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While it was a busy weekend in the Robson Valley with festivals and weddings, the much anticipated opening of Valemount’s newest mountain bike trails took place on Saturday.

Attendees from Valemount and McBride came out for the “soft” opening of the trail system. The Valemount Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA) was able to open the new downhill trail “Tinfoil Hat” and three new pieces of cross-country terrain: Swift Creek Southern Traverse, Swift Creek Technical Zone and the first piece of the climbing trail.

VARDA GM Curtis Pawliuk says the additions almost complete Phase 1 of the three phase project. The final Phase 1 construction will take place a bit later this fall on the northern side of the Swift Creek trail system to re-route it and make it more user-friendly.

The trails are signed and include difficulty ratings (blue is intermediate, green is easier).

The trails make use of the new Swift Creek suspension bridge.

VARDA spearheaded the development of the new trails with help from the Northern Development Initiative Trust, Columbia Basin Trust, National Trails Coalition, Rec Sites and Trails BC and the Valemount community. Robson Energy Services and Cornerstone Excavating held the contracts for trail building.