The Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail project is taking a significant step forward as construction begins on the Enderby-Splatsin pilot section. This 2-kilometre stretch of trail marks the first "shovels in the ground" phase of the project, bringing the vision of a remarkable recreational pathway closer to reality.
The Splatsin te Secwépemc (Splatsin), the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) and the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) are working together in partnership to construct a 50km non-motorized greenway trail for walking and cycling along the rail corridor between the communities of Sicamous and Armstrong.
The development of the pilot section is a significant milestone as it will be the first fully developed section of the Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail, which has been a vision for the project owners for years. This section will allow residents and visitors alike to get a feel for the trail surface, road crossings, staging, and signage ahead of the development of the full corridor and while additional funding is secured.
The contract for the development of the test section has been awarded to Yucwmenlúcwu, a division of the Splatsin Development Corporation. In Secwepemctsin, Yucwmenlúcwu translates to "Caretakers of the Land." This collaboration between Splatsin, the RDNO and the CSRD exemplifies the commitment of ownership partners to cultural and environmental stewardship.
Funding for the construction of this pilot section has been made possible through the generous contributions of various partners. The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia have contributed a grant of $459,061 through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream. In addition, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) partnered with the Provincial Ministry of Tourism to secure an additional $250,000.
Construction for the pilot section is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023. To stay updated on the progress of the rail trail, community members can visit www.shuswapnorthokanaganrailtrail.ca.