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Province funds project to link Predator Ridge, Sparkling Hill resorts to Okanagan Rail Trail

A photo of the Okanagan Rail Trail. The regional district says the new trail link will provide users with a safe crossing under Highway 97 between Bailey Road and the Kal/Crystal Waters Trail.
A photo of the Okanagan Rail Trail. The regional district says the new trail link will provide users with a safe crossing under Highway 97 between Bailey Road and the Kal/Crystal Waters Trail. Geri Helmer

Two popular resorts near Vernon will soon be connected to one of the valley’s most popular tourist attractions, the Okanagan Rail Trail.

On Thursday, the provincial government announced $20 million in funding for 54 tourism projects throughout the province.

One project will be a 1.3-km trail linking Predator Ridge Golf Resort and Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa to the Okanagan Rail Trail (ORT).

Read more: Okanagan Rail Trail: Regional district issues warning of falling rocks

The multi-use trail link, under the guidance of the Regional District of North Okanagan, will provide users with a safe crossing under Highway 97 between Bailey Road and the Kal/Crystal Waters Trail, which connects to the ORT.

“This is a key first step to connect the Okanagan Rail Trail to the Predator Ridge community, Sparkling Hills Resort, and their associated trail networks,” said Akbal Mund, RDNO director and chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

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“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of our outdoor recreation amenities. Our trails are busier than ever, and investing in these types of trail connections will not only provide value to local residents but to visitors of our community when we can begin reopening.”

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Trail design and permitting work will begin right away, and construction is expected to commence in late 2021.

The project is estimated at $210,000. Funding comes from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program.

“Our laser focus right now is on helping people and businesses during the pandemic, while making sure we’re ready to welcome visitors and explore B.C. when it is safe to do so,” Melanie Mark, tourism minister, said in a press release.

“Investing in community-based tourism infrastructure not only creates good-paying jobs, it also helps to rebuild this hard-hit industry and ensures B.C.’s reputation as a world-class travel destination remains strong.”

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To view the list of projects that received provincial funding, click here.

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