RIBBONS OF GREEN TRAILS SOCIETY PRESIDENT
This summer a major achievement was realized on the Grey Canal Trail network.
A trail connection was built linking the Coldstream Valley Estates and Boss Creek trail segments on Vernon Hill, east of Vernon.
Trail users may be familiar with the Grey Canal Coldstream Valley Estates trail access at the north-west end of Cypress Drive in Coldstream. So let’s start there. Park beside the fence at the marked trail entrance.
Heading north, the original path is shaded by trees for a short distance and traverses a small creek with an appropriately small bridge. Soon you will emerge into open spaces with terrific views of the valley, city and three lakes.
A sign will direct you to take the trail as it heads up Vernon Hill. This will be a bit of a climb, but the views get even better as you go higher.
There are many Saskatoon bushes and, depending upon the season, lots of wildflowers. Birds abound in the vegetation and the sky.
Eventually, you will pass through a gate and enter typical Okanagan hillside forest on the newly designated route that now descends towards Galiano Road. Pay close attention to trail signage; there are many private driveways and gates. Please respect private property and stay on the trail.
Galiano Road forms part of the trail for a short distance until a sign instructs to sharply turn right onto a driveway and then follow a constructed trail to Boss Creek Road.
Boss Creek Road is a newer road, accessed off the east end of McLeish Road. A trail parking lot has been built here.
By now you have walked about three kilometres and you can turn around and return.
On your next visit, park at the Boss Creek Road lot and walk north. The Boss Creek Trail splits in two directions prior to the traffic circle. A steep trail heads uphill to Greenwood Road where the trail ends. This is a private road with no trespassing beyond the point.
At the traffic circle, a second trail heads down Vernon Hill to a parking lot on DeRoo and Welker Road. Remember you have to walk uphill before you get to walk downhill.
The Grey Canal Trail is now a continuous 16 km trail from Coldstream Valley Estates to the northeast end of Swan Lake on Baker Hogg Road, with a few sections on the road. To view the entire Grey Canal Trail with maps, directions and parking: visit the Ribbons of Green interactive map at ribbonsofgreen.ca.