ZUCKERBERG ISLAND TRAIL

Zuckerberg Island is now a City park, with the Castlegar & District Heritage Society looking after its operation and maintenance. The strategically placed island at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia rivers was widely utilized by the Lakes people, as were both shorelines of the Columbia River and Waldie Island. In 1935 Alexander Zuckerberg bought the island and built a small log cabin as a temporary shelter while he constructed the Chapel House which became his residence. After his death, the island buildings fell into a state of disrepair and became a target for vandals. Jack Charters spearheaded an effort to turn the island into a park and save the deteriorating heritage structures. This has been successfully accomplished. Unfortunately, the log cabin was destroyed by fire in 1994; the Chapel House, however, has been restored to its original glory and serves as a mini-museum. Nearby are the graves of Alexander and his wife Alicia, as well a unique stump sculpture by Alexander.

The trails wind their way around the perimeter of the island and connect to the highest location where the Chapel House and Cemetery are located. There are many benches and gorgeous views of the dancing waters of the two rivers, and beyond, the relatively uncluttered more distant landscape. The island is accessible by a causeway or a suspension bridge which in itself is a local attraction. These in turn can be reached by a connector trail from the Castlegar Millennium Walkway or by starting at the parking lot just off Seventh Avenue at the bottom of the Hospital Hill.

I developed and installed an orientation sign for the island in July 2011. It includes a satellite map on which the main attractions are plotted, as well as a historical overview of efforts to turn the island into a heritage park.
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