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

New Kelowna city councillor takes his seat

Loyal Wooldridge joins eight returning members of city council at first public meeting

Making jokes from Hollywood to Lake Country

Comedian Dino Archie will be performing Saturday night at the Creekside Theatre

Be a Santa to a Senior program hopes to brighten Okanagan Seniors’ holiday season

Participants can visit their local London Drugs to take fulfill wish lists

More affordable housing brought to Kelowna

The new 33-unit housing development will be for families

Find me my furever home

Meet Moon a 16-year-old senior gentleman at the Kelowna BC SPCA

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

South Okanagan man wielding an axe convicted of break and enter and assault of a police officer

Steve Joseph Godbout was convicted of several charges in Penticton provincial court

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read