Box 22, Winlaw, BC V0G 2J0 1-888-683-7878 (SVRT)

Mural makes Greenway Project in South Slocan a work of art

From The Nelson Daily – July 15th

Not only has the recently completed South Slocan Overhead highway construction project removed many dangers away from driving Highway 3A/6 for daily commuters near Slocan Village Road, but the new pedestrian/cycling tunnel is now more eye-catching than ever thanks to a mural project coordinated by local artist Peter Vogelaar.

The aging structure, built in the early 1960s west of Nelson, was replaced with road fill for improved safety, efficiency and better trail access for users of the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail, which runs under the road.

“I think the collaboration between all the partners involved in the project was an amazing thing that would be in my top five, but the enhanced safety of the highway corridor is always our goal at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure,” said Robbie Kalabis, project manager for the MOTI.

Helene Dostaler, Chair of Slocan Valley Trails Heritage Society, couldn’t agree more.

“(Murals) have added a little fun piece and has got people excited again,” Dostaler explained. “It’s been very, very positive not only for the society but for the whole community as well.”

“It’s also getting a lot of interest from new people discovering the tunnel,” Dostaler added. “People from Nelson to Castlegar to Bonnington are all discovering the tunnel and trails.”

The recent laying of pavement along with the opening of thenew pedestrian and cycling tunnel, marks the completion of the South Slocan Overhead project.

The murals, funded by Slocan Valley Community Arts Council, MOTI and YRB, were an afterthought that definitely has brought life to the tunnel and Mile Zero of the Slocan Valley Trails.

Stakeholders were worried some members of the public would scar the tunnel walls with inappropriate graffiti. So, the call went out to local artist Peter Vogelaar to draft up the new design for tunnel walls.

“(Peter Vogelaar) is the one drafting up the design, which is a huge undertaking for just one person,” said Dostaler, giving kudos to Kalabis, who coordinated the murals with the Slocan Valley Arts Society. “That’s when our society stepped in with lots of volunteers . . . I’d say up to 50 people who came by did little, or a lot, under the supervision of Peter Vogelaar.”

Dostaler said the mural project took more than two months to complete. Now, with the four kilometers of paved trail — from the tunnel project to Frog Peake Café — the 52 kilomters of trails are starting to take shape.

“The refurbished trails have become a magnet for young families, who now come out and because it’s so safe for kids learning to bike or for kids biking with parents or roller blading on the paved trails,” Dostaler said.

“The paved trails also make it accessible for seniors to walk. And it’s been a nice addition to the rest of the rail trails which is more rustic.”

Dostaler said the Slocan Valley Rail Trails Society, which is in the process of beginning another major project near the Village of Slocan, is a non-profit organization that maintains trails during the summer and winter, the latter laying down cross country ski trails.

The society operates by donations and grants.

If anyone would like to volunteer or donate to the upkeep of the trails, go to the SVRTS website or its Facebook Page.

The original two-lane South Slocan Bridge, which was built in 1962, was dismantled and replaced with a new two-lane rock fill, and a pedestrian and cycling tunnel.

Quick Facts:

  • The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development cost-shared on the pedestrian tunnel and the trailhead construction, which includes a paved parking lot, access trails, picnic tables, kiosk and bike racks.
  • The Regional District of Central Kootenay, on behalf of the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society, cost-shared on the pedestrian tunnel and asphalt paving of four kilometres of the southern rail trail, with a grant from the ministry’s BikeBC program.
  • The paved rail trail from South Slocan to Pass Creek Road is an enhancement to multi-modal transportation in the area, connecting the community to local schools, the recently rebuilt Crescent Beach Regional Park and the Great Trail.

Slocan Valley Rail Trail AGM

Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society  AGM – Thursday, May 17th, 7 p.m. at the Slocan Park Hall. Lots has been going on in the past year, from developing the south end Greenway Project, to rebuilding the Lemon Creek Bridge, dealing with hundreds of trees that came down over the winter and now building a second storage station. Membership support is crucial, and volunteers are always needed for a variety of tasks. If you’re not a member currently, come a few minutes early and purchase a membership. Refreshments, etc. will be provided. Hope to see you there!

Support us at “Dot Day”

On Sat. April 7th from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Winlaw Hall, “Dot Day” will be happening in the Slocan Valley. Every year the Columbia Basin Trust allocates funds to various affected regions in the Columbia Basin through the Communities Initiative Program. They are distributed through the RDCK and the Area H funds recipients are determined through “Dot Day”

Community groups have submitted applications for these funds and its the community who determines where they go. This is done by area residents being given four dots which they place on the applications they wants to support. The value of the dots is determined by the number of people attending.

