Eat, Shop, and Walk the Rock Walls

Chamber Releases Think Local Master Guide

Residents and tourists alike are encouraged to grab some cheese and cold cuts before setting out on the ‘Manicotti Meander.’ Beginning in the Gulch near Trail’s Italian delicacy shop, Star Grocery, recreators ascend a covered set of stairs into West Trail’s European-inspired neighbourhood on one of the city’s 10 self-guided rock wall tours.

Via a tour pamphlet available at the Chamber office, walkers can choose between ‘easy,’ ‘moderate’ or ‘vigorous’ routes to view stonework built between the 1920s to mid-60s. Most start at a local business and recognize the European builders with bronze plaques, with all but one route named after pasta to commemorate the city’s Italian heritage. As an outdoor adventure that indulges historical curiosity, this fun activity brings people face to face with hundreds of rock walls, some 25 feet high and most carved by hand.

Trail Rock Walk

Pictured Location: The starting point of the “Lasagna Loop” of the Trail Rock Walls

Interest in these historic walking tours is seeing a resurgence, which has inspired the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce to highlight the activity in its inaugural Think Local First Master Guide. In addition to showcasing local places to ‘shop, eat and relax’ in the South Kootenay region, the business network is targeting tourism with this think-local initiative. Available both in print and online, the new guide features select businesses and highlights local activities like the tours. 

“Perched on a mountainside, Trail really does have a European flair, and getting out for some exercise with family or friends through these narrow streets is a lot of fun,” says Eileen Truant Pedersen, who created the routes and published her book Set in Stone: A History of Trail’s Rock Walls with the now-disbanded Rock Wall Project Enthusiastico Society. “You get a smattering of all the different types of rock walls, which showcases the cultural heritage of our town and the really hard back-breaking work by these fellows, who built very important infrastructure in the city.”

Truant Pedersen is thrilled to see the tours spotlighted in the Think Local First Master Guide, which was released at Trail’s IncrEdible Farmer’s Market on Dec. 11 and 12th in celebration of the Chamber’s birthday. The 6×6 brochure, which includes a map of the region, a condensed business directory, and the walking tour activity, is also available at 50 businesses throughout the region.

A QR code in the print edition connects to the online version hosted on the Chamber’s website, where a more comprehensive listing of regional businesses and activities are housed. The Chamber has also produced and posted window decals at busy landmarks such as gas stations and hotels to encourage passersby to scan the code with their smartphones to be directed to the up-to-date master directory.

“We’ve been hearing for a long time that there’s no single place where visitors and residents can get aggregated information about our area,” explains Executive Director Erika Krest. “The need has bubbled up to the surface again; we’re a grassroots organization, so it’s often discussion with our members and community that sparks ideas.”

In synchronicity with the Chamber’s #ThinkLocalFirst initiatives, (such as the ‘Disloyalty’ Card and Shopping Bag campaigns), December’s message is that it’s easy to find all that you need right here at home this holiday season with this one-stop directory.

“I’m very proud to produce this tangible asset, which benefits our business community and also serves the public,” adds Krest. “This is just the beginning of our efforts to highlight local tourism, which often goes hand-in-hand with our growth and advocacy work. We hope this master guide is useful and also adds a little bit of fun by reminding people of the excellent activities and recreation we have in our backyard.”


Interested in becoming a Chamber member? Our membership page has information on member benefits.

Keep an eye out for more Chamber Stories, published monthly in the Trail Times as well as online. Please also follow us on social media: Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter / Instagram and sign up for our newsletter.