Heritage Trails Funding: Xatsull First Nation (XFN) Trails Project
NPTGS will contribute $7,500 towards the Xatsull First Nation (XFN) Trails Project in 2020. The funding will go towards an 8.5 km extension of the existing Deep Blue Soda Trail to connect to XFN’s Whispering Willows Campground and beyond to the Ridge East overlooking the Deep Creek reserve. The project is the first step in connecting the Xatsull Trail System with the City of Williams Lake’s Fox Mountain Trails network. This would create a network of dozens of kilometers of world class hiking and biking trails that not only connect other Indigenous communities/amenities (i.e. the Williams Lake Indian Band), but also tie into the Gold Rush Trails themselves.
The Project is part of a larger strategy to construct an interconnected trails network. To date, XFN has developed 30 kms of hiking/mountain bike trails on their Soda Creek and Deep Creek reserves. The trails are an important economic driver, attracting tourists into the community so they can enjoy other attractions like Xatsull Heritage Village. Trail construction has resulted in higher visitation and increased commercial development. Construction also provides employment, especially for local Indigenous youths.
As of the end of 2019, NPTGS has provided at total of $70,000 towards the project. With the payment of $7,500 to be made in 2020, the total investment in the project will total $77,750.