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Corridor Chosen as Site for Okanagan Rail Trail

Corridor Chosen as Site for Okanagan Rail Trail

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Last year’s bankruptcy of Kelowna Pacific Railway has already affected the local economy by contributing to the upcoming closure of Ashland Chemicals. But a group of concerned citizens looking at the problem from a different perspective sees the potential loss of the Valley rail line as a tremendous opportunity with health, transportation, environmental and economic benefits.

The proposed Okanagan Rail Trail would run from Vernon along the west side of Kalamalka Lake, pass through Oyama and continue south along the east side of Wood and Duck lakes, then to Kelowna, terminating at the waterfront.

While the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative fully supports continued operation of the railway, members are working hard on a proposal to turn the rail corridor into a Kettle Valley Rail Trail-style community pathway if it doesn’t.

The proposed 49.9 km trail would run from Vernon along the west side of Kalamalka Lake, pass through Oyama and continue south along the east side of Wood and Duck lakes, then parallel Hwy 97 into Kelowna, terminating at the waterfront.

The proposed 49.9 km trail would run from Vernon along the west side of Kalamalka Lake, pass through Oyama and continue south along the east side of Wood and Duck lakes, then parallel Hwy 97 into Kelowna, terminating at the waterfront.

The group has hired a firm to conduct a benefits analysis; met with multiple levels of government with the goal of developing a strategy to protect the corridor; and is developing a campaign to gather 20,000 emails of support.

Visit www.okanaganrailtrail.ca for more information on this initiative and to access the form for sending emails of support.

Click to view the map of the Okanagan Rail Trail

okanagan-rail-trail-map

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About The Author

Laurie Carter

This grandma wears hiking boots (and other fetching footwear) in search of cultural, culinary and eco-adventure. Award-winning writer, photographer and author of the popular Grandma Wears Hiking Boots guide to the Okanagan Valley, Laurie proudly serves as senior editor of Okanagan Life magazine.

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