The Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail-Trial route along the west side of Mara Lake from high above on the Hyde Mountain Lookout. Photo credit: Contributed

Giant step forward for Sicamous-Armstrong Rail Trail

CP Rail corridor land purchase concluded

The North Okanagan and the Columbia Shuswap regional districts have successfully concluded the purchase of the the CP Rail Corridor to create the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail-Trail.

Working in partnership, the Splatsin band and regional municipal governments have committed the rail-trail project to be used a for recreational opportunities, including walking and cycling, while retaining it for future transportation and economic development needs.

There is also long-term potential to connect this corridor to the Okanagan Rail Trail, which is currently under development, connecting the City of Kelowna to the District of Coldstream.

The Shuswap Trail Alliance has thrown its support behind the efforts of the Splatsin and local government in the next phases of planning and development.

While there have been inquiries on how to contribute funding toward rail-trail development, which will be unveiled formally over the next few months, early contributions to the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail-Trail have already been coming in.

To respond, the STA has a Rail-Trail Reserve Fund in place to hold early contributions ready to transfer over, and is able to issue charitable tax receipts. For more information visit www.shuswaptrails.com and click on the Donate button.

As well, the STA will continue to act as a liaison point with community leadership and organizations such as Armstrong-Spallumcheen Trails Society, Vernon Ribbons-of-Green and the North Okanagan Historical Society.

The STA has also been working behind the scenes to build relationships with inter-regional partners toward linking the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail-Trail initiative with the Central Okanagan Rail Trail and the Southern Trails-to-the-Okanagans initiative. The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association has also taken a proactive role in supporting this effort.

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