The Trail of the Okanagans - Help Complete this Spectacular Cycling & Walking Trail

One of the key natural features of the Okanagan Valley is a chain of lakes that are connected by the Okanagan River. Many small and medium-sized communities dot their shorelines. Vineyards and orchards welcome visitors and residents. It is a remarkably beautiful region.

Over the last few years trail development for hikers and cyclists has progressed to a point where it becomes feasible to connect all communities of the Okanagan Valley including Osoyoos, Penticton, Kelowna, Lake Country and Vernon with a continuous 250km pathway. Over 70% will follow abandoned rail trails along beautiful lakeshores, valleys and rivers. Only a very small portion will follow Highway 97 on a separate bike lane or go through suburban areas on residential roads.

The Okanagan Valley has established an international reputation as a cycling paradise. Unfortunately many cycling events are at the local level since there currently is no safe way of cycling from community to community. Several local governments and volunteer groups including The Trail of the OkanagansThe Okanagan Rail Trail InitiativeThe Gellatly Bay Trails and Parks Society and The Shuswap Trail Alliance have developed plans to address this situation. 

The vision of a valley-wide cycling corridor includes the development of loops and spurs that provide access to communities, vineyards, beaches, parks, the Trans Canada Trail and the many single-track mountain bike areas. Various studies have shown that significant economic benefits can be realized by encouraging cycling-tourism. In addition a safe, affordable, green transportation option is required for commuters and students visiting UBC Okanagan and the various facilities of the Okanagan College.

Though significant investments have already been made by local municipalities, regional districts and the Provincial Government, additional funding is required to build safe cycling lanes along sections of Highway 97, to acquire land leases from private owners and the Okanagan Nation bands, and to construct trails or to improve the surface of existing trails.

These infrastructure investments are expected to yield significant returns by extending the short summer tourist season into the spring and fall shoulder seasons, which is required to make additional private investment for businesses including hotels, restaurants viable. 

HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN

The $1 billion for cycling and walking proposed by the BC Cycling Coalition would greatly speed the completion of Trail of the Okanagans and other cycling improvements in the Okanagan thus enabling residents and visitors to experience the economic, health and environmental benefits of cycling sooner. Please sign the petition and share it with your friends, family and co-workers.


Showing 22 reactions

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  • Robyn Schmitke
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-27 16:01:28 -0700
    I just signed!
  • Larry Kohlruss
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-19 14:35:43 -0700
    Bikes do not pollute. Bikes do not require Fuel, saving the environment in more than one way.
  • Larry Kohlruss
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-19 14:23:57 -0700
    The Trail of the Okanagans - Help Complete this Spectacular Trail. Sign the cycling & walking for everyone petition!
  • Larry Kohlruss
    @LarryKohlruss tweeted link to this page. 2017-05-19 14:23:52 -0700
    The Trail of the Okanagans - Help Complete this Spectacular Trail. Sign the cycling & walking for everyone petition! http://www.bccc.bc.ca/trail_of_the_okanagans?recruiter_id=19960
  • Michelle Curcio
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-04-17 15:43:04 -0700
    The Trail of the Okanagans - Help Complete this Spectacular Trail. Sign the cycling & walking for everyone petition!
  • Theresa Arsenault
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-01-31 10:53:18 -0800
    Connected cycling paths throughout the Okanagan will be beneficial for the environment, tourism, and our fitness levels. An excellent initiative we can all get behind.
  • Dan Hill
    posted about this on Facebook 2017-01-30 09:29:25 -0800
    I just signed!
  • Richard Campbell
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-21 20:45:46 -0700
    This will be an awesome trail!
  • Richard Campbell
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-21 19:49:14 -0700
    A great idea
  • Stuart Lea
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-21 13:17:02 -0700
    I just signed!
  • Chris Brochu
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-21 11:02:42 -0700
    This is an amazing idea!!
  • Rob MacLean
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-21 09:51:05 -0700
    Cycling is awesome and more people should have safe and efficient cycling and hiking paths
  • Tim Dickinson
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-21 07:48:20 -0700
    I just signed!
  • Peter Watson
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-21 07:20:00 -0700
    I just signed!
  • Kim West
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-20 18:31:41 -0700
    cycling is the best way to see, appreciate, enjoy, embrace, and not harm the beauty of nature’s many wonders.
  • Greg Garowey
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-18 18:01:51 -0700
    I just signed!
  • Kim Hauner
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-09-18 14:29:20 -0700
    We just camped and biked through the area. Wonderful.
  • responded with submitted 2016-09-18 13:11:42 -0700
  • Rebecca Bea
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-01 10:00:48 -0700
    This could be a fantastic opportunity for nature lovers visiting or living in the Okanagan.
  • Bev Loset
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-01 09:41:30 -0700
    I just signed!
  • Let's Go Biking Colleen MacDonald
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-27 07:22:24 -0700
    I’m signing because this is a route I’ve hoped for for years. I believe it will increase cycling tourism in the Okanagan.
  • Alan Peatt
    commented 2016-02-04 20:44:00 -0800
    I like cycling — mostly bike riding is environmentally friendly - but absolutely no way a through route bike trail should ever be established on the west side of Vaseux Lake. This is an extremely important wildlife area and is one of only a handful of places in this valley that wildlife have easy access to lakeshore riparian areas. That particular stretch of lakeside is a wildlife haven - the former rail grade runs through a National Wildlife Area and Vaseux Lake is one of the oldest migratory bird sanctuaries in Canada. The warmth of the old rail bed there is an attractant to snakes of all kinds - and there are many that use it. There is no way to mitigate the conflict, injury and damage that increased human presence would cause on the west side of Vaseux Lake. Please leave this area for the animals! Keep the human use infrastructure to the east side of Vaseux Lake by crossing over the channel to the north of the wildlife area -- views from the east side are still beautiful, there are wineries, a campground and wildlife interpretation sites all on the east side. Staying to the east past Vaseux Lake is a small price to pay to allow at least some wildlife populations in the valley peaceful persistence. Al Peatt, RPBio, Penticton

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