Lace up your walking shoes, we’re heading to the Coldstream Valley Estates portion of the Grey Canal Trail to experience panoramic vistas of the Coldstream and Vernon valleys!
Walking high along Vernon Hill, you’ll behold a bird’s-eye perspective of Vernon and Coldstream sprawling below, with Kalamalka Lake, Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake tucked in the background. Sprinkled along the trail are remnants of the historic Grey Canal which once irrigated the parched hillsides below.
This portion of the Grey Canal Trail, wandering through the Coldstream Valley Estates subdivision, offers three different trails to explore from Cypress Drive:
Coldstream Valley Estates to East Vernon
Enter this trail from the parking lot at the northwest end of Cypress Drive, passing between the yellow concrete barriers. Heading north along Vernon Hill, a midway signpost offers two options: continue straight ahead for a shorter level trail (0.65 kilometres one way), or turn right for a longer (1.3 km one way) and steeper hike climbing up Vernon Hill with even more spectacular views and a bench to rest and catch your breath. Private property signs indicate the termination of both trails.
Coldstream Centennial Project Trail
The trail entrance and map are on the lower side of Cypress Drive, east of Upland Drive. Meander along the former Grey Canal irrigation ditch following the distinctive white fences of Coldstream Estates. This 0.9 km (one-way) level trail is lined with lush wild rose and Saskatoon bushes, and wispy willow trees. It’s hard to take your eyes off the amazing views of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, Kalamalka Lake and Middleton Mountain. At the southeast end of the trail, either turn back or continue walking several metres along Cypress Drive to enter the third trail:
Coldstream Valley Estates to
At the southeast end of Cypress Drive, a parking lot and trail map sign indicate the trailhead for this level one kilometre (one-way) trail heading towards the Coldstream Valley. Meadowlarks and other song birds serenade your stroll through the grasslands. Looming ahead is Bluenose Mountain, an ancient volcanic core. At the end of the trail, a wooden fence allows entrance into a ravine which borders the Coldstream Valley Ranch. Follow the wooden fence up the ravine for more views of the Coldstream Valley.
To access Coldstream Valley Estates: follow Highway 6 east, turn left at Aberdeen Rd, right onto Buchanan Rd, left onto Upland Dr, and up to Cypress Drive. Parking is available at both the northwest and southeast ends of Cypress Drive. Dogs are allowed on leash; please use dog bags and garbage cans located at trailheads.
Ingrid Neumann is with the Ribbons of Green Trails Society.