New hiking trail welcomes visitors to Donalda’s wonderful geography

Donalda and District Community Promotion Society announces that the new Donalda Walking Trail to explore the Coulee and Willow Canyon is now open. Donalda has some wonderful geography to offer its residents and visitors.

The new hiking trail connects the Main Street of Donalda with the Donalda and District Ag Society’s property to the north of the village. This approximately 120-acre site is the former ski hill location which was purchased with public fund raising back in the 1970’s. The ski hill operation ceased about 20 years ago and the property was placed in trust with the Donalda Ag Society. This trail finally enables the village residents and visitors to walk from the top to the bottom of the Coulee and enjoy the great views from the overlooks.

Signage will be placed along Railway Avenue directing visitors to the parking area and the beginning of the trail. The trail starts just north of the Railway Station and is a little more than a half mile hike to reach the ag property which travels initially on the Village of Donalda property and through Dan and Jean Knudtson’s private property. Dan and Jean were kind enough to allow access through their land. The Village of Donalda and the Ag Society are very supportive of this project.

The first fence line indicates the Knudtson property and the second fence line indicates the Ag Society property. Once you have followed the trail to the Ag Society property, you are free to explore Willow Canyon and the Coulee. There are cut trails on the ag property to make it easier for walking but you do not have to keep to these trails. Benches, picnic tables and garbage cans will be installed on the ag property.

No motorized vehicles are allowed and dogs must be on a leash. Use the trail at your own risk, and it is important to wear appropriate footwear and take water with you. There are outhouses next to the ski buildings at the bottom of the valley. Washrooms located at the beginning of the trail will be functional by the end of September. Grand opening of the trail will be on Aug. 21 to coincide with the Bench Fair.

Without the vision of Bruce Gartside and Byron Norman who donated their time and hard labour to clear the trail, and without the co-operation of Dan and Jean Knudtson, The Ag Society and the Village of Donalda, this trail would likely still be a wishful thought.

The Donalda and District Community Promotion Society is interested in your comments and is always looking for ways to improve the village. Please contact them at communitypromotion@mailhub.ca

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