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Vaseux Lake bike trail one step closer to reality in Okanagan Falls

Click to play video: 'Vaseux Lake Trail one step closer to reality in South Okanagan' Vaseux Lake Trail one step closer to reality in South Okanagan
WATCH: Vaseux Lake Trail one step closer to reality in South Okanagan – Sep 18, 2021

The old railway beds on the west side of Vaseux Lake in Okanagan Falls, which once belonged to the Kettle River Valley Railway, are one step closer to becoming a trail for hikers, bikers and runners.

The six-and-a-half kilometre section of land could become the Vaseax Lake bike trail and be a piece of the proposed Trail of the Okanagans, as well as eventually connect to the Okanagan Rail Trail.

“For a long period of time, people have been talking about a trail here — there’s significant environmental concerns. There’s a lot of beautiful habitat here, for the last 10 years we’ve been asking questions about this,” said Janice Liebe, Trail of the Okanagans Society president.

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The Trail of the Okanagans Society has received the go-ahead from Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. to move ahead with the trail plan, as long as the habitat on either side would be protected. The approval is just one hurdle jumped, though, and there are still many to go.

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“The second [hurdle] is that we absolutely have to talk to the First Nations communities that are here to make sure that this is something that they want to see on their unceded territory,” said Liebe.

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“Following that, there would be a park plan put in place. For example, a lot of stakeholder engagement will take place, talking to communities on either side, possibly residences near the trail, those sorts of things, to make sure that we’re hearing all the voices that want to contribute to the trail.”

If all goes according to plan, the new trail would be one part of a 370 kilometre recreational trail running from Sicamous to Brewster, Wash., U.S.

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