Rail Trail Moving Ahead

Things are moving ahead for the Okanagan Rail Trail.

An inter-jurisdictional development team was recently formed to guide the future of the defunct rail corridor.

“That’s a team made up of Kelowna, Lake Country and the North Okanagan Regional District,” said Brad Clements with Okanagan Rail Trail. “That was approved by all the councils last week. They have been tasked with designing and building the trail.

“It’s exciting because the process is starting to get going. We are engaged with them to develop a plan for the trail.”

Local municipalities and the provincial government combined forces to buy the rail line from CP Rail between Kelowna and Vernon for $22 million.

Almost 50 kilometres of the discontinued rail line would be transformed into a trail that will offer cycling, hiking and other recreational activities along scenic vistas passing Kalamalka and Wood lakes.

Clements said it is still too early to say how much money needs to be raised, but a fundraiser is being talked about, and he expects an announcement later this year.

“The province and municipalities did their part, now it’s our turn – the people who are going to use the trail – to step up,” Clements said.

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