The North Okanagan community is known for its beautifully diverse landscapes spanning from mountain tops to foothills, through valleys & rich farmlands, across many lakes, rivers & rolling hills, this region offers extensive opportunities to connect with the natural habitat thriving around us.
The Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO) serves the regional area of Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby, Spallumcheen, Armstrong and Enderby. As a way to build a connection between communities, highlight the history and cultural stories of the Sylix & Secwépemc territories, protect natural areas and habitat for wildlife, and facilitate healthy outdoor recreational activities, the CFNO is proud to be partnering with these two Okanagan Rail Trail Initiatives that stretch through our regional communities.
|Regional Rail Trail Initiative||Public Donation Partnership|
Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail
Sicamous to Armstrong – 50km
Okanagan Rail Trail – Northern Gateway
Coldstream to Kelowna – 52km
You can help build the trail without lifting a shovel!
Your support for the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail will unfold the true story within the Secwépemc Nation territory focusing on sharing culture, values and relationships. The Splatsin are a leading partner in the Rail Trail initiative, and the Shuswap communities are grateful to be working alongside them.
Incredible progress has already been made in securing the land, designing the rail trail, and writing the development plan. It is very technical work and extensive consultation has already been completed regarding laying down the trail surface, keeping erosion at bay, channelling flood water, taking care of the environment, addressing safety at road crossings, rock-scaling cliffs, creating parking areas, and designing signage.
One metre of hard-packed aggregate trail surface costs about $160, and with 50,000 metres to go, the fundraising goal is $8,000,000. If that fundraising goal is reached through community fundraising, Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail ownership partners will be able to apply for provincial and federal grants and to start building the entire trail.
Your Chance to Give Back!
The Okanagan Rail Trail was more popular than ever this year, offering opportunities for locals to explore while practising social distancing and providing an essential connection to nature.
The popular 52 km Rail Trail spanning from Coldstream to Kelowna has limited access points. By developing the trailhead at Kilometer Zero in Coldstream this project will create a safe and spacious trailhead, with a plaza gathering space, a Hilltop viewpoint, and interpretative installations that will reflect and celebrate the history of the Sylix people and the rich cultural values of the northern (Kalamalka) trail section.
The area of “K’ək’maplqs”, or ‘Little Head of the Lake’ is significant to the Syilx indigenous people, and the Okanagan Indian Band is an important partner in planning for the site and the stories to be shared.
Last year, trail supporters raised funds to naturalize the old rail yard as the first phase of the trailhead development. This year Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail (FORT) have launched the Sunflower Campaign which will finalize the design and create a signature trailhead with a plaza gathering space, distinctive gateway feature and interpretive signage.
Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail are aiming to raise another $100,000 to complete the trailhead development by 2022. Even with current grants and future potential awards, support from the public is still needed to complete the North Okanagan community’s signature Rail Trail gateway.