It’s been a dream of the Ridge Meadows Outdoors Club for more than 20 years.
A new bridge over Gold Creek now makes a more direct hike to the peaks above in Golden Ears Provincial Park.
The bridge connects the East Canyon Trail, which runs from the Gold Creek parking lot, to the West Canyon Trail on the other side of Gold Creek.
It crosses the creek above both the upper and lower falls.
Once having crossed the bridge from the east to the west side, hikers can continue on to Alder Flats campground.
There is no name for the new structure, which cost about $80,000, said John Hume, one of the founders of the outdoor club.
Hume has been promoting and advocating for the park for more than 40 years.
“It’s a brand new route to the Golden Ears,” he said.
“The bridge has been pushed by myself and [former MLA] Ken Stewart for many years. It is rewarding to see it finally built,” Hume added.
The Ridge Meadows Outdoors Club now has more than 100 active members and under the leadership of Alan Lizee has been clearing and marking hiking trails on the mountain for years.
However, the trails need more funding from B.C. Parks for proper maintenance, he added.
Stewart said there originally was a logging bridge in that location and the new bridge will use the existing concrete pillar that was built before the Second World War.
But after logging stopped, that bridge deteriorated and then eventually collapsed some time in the 1960s. As a result, hikers started using the West Canyon Trail in order to reach Alder Flats.
Stewart added that when he was MLA he secured funding for a new bridge in 2005, but instead the money was used to upgrade water and sanitation at the Gold Creek campsite.
He and Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton were able to get more money in 2013, but this time the money was dedicated for the bridge.