Grant to fund pilot section opening of Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail

$250K boost for trail

The Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail just got a shot in the arm to get it off the ground.

The project has received a $250,000 grant from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport.

The funding would support development of a pilot section of the trail later this year.

The complete 35-kilometre trail would stretch from Sicamous to Armstrong.

The former rail line is owned by the Splatsin First Nation, Regional District of North Okanagan, and Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

A portion of the trail within the City of Enderby and Splatsin lands has been approved for the pilot section.

Vegetation restoration and landscaping, trail amenities, and signage as well as addressing invasive plants are included in development standards for the pilot project.

Costs on the full project ballooned last year after a full analysis of the route found significant erosion along Shuswap River sections of the line, the Shuswap Trail Alliance reported in September.

Erosion during high water has undercut the rail bed and the need for a highway overpass at Highway 97 north of Armstrong have inflated the cost of the full trail to an estimated $23 million.

A community capital fundraising campaign encourages corporate and community supporters to support the trail project by making donations via its website.

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