The Sicamous Creek Falls Trails, which were closed after two men fell to their deaths in separate incidents just weeks apart in 2019, have reopened to the public with significant safety upgrades.
Located on the east side of Mara Lake south of Sicamous, the trail system had been closed to hikers since July 2019. Improvements to the trail aimed at preventing another tragedy got underway in 2019 and were completed this year.
Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) community services team leader Ryan Nitchie said work on the trail was guided by recommendations from an independent risk assessor. With all the assessor’s recommendations completed, the trail is ready to reopen.
Upgrades to the trail include better signage that warns about the steep slopes and the boundaries of the rec site. Nitchie said the sign kiosk at the trailhead also no longer has a reference to a lookout over the falls, but instead makes it clear that it is a loop trail. Along with the signage, handrails have been added to the stairs down to the waterfall and safety barriers have been installed around steep slopes. Nitchie said improvised trails branching off the officially maintained ones were decommissioned to stop people from straying into dangerous areas.
The safety improvements on the trail system were funded by the CSRD Electoral Area E parks budget with an additional contribution from Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
Nitchie said the CSRD is pleased to have the trails open again and asked that the public enjoy a hike while following social distancing recommendations.