Client Government of Alberta
Location Castle Mountain | Alberta
O2 was hired by the Government of Alberta to develop a comprehensive Trail Strategy to to direct the development and implementation of a sustainable trail network throughout Castle Parks. The Strategy provides a vision to ensure high-quality visitor experiences, and defines desired outcomes for the trail network with respect to planning, design, implementation, and management.
On February 16th of 2017, the Government of Alberta created the Castle Provincial Park and the Castle Wildland Provincial Park. At the time of the Parks’ creation the existing collection of designated and undesignated trails, industrial roads and undesignated camping presented significant threats to the important conservation values of the area (critical habitats, wildlife corridors and important headwaters). Additionally, trail usage and camping was recognized as unsustainable from an ecological and aesthetic perspective. The recently completed Management Plan identified the management and improvement of the trail network in Castle Parks as a key implementation item.
The purpose of the strategy is to designate sanctioned recreational trails (summer and winter) in the Castle Parks, including their intended uses, and phase-out OHV use. Clear trail standards are defined, in particular IMBA standard trails, to ensure implementation and management of these major attractions meet user expectations. A significant component of the strategy includes ecological restoration of unsanctioned trails.
In addition to the Trail Strategy, O2 was retained to lead the Capital Development Plan. The purpose of the Capital Development Plan is to provide guidance for the development and implementation of tourism and recreation facilities throughout the Castle Parks, including staging areas for the trails, various camping experiences and day use areas.
In realizing these two projects, the firm has applied a carefully considered approach to the development of a sustainable multi-use trail system to protect the conservation values identified in the Castle Management Plan.