Special to The Morning Star
It’s time to head out for another wonderful walk on one of Greater Vernon’s enjoyable trails, the East Vernon section of the Grey Canal Trail.
This trail has a lot going for it. It’s lightly used, offering solitude, expansive views and nature in all its beauty.
BX Creek to Dixon Dam Road: 1.6 km
We begin at Star Road at the access to the BX Falls Trail. Instead of heading off to your left and following BX Creek, look for the Grey Canal Trail. Descend the switchback trail into the ravine. Soon you’ll be standing on a bridge over BX Creek, enjoying the cool shade and musical running water.
It’s a steep climb out of the ravine, but before you reach the top, look to your left and you may see remains of long-abandoned Grey Canal structures.
The trail is easy to follow under Ponderosa Pines, into a corridor made by wire fences on both sides. A left turn, up some stairs, and you are on to Malim Road. From now, on watch for roadside Grey Canal Trail sign posts.
The trail heads south on Curlew Road. Where the road ends, the trail continues; tall grass and shrubs on both sides, across a small creek and out by some private residences. Left on Maddock Road, and walk out to Dixon Dam Road.
Dixon Dam Road to Briggs Road: 1.8 km
The trail uses Dixon Dam Road for about a kilometre. Walk on the grassy shoulder and stay alert to passing traffic. Left at Hartnell Road and watch for the trail entrance on the south side.
The trail passes an orchard. It’s peaceful here and a great place to enjoy the breezes. When you come to a horse gate, step over it and walk to Briggs Road.
Briggs Road to DeRoo Road: 650 m
After a short distance on Briggs and DeRoo roads, step over a horse gate and follow a grassy trail with horse pastures on both sides. Stop and enjoy the views of Okanagan Lake, Vernon, the Rise, Turtle Mountain, Silver Star Foothills and more.
Through a shallow ravine and then step through the trail entrance off DeRoo Road.
Should you wish to begin your hike at this southern point on DeRoo, here are directions from the corner of East Vernon Road and Black Rock Road. East Vernon Road will turn north, but continue straight and DeRoo will be front of you. Park at the roundabout in front of 4239 DeRoo Rd. and then walk past the end of the road, staying right of the driveway into Sunny Trail Acres Farm. You’ll soon see a trailhead sign on the left. Enter here.
The most parking is at Star Road. Several cars can park at the DeRoo Road access. One or two cars could park on the side of the road on Hartnell, Dixon Dam and Maddock roads.
Harold Sellers is president of the Ribbons of Green Trails Society