Local favourite Bronco Trail will be the first trail to receive upgrades from a partnership between FortisBC and the Penticton Area Cycling Association (PACA). (Contributed)

Local favourite Bronco Trail will be the first trail to receive upgrades from a partnership between FortisBC and the Penticton Area Cycling Association (PACA). (Contributed)

FortisBC partners with Penticton cycling group to improve bike trails

FortisBC plans to add new gas line while also contributing $9000 to maintain bike trails

Mountain bike trails near Penticton are set to receive some upgrades with the help of FortisBC.

As part of its Okanagan Capacity Upgrade project, FortisBC is proposing to add approximately 30 kilometres of new gas lines in the area to meet increasing demand and long-term supply needs.

Since earlier this year, the utility has been exploring possible community partnerships in the vicinity.

One partnership that has come to fruition is a three-year funding partnership with the Penticton Area Cycling Association (PACA) to maintain and improve safety on local bike trails, specifically the Three Blind Mice trails.

READ MORE: Penticton’s Lake-to-Lake bicycle route chosen

The first of three $3,000 funding installments are being used to upgrade the local favourite Bronco Trail and improve safety signage in the area. Trained regional area trail stewards began the upgrades earlier this year and expect to complete them in spring 2021.

PACA Trail director Travis Kroschinsky said they work closely with Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. and are building relationships with BC Parks and the City of Penticton for ongoing maintenance and development of the trails.

“The Three Blind Mice is, in my opinion, the best trail area in the South Okanagan, and due to its popularity we have seen a huge growth in the number of riders,” said Kroschinsky. “This increased use requires more maintenance to deal with exposure and erosion issues, enhance the riding experience and to keep the trails safe for everyone. The funding from FortisBC allows us to do this and remain a competitive and attractive riding destination for both residents and visitors.”

The project will be an extension of the utility’s existing natural gas system, connecting along Penticton’s eastern border and extending north, just beyond Chute Lake.

FortisBC plans to file its Okanagan Capacity Upgrade project application with the British Columbia Utilities Commission in mid-November. Construction work is expected to begin in 2022 and take approximately one-and-a-half years to complete.

To learn more about FortisBC’s Okanagan Capacity Upgrade project, or to sign up for the project’s newsletter, visit talkingenergy.ca.

READ MORE: How to not have your bike stolen in Penticton


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