Okanagan Rail Trail will finally connect to Predator Ridge | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan Rail Trail will finally connect to Predator Ridge

FILE PHOTO - Bonnie Hutton and Morgan Grant, homeowners at Predator Ridge, walk around their neighbourhood.
February 25, 2021 - 7:00 PM

A proposed trail connecting Predator Ridge with the Okanagan Rail Trail has received funding to bring its plan to fruition.

Predator Ridge originally pitched the idea in early 2019 and according to a Regional District of North Okanagan staff report, the district received all the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Transportation back in October 2020.

READ MORE: Okanagan Rail Trail might also extend to Predator Ridge

Back in October, regional directors decided to apply for a grant of $207,000 for the project.

Today, Feb. 25, the province announced funding for 54 tourism projects across B.C. including the North Okanagan trail connection project for $210,000.

“Our laser focus right now is on helping people and businesses during the pandemic, while making sure we’re ready to welcome visitors and explore B.C. when it is safe to do so,” said Minister of Tourism Melanie Mark, in a press release issued by the province.

“Investing in community-based tourism infrastructure not only creates good-paying jobs, it also helps to rebuild this hard-hit industry and ensures B.C.’s reputation as a world-class travel destination remains strong.”

The Kal-Crystal Waters connection to Bailey Road would use an existing wildlife and cattle underpass giving pedestrians and cyclists a safe crossing under Highway 97 to the north of Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, according to a regional district staff report.

The proposed three-metre wide gravel trail will be 1.3 kilometres long and will connect Kekuli Bay Provincial Park to Bailey Road, which will enable connections between Predator Ridge trails and Ellison Provincial Park.

The province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program's development stream is providing $20 million for implementation-ready tourism infrastructure and amenities projects. 

More than $800,000 was also given to the Osoyoos Desert Centre to replace its existing 22-km elevated boardwalk trail and to build a new steel gondola, as part of the funding initiative.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 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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