Okanagan Rail Trail to officially open

Thursday, Sept. 27, 11 a.m., Oyama Boat Launch, Wood Lake; public welcome

The eagerly awaited Okanagan Rail Trail officially opens Thursday.

Residents and visitors are invited to join the District of Lake Country, City of Kelowna, Regional District of North Okanagan, Okanagan Indian Band and funding partners for the grand opening.

The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. and will be held at the Oyama Boat Launch on Wood Lake located at 15455 Oyama Road, Lake Country. The boat launch will be closed for the duration of the event until approximately 2:30 p.m.

RELATED: Okanagan Rail Trail receives federal funding

“In addition to supporting healthy, intergenerational activities and connecting communities, we are confident the Okanagan Rail Trail will become a magnificent tourism amenity adding to the local economy,” said Lake Country Mayor James Baker.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, attendees will take a celebratory trip along the trail to Woodsdale Road. (approximately 6.5 km) through any means of active transportation (e.g. walking, cycling).

“This trail is a valuable connection between the Central Okanagan and North Okanagan, and offers residents and visitors an alternative mode of transportation between our communities,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “In Kelowna, it connects neighbourhoods, town centres, the university, the airport and many recreational amenities in the city – helping to link people from their home to where they work and play.”

The Okanagan Rail Corridor spans 49.5 km from Coldstream to Kelowna’s downtown core.

“The completion of Phase 1 of the Okanagan Rail Trail would not have been possible without the generous support of the community, the collaborative work of the municipal and regional partners, and funding from the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia”, said Bob Fleming, board chair, Regional District of North Okanagan. “I invite everyone to join us in celebrating this accomplishment.”

More than 24 km of the trail follows lakeshore, creeks and unique natural environments. The Okanagan Rail Trail will become a signature amenity attracting international travelers, contributing to the economy and increasing job opportunities.

“The Okanagan Rail Trail offers opportunities for all who use it to learn about the Syilx (Okanagan) people, our territory and part of the rich history of the Okanagan Valley,” said Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis.

While majority of the trail is open, the access between the Kelowna International Airport and Duck Lake is not yet open for public use. These lands are being reviewed by senior government through the federal reserve process and Agricultural Land Commission. It’s asked that trail users respect this closure.

RELATED: Okanagan Rail Trail close to financial goal

The completion of the trail development is attributed to the community-based fundraising campaign by the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative (ORTI). The ORTI supported the work required to design and build a continuous basic trail from Coldstream to Kelowna by raising $7.8 million.

The Government of Canada provided nearly $1.4 million through the New Building Canada Fund, and $471,500 from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. Trail development also received nearly $1.3 million from Government of British Columbia through BikeBC and the Rural Dividend Fund.

For more information, visit okanaganrailtrail.ca.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Petition to stop new cell tower too close to Kelowna homes

An online petition was started to stop cell tower construction near Ellison Elementary School

Local Kelowna project tabs restaurant workers for industry fundraiser

The 2nd Hungry Games invites fundraises for local charities

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Berry: Sayonara journalism, it’s been fun

Lake Country had more in store than I bargained for

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Vernon photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read