Despite the snow and cooler temperatures of winter, Greater Vernon offers several great multi-purpose trails allowing you to get outdoors to exercise, enjoy the fresh air and clear your head. One excellent all-season trail is the Longacre Trail, located in Okanagan Landing.
Situated parallel to Longacre Drive, this paved trail meanders over gently rolling hills from Apollo Road to Bench Row Road. Passing through grasslands, you’ll take in the grand views of Okanagan Lake, Bella Vista, Turtle Mountain, Silver Star Mountain and Vernon Hill.
An easy to moderate trail measuring 1.7 km one way, it is ideal for walking, cycling and even pushing a stroller. In winter, the snow on the paved trail is periodically plowed making it traversable. Several benches are sprinkled along the trail allowing hikers to rest and absorb the tranquility and enjoyable scenery.
Dogs are allowed on Longacre trail, providing they are on a leash. Please be considerate of other hikers and pick up after your pet. Plastic dog bags and garbage cans, supplied by the City of Vernon, are located at each of the three trail heads. Unfortunately on the day that I hiked Longacre trail, pet owners were not as respectful and had left unpleasant traces of their pets along the path. Warning signs at the trail heads advise of possible coyotes in the area.
Longacre Trail offers three trail heads with parking:
- east end of trail, at Apollo Road and Longacre Drive, small parking lot;
- middle of the trail, off Longacre Drive opposite Okanagan Landing Elementary School;
- west end of the trail, on Bench Row Road, roadside parking.
During icy and snowy conditions, be sure to wear footwear with a good non-slip tread sole. Special shoe grips or ice cleats attached to your footwear can provide extra traction to prevent slipping and falling. Remember to remove these grips or cleats when walking indoors since they become dangerously slippery on smooth surfaces such as stone, tile and ceramic.
To stay warm while hiking in cold temperatures, wear a warm hat, scarf, and mittens or gloves. Layer the clothing on your upper and lower torso to provide better insulation against the cold.
Don’t let winter stop you from exploring Greater Vernon’s wonderful trails!