Greater Vernon Expands its as the Trails Capital of B.C.
The Greater Vernon area is solidifying its reputation as the Trails Capital of B.C. with the addition of a new trail connection. The Regional District of North Okanagan recently acquired a 4.2-kilometer section of the former Grey Canal irrigation flume from Coldstream Ranch, which will be transformed into a future recreational trail.
In addition to this acquisition, two other important trail projects have recently been completed. One is a 900-meter connection for the Grey Canal Trail between the Turtle Mountain and Bella Vista/Okanagan hills sections. The other is a 1.3-kilometer section of the Kal/Crystal Waters Trail. These projects play a crucial role in filling gaps in the previously established trail network.
The land for the 900-meter connection was acquired by the City of Vernon and RDNO in 2021, with funding of $110,000 from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport. This funding was made available through the Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative, which is administered by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. The development of this trail will significantly enhance the connectivity and accessibility of the Grey Canal Trail.
The completion of the Kal/Crystal Waters Trail section also received funding support. A total of $210,000 was provided through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program, which falls under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport. This section of the trail creates a vital link between Bailey Road, Kekuli Provincial Park, and the Okanagan Rail Trail. It is a significant step towards connecting the Rail Trail with the communities of Predator Ridge and Sparkling Hills Resort.
These trail projects align with the Greater Vernon Trails and Natural Spaces Master Plan, which was adopted in 2022. The plan aims to create a robust network of trails and natural spaces throughout the Greater Vernon area. The development of these trails not only benefits visitors but also contributes to the local economy and promotes community well-being.
Lana Popham, the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport, recognizes the value of investing in tourism infrastructure projects like the Grey Canal and Kal/Crystal Waters Trails. She believes that these investments strengthen the bonds between communities and contribute to the overall vibrancy of British Columbia.
As the Greater Vernon area continues to expand its trail network, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers can look forward to even more opportunities for exploration and adventure. The Trails Capital of B.C. title is well-deserved, and these recent developments only serve to enhance its reputation.