This year the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society is looking for support to purchase a new, wider four-wheel mower for our ATV, which will  make mowing of the treadpath and nearby vegetation a more effective process for our volunteers.  Please come show your support for the Slocan Valley Rail Trail and put a dot or two on our application. While you’re there, check out the many other worthy applications you’ll see there.

Please share this information with your friends and remember – it’s only Slocan Valley residents who can participate.




Family Day on the Rail Trail, Monday, February 12th

This year the annual Winter Day on the Trail will be taking place on the Slocan Valley Rail Trail takes place on Family Day, Monday, February 12th from noon to 3 p.m. The crew from the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society (SVHTS)will be partnering this year with Slocan Valley Recreation to offer a fun-filled afternoon. The event   will again be setting up at the Winlaw Station and Trailhead.  Like last year we  will be hosting the very popular ski waxing demo (even the newest skis can benefit). For a $15 donation they may even wax your skis! But come early, to make sure your skis get done.

Slocan Valley Recreation will be offering skis for kids and snowshoes for adults to use, should you not have them and want to be part of the Trail experience. There will be  individual and group lessons being offered that might make your skiing experience even better. Both in classic and skate skiing!  If conditions allow, a track may be set up around the Winlaw School field for some fun races and games.

Of course, everyone is invited to come out and explore the Rail Trail and see what winter has to offer this year. The swans have been seen all along the Slocan River and you might find a few hanging around.  There’ll be a bonfire going and refreshments and hearty meals will be being sold by trail supporters from Winlaw School. It’ll be a great time to catch up on what’s been happening on the Rail Trail – a new website has been launched and this past summer saw paving of the Greenway Project  taking place in the South Slocan to Crescent Valley segment of the Trail .

The Winlaw Trailhead can be reached from Highway 6 in the Slocan Valley. Watch for the large directional signs located on the highway. If requiring more information you can contact the SVHTS at 1-888-683-SVRT, or Slocan Valley rec at 250-226-0008. We can be found on Facebook or on our  new website

Cougar sightings along Rail Trail

January 14th – There have been several reports of cougars in the Winlaw and Passmore recently. The Rail Trail, besides being a great place to ski in the winter, can also be a wildlife corridor. Please use caution when out skiing. Don’t ski alone, keep young skiers close and make some noise when you’re out there. Please check our Facebook page for further updates

Winter is coming (almost)

We’re all eagerly awaiting the arrival of snow to begin our winter grooming operations. The machinery is ready to go but all we need is snow! One thing we could use help with (as we do every year), is we need volunteers to help shovel out road crossings after a snow (when it comes) and after the plows have gone by. This simple operation can same our groomers valuable time when grooming the trail. So if you have a shovel (and a friend or two) please contact us and we’ll see if we can find a crossing close to where you live!

As well, we’re always on the lookout for groomers (with snowmobile experience)  to pack and trackset the trail as well as authorized friends of the trail with snowmobiles who might be able to help us after a heavy snowfall. Again contact us if you can help.

Thanks for being there for us. Now THINK SNOW!

Rail Trail Ball Caps on Sale!

Looking for a great Christmas gift or just want to support the Slocan Valley Rail Trail? Our Rail Trail Ball caps can now be purchased at the Winlaw Mini-Mart and at Evergreen Natural Foods in Crescent Valley as well as via this website or our Facebook page. For a $15 minimum donation you’ll be helping us to maintain the Trail that connects us all. Thanks to the local businesses for their support.

Lemon Creek Bridge Redecking Tues./Wed. Nov.7&8

The bridge at Lemon Creek on the Slocan Valley Rail Trail will be closed to all traffic on Nov. 7 & 8th to allow for deck replacement. Please find an alternate route to bypass this location. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Work on Rail Trail Oct. 17th

Tuesday, October 17th – the sluff on the Rail Trail below the golf course in Appledale will finally be getting repaired. Heavy equipment will be working and dump trucks ill be running in and out. If possible, please refrain from using this section of trail. The work will take one day to complete. Thanks for your understanding.

South Slocan/Crescent Valley Trail open to limited use

Our segment from South Slocan to Crescent Valley has now been paved, except for the last 100 m by the bridge, and is available to be enjoyed. Temporary blocks have been placed across the trail to prevent motorized use. Permanent baffle gates will be put in the place in the next few weeks.

Go for a ride and let us know what you think. Please remember we’re a volunteer group who manage the Rail Trail on behalf of Rec Sites and Trails BC and donations are always appreciated. There’s a link on this website if you wish to show tour support