Thirty-five kilometers west of Creston, towards the Kootenay pass, you will find the beginning of the 1.7 km Ka Papa Cedars Trail. While you loop through the towering old-growth cedars, along the rich forest floor you will soon find interpretive signs guiding your way along the trail.

Starting this summer, the Trails for Creston Valley Society will start placing nine interpretive signs along the Ka Papa Cedars Trail. Each sign is designed to provide historical, environmental and cultural education to enhance the hiking experience.

What was initially intended to be a fitness trail for the community and tourists is now also an educational trail. “School groups will have better learning opportunities and recreational users will have a better understanding of the environment and the ecosystems they are experiencing,” says Adam Mjolsness, committee member, Trails for Creston Valley Society. “Thanks to the Trust’s Trail Enhancement Grants we were able to implement interpretive signage which really adds to the value of the trails.”

The signs will also include the origin of the name Ka Papa, which in Ktunaxa language means “my grandfather.” The society wanted to include Ktunaxa language as it is at risk of going extinct. “We are hoping to work closely with the Ktunaxa community as partners in the future to add more Ktunaxa language to the signs,” says Mjolsness.

The Trails for Creston Valley Society is a non-profit that has been working on legally gaining access to crown land in perpetuity since 2015. “Our society was formed to create official trails, official rec sites and access to waterways that can be used by everyone,” says Mjolsness. “We are passionate about providing the public with legal access to crown land and wilderness experiences.”

One of the Society’s objectives is to provide trails and recreation opportunities that can be used by anyone in perpetuity. “There is some history where there was access to our natural wonders that were then taken away,” says Loretta Fladhamer, the Project Leader for Ka Papa Cedar Trail. The Society currently has official stewardship for two trails, including the Ka Papa Cedars Trail, and is hoping to add more regional parks to the Creston Valley area soon.

To read more about the Trails for Creston Valley Society, visit crestonvalleytrails.ca.

Interested in more information on our Trail Enhancement Grants? Find it at ourtrust.org/trailgrants.