District of Wells Revitalizes Gold Rush Trail System

In 2008, District of Wells received a $80,000 grant from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $250,000 project. This has been a funding partnership of District of Wells, Northern Development, Community Economic Diversification Initiative, Cycling Infrastructure Partnership, and Union of BC Municipalities

2012 – Pioneers with gold rush dreams of striking it rich were travelling through trails in Wells over a hundred years ago. Now, these trails draw in tourists from all over the world looking to retrace the steps of these gold rush men and women. Under this project, the District of Wells undertook a comprehensive trail revitalization project in 2008 to expand the community’s historic network of trails. The trails have been upgraded so that mountain bikers can enjoy the rugged terrain in the summer and cross country skiers can take advantage of gorgeous back country skiing conditions throughout the winter.

The District of Wells has committed to being an outdoor destination for everyone by clearing brush and laying down a hard trail surface to make some trails wheelchair accessible. An information centre and a viewpoint will be constructed overlooking Wells at a perfect spot to take in the beauty the area has to offer.

"Funding from Northern Development and Western Diversification brought this project into being, and since then has been used to leverage other funding, bringing the total invested through funding and in-kind contributions to more than $400,000. The Wells-Barkerville trails network has been greatly improved and expanded, an annual mountain bike race has been established, and an interactive website has been launched to market our community (www.wellsbarkervilletrails.com)."

Jason Griffin, former Marketing and Economic Development Officer, District of Wells

"Under our project, we have had high quality trail maps printed and a comprehensive, colour-coded signage project is getting its final touches. Wells is now poised to market an excellent product to the growing recreational tourism sector. Thanks to the trails project, Wells is a main partner in the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium, and is looking forward to more collaborative involvement in Northern BC and beyond."

Jason Griffin, former Marketing and Economic Development Officer, District of Wells

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Positive Economic Impacts in Wells

The District of Wells relies primarily on tourism as a main source of employment. Wells is known as the host to the historic gold rush town of Barkerville, which brings approximately 60,000-70,000 visitors into the area during the summer months. Wells is also the gateway to the Bowron Lakes which has a renowned canoe circuit attracting outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. The trail revitalization will continue to increase visitation to the area by offering more diverse opportunities for adventure.

The development of the trails system has quickly opened a niche market. Mountain biking is a family pastime for some and a hard core sport for those that are more adventurous. In September 2009, the television show Rideguide filmed an episode on the Wells trails which aired in the spring of 2010 showcasing Wells' challenging terrain.

Community Halls and Recreation Facilities

The Community Halls and Recreation Facilities is no longer available. Please visit the Recreation Infrastructure program page

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