Trail expansion work to begin this summer
Pemberton, BC – The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is pleased to announce that significant private and public funds have been secured to further develop the Sea to Sky Trail.
The Wilson 5 Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation, is contributing $1,370,000 to the project – the most significant private Sea to Sky Trail donation to date.
“The Wilson 5 Foundation is excited to help make the Sea to Sky Trail a reality for today and for future generations,” said Chip Wilson, co-founder of the Wilson 5 Foundation and founder of lululemon athletica.
The Wilson 5 Foundation contribution augments the nearly $700,000 grant funding from the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation’s Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program announced in April.
“The Province’s Rural Economic Development and Infrastructure Program funding supports economic development and infrastructure projects that help strengthen communities throughout B.C.,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “Upgrades to the Sea to Sky Trail will help boost tourism in the area while also improving recreational activities for local families.”
“We are extremely grateful to the Province of B.C. and the Wilson 5 Foundation for these generous contributions to the Sea to Sky Trail project,” said SLRD Board Chair, Jen Ford. “The Sea to Sky Trail is an iconic crown jewel of the SLRD,” she said. “We are thrilled that these contributions will help to further develop this extensive, multi-use trail that provides breathtaking recreational access while connecting our communities in the region.”
The Sea to Sky Trail work will begin this summer. Construction on a nine-kilometre section between Gord’s Garden and Nairn Falls is expected to be completed by April 2024. Engineering and design work will occur on a four-kilometre area along the Sea-to-Sky Highway (Highway 99) between the Paradise Valley – Cheakamus Canyon section and Chance Creek – Pinecrest Estates section. The Sea to Sky Trail runs 126 kilometres between Squamish and D’Arcy, B.C. The new construction will add another 9 kilometres to the trail.
The non-motorized, multi-use Sea to Sky Trail is open year-round for walking, running, hiking or biking in the summer and snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter. Parts of the trail around Whistler, Squamish, and Pemberton, including the Valley Trail and Squamish Corridor Trail, and Pemberton Highway 99 Trail, are maintained year-round with snow-clearing and debris removal for pedestrian access.
The concept for the Sea to Sky Trail was first developed in 1991. In 2005, the steering team became a standing committee of the SLRD, charged with determining the feasibility of developing a regional trail in the Sea to Sky Corridor. A master plan for the project was completed in 2005, and, more recently, the project partnered with the Trans Canada Trail.
For more information about the Sea to Sky Trail, visit: www.slrd.bc.ca/seatoskytrail
About the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Located in southwestern BC, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is a local government federation consisting of four-member municipalities (the District of Lillooet, the District of Squamish, the Village of Pemberton and the Resort Municipality of Whistler) and four unincorporated, rural electoral areas (A, B, C, and D). Headquartered in Pemberton, which is the approximate geographic centre of the region, the SLRD delivers a wide range of local, regional and sub-regional services to approximately 50,496 residents (2021 Census as certified by the Minister of Municipal Affairs).
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District is found within the traditional territories of several First Nations, including the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), St'át'imc and Líl̓wat. Small parts of the SLRD also overlap with the traditional territories of the Stó:lō, Tsleil-Waututh, Nlaka'pamux, Tsilhqot'in, and Secwepemc Nations. While the SLRD does not provide direct services to the residents of the First Nations communities located within the region, the organization is committed to enhancing relations with the Indigenous communities and First Nations within whose territories the SLRD operates.