Leo Munns reaches for a for a handhold on his quest for the summit of the rock at Skaha Bluffs during a Hoodoo Adventure climb day. Climbing the Skaha Bluffs is part of Canadian travel blogger Leigh McAdam’s top five ways to enjoy the outdoors around Penticton. Mark Brett/Western News

Canadian travel blog highlights best outdoor activities around Penticton

Hike Bike Travel created a list of different ways to explore the area this spring

One of Canada’s most notable travel bloggers has highlighted the five best outdoor activities around Penticton that residents and tourists should take advantage of this spring and summer.

Leigh McAdam, Calgary-based writer that runs the blog Hike Bike Travel, wrote in a recent post “Penticton is the perfect playground for outdoor adventure enthusiasts with rugged hills, a multitude of lakes and usually great weather.”

First on McAdam’s list of suggested outdoor activities is taking a paddle boat to Rattlesnake Island in the waters of Okanagan Lake. Part of the Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, the fabled lake monster Ogopogo is rumored to live in a cave on the island, which has long been a favourite tourist destination.

In addition, the island has been the end point of the annal Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim. Starting in Peachland, swimmers can choose one of two routes out to the island, either a 3.1 km swim across Okanagan Lake or a 7 km out-and-back swim that loops around the back of the island.

Next, McAdam recommends cyclists tour the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR). She highlights that because the top marks of the gentle route are 2 per cent grade and easily accessible, this activity is suitable for the whole family.

The trail is over 600 km long and offers lush scenery to both hikers and cyclists, which McAdam dresribes as “panoramic views of the sun-soaked lakes and vineyards of the Okanagan Valley as the trail winds down towards Penticton.”

Those with their eyes on sky will enjoy McAdam’s next recommendation, climbing the Skaha Bluffs in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park. Located just minutes south of the city, the bluffs offer “world-class climbing opportunities” according to BC Parks.

The park is 489 hectares and BC Parks describes its “distinctive terrain features of the bluffs along with the Gillies Creek corridor reflect extremely threatened riparian and grassland plant communities.”

If your prefer to go at your own pace and take in the scenery, McAdam suggests hiking McIntyre Bluff, “a large granite ridge looming above Highway 97”. Located south of Vaseux Lake between Okanagan Falls and Oliver, the hike to the top of the bluff takes between two to four hours according to Explore Oliver BC.

“The most beautiful time of year to hike McIntyre Bluff is in late spring or early summer when the wildflowers are in bloom,” states Explore Oliver BC’s website.

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i really need to stop hiking in converse

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Finally, for those looking to slow down altogether McAdam recommends exploring Vaseux Lake, which features “dramatic cliffs (as) a backdrop to this small and shallow lake (with) a handful of sandy beaches (dotting) the shoreline.”

According to BC Parks, Vaseux Lake Provincial Park offers “promising fishing opportunities for large mouth bass, rainbow trout and carp.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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