From the mountains to lakesides, residents and visitors enjoy a plethora of routes within the region.
Recognizing more than 20 years of community effort, Vernon’s Ribbons of Green Trails Society has began a project to recognize Greater Vernon as the Trails Capital of B.C.
The Regional District of North Okanagan’s board of directors agreed to pursue the Official Mark under the Canadian Trademarks Act on behalf of the Ribbons of Green at the July 20 board meeting. The RDNO will also develop a stakeholder working group to help oversee the usage of the Official Mark.
“The Official Mark of Greater Vernon – Trails Capital of B.C. is an excellent way to recognize the contribution of many individuals, community groups, businesses, and local governments,” said the RDNO in a release. “At the same time, it will increase awareness on the part of locals and visitors of the tremendous, sustainable trail network within and around the Greater Vernon area.”
The region is anchored by multi-use pathways that connect Okanagan, Kalamalka and Swan Lakes, surrounded on the north and west sides by the historic Grey Canal trail, with the Okanagan Rail Trail extending south, and the High Rim trail reaching to the east and south.
Connecting and supporting the major trails is an extensive network of routes ranging from packed earth single track to paved commuter paths, with a wide variety in between. While the number and volume of trails are massive and ever-expanding, it is the scope of trails that is most impressive.
“Hike to the top of Middleton Mountain, or cycle to work on the Polson Greenway,” said Ribbons of Green. “Note the Cycling Without Age trishaws on the Okanagan Rail Trail and Kalamalka Lake multi-use path. Enjoy the vistas from many lookouts on the Grey Canal Trail, or cycle the wooded trails in Ellison and Kalamalka Lake parks on a hot day.”
The trail network in Greater Vernon is truly multi-seasonal.
Between Sovereign Lake, Silver Star and Predator Ridge, the area also boasts many options for alpine skiing, cross-country and snowshoeing. Some multi-use paths are cleared in winter, and many trails can be used in winter conditions with appropriate footwear.
The breadth of community involvement is likewise astonishing. Community groups have developed and constructed trails with fundraising and sweat equity.