Walkers and cyclists who use the Trans Canada Trail between Altona and Gretna are now covering the six-mile pathway on a bright hard surface of crushed quarter down rock.
Resurfacing of the trail was completed this summer.
One person said they had broken their ankle in the gopher holes that were on the trail, says Jake Enns, chair of the Trans Canada Trail Committee of Rhineland.
"It seems the gophers don't like to dig in [quarter down]. There are very few holes in the trail now. Mother Nature did us a favor [by putting] rain on it every time that we put some quarter down on the trail."
The bill of just over $100,000 was covered by generous community donors and the provincial government, including a recent donation of $7,400 from the Altona Community Foundation.
The new surface is the first of several planned upgrades to the trail.
"We want to put in some rest stops involving a bench and probably a garbage can and a recycle can and a bit of an area right beside the trail so people can stop and view the sunrise or just rest or whatever. At this time we're looking at two of them: one towards the south side by Gretna and the other one here just south of Altona."
Enns says they hope to add the rest stops in spring 2023.
While the cost of the crushed rock surface and projected rest stops is covered, Enns notes that they will need to raise funds for future upgrades to the trail.
"We have about 23 acres of land that the farmers are farming on the property of the trail so then we will ask the farmers to back off. Then we would plant native species, native grasses and flowers and plants. We are hoping to do that in spring. If we get that extra funding."
Further planning and funding are needed to plant trees along the trail.
Enns says the committee is looking for feedback on a new logos posted at both ends of the trail.