Merlin View Trail Construction Completed and East Telephone Trail Upgraded in West Bragg Creek
The AEF Trail Supporter Fund contributed $ 5,000 to the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association (GBCTA) in 2014 for continued implementation of the West Bragg Creek All Season Trail Plan. That funding was combined with $ 115,000 in funding from a variety of other contributors to complete 5 km of tread construction on the 6 km Merlin View all season trail loop and to upgrade 6 km of East Telephone trail to sustainable all season and cross country ski use.
Merlin View Loop was completed in October 2014 and opened to the public for horse-back riding, hiking, mountain biking and snowshoeing (snow permitting). This extremely popular trail offers scenic views to the south through a foothills landscape of pine, spruce, poplar and natural meadows.
East Telephone trail upgrading was completed in December 2014 and opened to the public for cross country skiing (December 1 – March 31), horse-back riding (April 1 – November 30), hiking, mountain biking and snowshoeing. This former ski trail was upgraded to provide a well drained, mineral soil tread trail with a minimum tread width of 10 feet. This required the removal of 160 large trees, roots and organic soil, the placement of large quantities of mineral soil, and the installation of 20 culverts and 1 bridge. East Telephone trail can now be combined with a variety of new all season trails such as Long Distance and Disconnect to make loop trips up to 16 km in length.
The West Bragg Creek All Season Trail Plan was created to improve the trail users’ experience with the development of a sustainable multi-use summer and winter trail system, while minimizing the environmental impact of recreational use. The Plan provides for the expansion and upgrading of the West Bragg Creek Trail System in the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies in Kananaskis Country. The goal of the Plan is to better meet the needs of all types of non-motorized users while reducing impacts on the local watershed. The Plan includes 48 km of new all season multi-use trails for hiking, biking, horse-back riding and snow shoeing, 13 km of new snowshoe trails, 15 km of new cross country ski trails, upgrading of several existing trails, widening of 10 km of ski trails for skate skiing and other improvements.
Since September 2010, 62 km of new trails have been completed, 15 km of ski trails have been upgraded, $ 625,000 in funding has been raised and spent, and over 11,000 volunteer hours have been donated by trail users.
The GBCTA is working in partnership with Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, the Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance, the Friends of Kananaskis Country and others.
For West Bragg Creek trail maps, please see:
The GBCTA was incorporated as an Alberta not for profit Society in 2004 and as a federally registered charity in 2007. The mission of the GBCTA is “to develop and maintain trails in the Bragg Creek Area for public recreation.”