View from the Campbell River of the new lookout area and where the new Canyon View Trail will go up the slope and connect to the existing trail network to the right. (Supplied by Stephen Watson, BC Hydro)
You’ll soon be able to once again use the Canyon View Trail loop.
BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says the loop will be reopened through the old John Hart powerhouse in late October.
He adds that decommissioning work on the temporary Station View Trail will start on September 16th. The trail will be closed from where Station View branches off from Canyon View beside the Campbell River, just downstream from the old powerhouse.
“We had a trail geotechnical issue come up when planning to route the trail into the old and remediated penstock corridor, and decided to move the trail towards the river slightly so its foundation is sound, mainly for the new stairs to be installed,” Watson said.
The Canyon View Trail was one of the top community priorities for the crew as they planned for the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project. BC Hydro built the temporary Station View Trail in 2013, which was modified in 2014 by InPower BC so the community can still use the Canyon View Trail loop as the progress continued on the project for the next five years.
Since this April, the broader trail loop has been closed through the John Hart property site as BC Hydro worked to remove the old hydroelectric facility.
Watson says the new lookout where the old powerhouse used to be will be a good addition to the area.
“It’s a great view, including seeing directly below a big school of pink salmon holding peacefully in the old powerhouse discharge pool. Within the lookout, there will also be five large interpretive panels to describe the old and new facility, operations, fish, and Indigenous peoples, including the meaning behind the two new totems from the We Wai Kai Nation and the Wei Wai Kum Nation that will be placed there.”
There will be a short length of fenced security corridor where the old powerhouse was, and down to the foot of the hill of the old penstock corridor. From there, it will go up some stairs then cut across northward and above the new tunnel area and join the existing Canyon View Trail.
BC Hydro is also restoring public river access for river rafts, kayaks and canoes below the old powerhouse on the right bank of the river. The utility aims to restore river access in October as well.
Watson says there will be no swimming, tubing or fishing allowed because of safety risks from the six old draft tubes and the downstream rocks, as well as to lessen disturbance to salmon habitat.