Okanagan Rail Trail now has provincial approval to link to another great North Okanagan trail | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan Rail Trail now has provincial approval to link to another great North Okanagan trail

October 22, 2020 - 6:30 AM

A proposed trail that would connect Predator Ridge with the Okanagan Rail Trail via a wildlife underpass under Highway 97, has been given the green light by provincial authorities. The Regional District of North Okanagan now needs just $200,000 to make the plan a reality.

Predator Ridge originally pitched the idea in early 2019 and according to a staff report from the Regional District of North Okanagan, the project now has all the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Ministry of Transportation.

The Regional District directors are now due to vote to approve a $207,000 grant application at its Oct. 21 meeting to bring the project to fruition.

According to a staff report, the Kal\Crystal Waters connection to Bailey Road would utilize an existing wildlife and cattle underpass giving pedestrians and cyclists a safe crossing under Highway 97 to the north of Kekuli Bay Provincial Park. The proposed three-metre wide gravel trail would be 1.3 kilometres in length and link Kekuli Bay Provincial Park to Bailey Road. This would enable connectivity to trails at Predator Ridge and Ellison Provincial Park.

The staff report says the use of the underpass has been identified as a priority for user safety and key connectivity to the greater trail system in the area by several community groups.

The Regional District is also due to vote to approve a $380,000 grant application to create a Gateway Plaza at Kilometre Zero of the Okanagan Rail Trail. The plaza is set to have a hilltop viewpoint, interpretive structures, public art, and Indigenous gardens and cultural features.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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