The Rocky Mountain House to Nordegg trail is expected to cost $6.8 million to complete.
The three-metre wide trail, much of which will be along the old rail line, will have washrooms, garbage cans, picnic sites, signage and a few remote campsites.
Mike Haugen, community and protective services manager for Clearwater County, said on Friday the next step will be to explore possible partnerships with provincial agencies, industry and volunteer groups to fund the project. The county will also need to get various approvals from Alberta Environment, Alberta Fish and Wildlife and possibly even the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, with around 60 stream crossings along the trail.
Haugen said they will still need to isolate the exact route for the trail as well.
Staging areas, where people can park their vehicles, horse or ATV trailers, are planned for Prentice Creek, Chambers Creek, Jackfish Lake, Saunders, Harlech and along the Forestry Trunk Road. The staging sites aren’t for camping, but for day-use for parking vehicles while people use the trail.
The trail will be open to both motorized and non-motorized traffic.
A name hasn’t yet been decided, but some of the possibilities suggested have been Martin Nordegg Trail, Coal Miners’ Trail, North Saskatchewan Valley Trail and Clearwater Heritage Trail.
There is a Facebook page for the project called Rocky to Nordegg Trail.