New link between towns

Walkers and cyclists will have a paved trail between Blackfalds and Lacombe by late summer.

Walkers and cyclists will have a paved trail between Blackfalds and Lacombe by late summer.

Lacombe County has already started work this spring on a long-awaited six-km link between the two communities, said Phil Lodermeier, the county’s manager of operations.

A couple of boardwalks have been built and some preliminary brushing done, and in about three weeks the major work will be done to create the base for the pavers.

If all goes well, the $700,000 project could be ready by the end of August.

Lodermeier predicted the public will like what they see when it’s done.

“It’s going to be a beautiful trail. There’s some really nice scenic spots along there.

“And being able to go through the (Canada Agriculture Research Centre), they have some beautiful grounds there, and we’re going to do some interpretive signage. So it’s going to be a really nice trail.”

It was hoped that the trail could be done last year. But last-minute land negotiations and the wet spring that tied up county work crews caused delays and the project was put off until this year.

Last summer, the county agreed to spend $41,000 to buy the last piece of land not privately owned on Lacombe Lake to become part of the trail and form a day-use site.

“It’s fair-sized chunk of land and there is some spectacular scenery in there,” he said. “Right now, it’s in a real natural state and we’re going to try to keep that as much as possible,” he said, adding they won’t pave trails in that area.

A pedestrian bridge over the Blindman River and two km of trails were completed south of Blackfalds in 2010 as the first leg of the project.

In 2009, a similar bridge over the Battle River was finished as part of the longer term plan to build a 70-km link between Penhold and Ponoka.

Meanwhile, Penhold has picked where the Trans Canada Trail will go through town.

Town council recently approved a route that would bring the trail in on Range Road 281 and along Fleming Avenue to Penhold School.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com