You may already be using it but Okanagan Rail Trail opens for real next month | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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You may already be using it but Okanagan Rail Trail opens for real next month

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative

OKANAGAN - It’s official. The Okanagan Rail Trail will legally open at the end of September — at least the part that’s done.

“Yes, it’s a celebration of what we can open,” District of Lake Country communications officer Karen Miller said.

The official hard opening Sept. 27 might come as a surprise to the many people who have already been using completed portions of the trail, which began construction last year.

“They are still using it at their own risk,” Miller says, the standard official reply, but one that’s proven useless since stopping people from using it has been impossible.

Still, she admits that garbage collection and toilet servicing have already begun in some places as the four partners — Kelowna, Lake Country, Okanagan Indian Band and North Okanagan Regional District — gear up for the grand opening.

The opening ceremony will be held near the middle of the trail beside the Oyama boat launch on Wood Lake, 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept 27.

About seven kilometres of the trail remains closed from Beaver Lake Road in Kelowna’s north end to just north of UBC Okanagan awaiting a land transfer from the federal government plus clearance from the provincial Agricultural Land Commission where the trail crosses farm land.

The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative helped raise close to $8 million with the help of all levels of government plus nearly 5,000 individual donors and businesses in the drive to turn the abandoned railway corridor into a 49-kilometre trail running from Coldstream to Kelowna.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald or call 250-808-0143 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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