provided by qualified professionals and private contractors.

Slightly over one-half of the 12 km trail length will be improved. Portions that will not be upgraded are the southerly two km of the existing trail between the Brilliant bridge and the Brilliant Terminal Station and three km at the north end of the trail near Glade.

The portion between Brilliant bridge and the Brilliant Terminal station is too rugged, steep and too costly to upgrade. It is suited to strong hikers with good mobility. Most hikers will want to start at the ‘trail access point’ beside the Brilliant Terminal Station which can be accessed by vehicle (see sheet 1 of 2). Cyclists will also want to bypass this section of the trail by utilizing existing roadways and taking the bike route (see sheet 1 of 2) to the ‘trail access point’.

At the north end of the Skattebo Reach Trail, there is a three km section between the Glade trail head and the project end, which is an existing dirt road and does not need upgrading (see sheet 2 of 2).

Upgrades to the trail from the Brilliant Terminal Station to McPhee Creek (sheet 1 of 2) will consist of trail widening, removal of the old waterline steel hoops from the trail path, and reducing the steepness of the trail gradient. Improvements will be considered to stream crossings.

Upgrades to the trail section between McPhee Creek and the Glade trail head will be more challenging. Two distinct rock bluffs with steep side slopes must be crossed. Some route relocation will be needed and some work will have to be done by tracked machinery.

Landowner concerns will be addressed and detailed design will be undertaken during the fall of 2020, with the intent to commence work in spring 2021. Some minor clean-up work may need to be done in spring 2022 after the major work is complete.

Project Schedule:

July 1-Septmber 15, 2020 – Address landowner concerns

September 1- October 9, 2020: Time period allowed for Public information/comment

September 15 – November 15, 2020: Finalize technical studies/detailed layouts

November 15-Janaury 15, 2021: prepare contract(s)

January 15-February 28, 2021: qualify contractors

May 1, 2021: Commence upgrading work.

Castlegar Parks & Trails Society appreciates your interest in this project. We are excited to undertake the work and look forward to receiving your comments and input.

Public Input:

Please address comments and questions pertaining to the Skattebo Reach Upgrade project to the Castlegar Parks & Trails Society to the following email address before October 9, 2020: