Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Okanagan Rail Trail (ORT) and its heavy volume of cyclists and pedestrians, the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) and District of Coldstream are asking commercial vehicles and tour buses to plan drop-offs and pick-ups away from the Kickwillie Loop area.
The ORT has become one of the most popular and loved amenities in the area. More than 117,000 people have accessed the RDNO section of the ORT already this year, and the numbers are only expected to grow heading into the summer months.
“We are thrilled to see that the trail is so popular that new business opportunities have been created. However, the Kickwillie Loop area is not suited to accommodate the unloading of buses or other commercial vehicles,” said Trevor Seibel, chief administrative officer for the District of Coldstream.
“Instead, we ask commercial vehicles to drop people off at the Coldstream parking lot which is located between Dutch’s Campground and the Alpine Centre on Kalamalka Road. Once dropped off, it’s an easy, two-minute bike ride or a five-minute walk to get to the trail.”
Another option for commercial vehicles is at the Kekuli Bay Provincial Park just off of Highway 97.
“The Kekuli Bay Provincial Park has the infrastructure and parking lot design made for dropping off large groups of people,” said Mike Fox, RDNO general manager of community services. “And, the rail trail meets the parking lot at a nice, easy grade making it accessible for all abilities.”
Other points of access include the new Kal Crystal Waters Trail. While not directly on the ORT, the Kal Crystal Waters Trail offers options to connect to the ORT with a more challenging ride or walk. The Kal Crystal Waters trail is best accessed by commercial vehicles at the Bailey Road Parking lot, (east side of Highway 97), or at the Kalamalka Lake Lookout.