The Armstrong Spallumcheen Trails Society, which hosted a successful family day event recently at the Thomas Hayes Ecological Park, will host a free Canada Day hike along the Rose Swanson trails. (photo submitted)

Trails society hosts Canada Day hike

Free event on trails up Rose Swanson Mountain

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Trails Society will say happy birthday to Canada with a community hike.

Start Canada Day off with a guided hike up Rose Swanson Mountain from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. The hike will be led by Marg Sidney, daughter of trail founder Gordon Sidney, to the viewpoint. Mr. Sidney built the trail for Canada’s Centennial in 1967 and led the first hike then on July 1.

Hikers are asked to meet at Memorial Park at 7:30 a.m. and a free shuttle will be available (first-come, first-served).

If you would like more information, please contact marg.sidney@gmail.com or call 250-546-0900.

In April, the society said Happy 125th anniversary to the Township of Spallumcheen with a special family day at Thomas Hayes Ecological Park.

“This was well attended by approximately 100 plus families,” said society director Ken Chapman. “Many families are now aware for the very first time of this valuable resource we have in our back yard for our enjoyment. Directional signs to the park placed strategically at intersections were appreciated. Children and adults enjoyed themselves on the guided nature walks and the trails in the park area.”

Helping out on the trails was Norbert Martins, a trained nature guide from the Okanagan Naturalist Club.

Orienteering classes, guided by Derek Gytenbeek and his father, Glenn, were enthusiastically attended and the dissecting of owl pellets was a big hit thanks to members, biologists Corinna Hoodicoff and Marg Sidney.

The grand-daughter of Thomas Hayes, Joan Gates, and his great grandchildren, Roger and Brian Gates and Sandra McFee of Comox, were in attendance and relived some memories of bygone days growing up on the Thomas Hayes farm in the immediate area.

The Alan Brooks Nature Centre, with Aaron Deans, conducted talks on wildlife in the area and Passive Remediation Systems’ Dave Derbowka gave insight into the new technology of bio-charring.

Okanagan Indian Native Band elder Adam Gregoire told of his long history growing up in the area surrounding Otter Lake.

History of Thomas Hayes and the early days of his farm was on display.

“All in all it was a success and we look forward to future endeavors at the park,” said Chapman.” Our sincere thanks and gratitude go out to those who volunteered and participated in the event. Rancho Vignola very kindly donated the Original Thomas Hayes Trail Mix to the first 75 attendees. It was a big hit. Water, supplied by H2O4U, was available during the whole day. The chamber of commerce provided the tents for shelter.