A 1.3-kilometre segment of a multi-use lakeshore trail will be completed this summer. The recreational pathway is the first phase of the Trail of the Okanagans initiative

A 1.3-kilometre segment of a multi-use lakeshore trail will be completed this summer. The recreational pathway is the first phase of the Trail of the Okanagans initiative

Trail project to start

The first portion of a multi-use trail in the Okanagan Valley is expected to open in July.

The first portion of a multi-use trail in the Okanagan Valley is expected to open in July.

The 1.3-kilometre section will extend parallel to Highway 97 from Lakeshore Drive in Summerland to the Summerland RV Park.

The recreational pathway is the first part of the Trail of the Okanagans initiative.

Organizers hope to extend the multi-use trail throughout the region.

“I’ve worked with and learned from some incredible people in North America and overseas while developing routes and cycling events,” said Ian Lobb, the newly appointed chair of the trail steering committee.

“Our goal is to bring people together and help create a connection to communities for residents and visitors alike to experience the beauty of the Interior.”

Earlier, Lobb was involved with the Waterfront Trail in Ontario. That trail features more than 700 kilometres of pathways around Lake Ontario.

Last year in late spring, the province and the municipality announced a total of $500,000 for the first segment of the trail, to be built in Summerland.

Under the agreement, the province is contributing $420,000 while the municipality is contributing $80,000.

In addition, the municipality had earlier contributed $20,000 for the design concept of the trail.

The pathway will be constructed by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. It is expected to be a minimum of two metres wide.

A concrete barrier will separate it from the shoulder of the highway making it safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

The 1.3-kilometre segment is the first phase of the trail project. The second phase will extend the pathway through Trout Creek to Sunoka Provincial Park and to Penticton.

The funding and exact route have yet to be determined.