Donate Now Northern Trailhead Open House - Sept 17

Posted on September 12, 2019

Okanagan Rail Trail Northern Trailhead Open House

September 17 4:30-7:30pm

Coldstream Women's Institute (9909 Kalamalka Road, Coldstream)

An important trail link is about to be completed, and planning has begun for the areas that together will comprise the northern trailhead of the Okanagan Rail Trail. You can join in celebrating this achievement, and help shape future plans on September 17, at an open house hosted by the Regional District of North Okanagan (details below).

In 2015, when local governments purchased the CN corridor for the Okanagan Rail Trail, the northern end was at ‘Mile 88’, part way between Kickwillie Loop and College Way. CN, at the time, still required the rail corridor beyond Mile 88, so the rail trail ended abruptly in a residential neighbourhood. Since then, the corridor has been acquired by RDNO to extend the rail trail to College Way, thus completing a major link to the paved pathway between Vernon and Coldstream. This link also improves the route between Coldstream’s Kalamalka Lake Road parking lot and the rail trail.

This fall, the aggregate surface of the rail trail will be extended to College Way, and there will be some slope scaling and a new access ramp near the east end of Westkal Road. Beyond the basic trail extension, the newly formed Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail are prepared to fundraise for enhanced facilities.

The open house will help tie together the separate elements of the northern trailhead areas from Coldstream’s Kalamalka Lake Road parking lot to the newly paved parking area on Westkal Road at Kickwillie Loop.

At the area currently described as km ‘0’, the concept proposal calls for a plaza with trail information and interpretive signage, and development of the only hilltop viewpoint along the trail. Design features will create a unique space for photos, and will recognize the role of community in contributing towards trail construction. In partnership with the Okanagan Indian Band, stories will be developed to share the indigenous history and relationship with K’ək’maplqs (Little Head of the Lake, the traditional name for the north end of Kalamalka Lake). Landscaping projects will help to restore native vegetation and plants important to the Syilx people.

If you cannot make the meeting, the designs will be posted on until September 30.