Ingrid Neumann photo                                Paul Gibson cycles the Okanagan Landing Trail every day from the airport to downtown, even in the recent -17 weather.

Ingrid Neumann photo Paul Gibson cycles the Okanagan Landing Trail every day from the airport to downtown, even in the recent -17 weather.

Okanagan Landing makes trail tracks

The Okanagan Landing Trail is a major urban connector route

If you lived in the Greater Vernon area in the early 90’s, you will remember a time when our communities were not very friendly to cyclists and trail enthusiasts. Planning and development of trails have come a long way since then, and today’s column recognizes one of our major urban connector routes, the Okanagan Landing Trail.

In the early 90’s, our community’s first trail system plan, called ‘Ribbons of Green’, envisioned connections between major community amenities, including routes from the city centre to Swan Lake, Okanagan Lake and Kalamalka Lake. At that time, the Okanagan Landing Trail was just in the works. A 10.6 metre wide right-of-way had been created for a future linear park and footpath between 34th Street (near Polson Park) and 41st Street, and 25th Avenue was being redesigned to incorporate a bike path.

The earliest major trail to be developed from our city centre was the Okanagan Landing Trail, now a 5.5 km separated multi-use pathway that starts in Polson Park and continues alongside Okanagan Landing Road and ends at Cummins Road. This trail is popular with pedestrians and cyclists, and provides a safe route for commuting and exercise. It is easily accessible for people with mobility challenges, parents pushing strollers, young children and seniors.

The Okanagan Landing Trail also provides a safe route for hundreds of students attending Ellison and Fulton schools. Beyond the end of the Okanagan Landing Trail, a widened paved shoulder along Lakeshore Road and Okanagan Landing Road connects with Okanagan Landing School and adjacent neighbourhoods.

The vision is to eventually extend the Okanagan Landing Trail and grow the network:

1. From Cummins Road to Paddlewheel Park,

2. Along Vernon Creek to Lakeshore Road and Fulton School, and

3. From Kin Beach along the lakeshore to Paddlewheel Park.

This will result in 7 km of connected trail, with little elevation change, and accessing many of the residential and business areas, and recreational amenities of Okanagan Landing.

The City of Vernon has also made good progress on the major routes that will eventually link Swan Lake and northern commercial/residential areas to the urban hub in Polson Park. A long-awaited connection between downtown Vernon and Coldstream/Kalamalka Lake is also taking shape. This fall, the city approved funding for major upgrades to Kalamalka Lake Road, from 14th Avenue to the Coldstream border, including a separated multi-use path to be built in 2017. This trail will link Vernon’s residents, and hotels and restaurants with the Okanagan Rail Trail, and its connections to spectacular scenery and communities to the south.

The Greater Vernon trail system is continuing to grow, and branch out to our many great natural and cultural amenities. The major north-south and east-west routes like Okanagan Landing and Kalamalka Road Trails will play a critical role to make sure we can get there safely, using human power.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Public input on the City of Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget is open until 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, 2021. (City of Enderby photo)
Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget open for public input

The proposed spending plan includes a 2.2 per cent tax increase; public input open until Monday

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
Coldstream students’ COVID advice praised by Interior Health

Grade 2 and 3 classes from Coldstream Elementary took over the Morning Star’s Letters page April 9

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon dealership gives Towne Cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Interior Health’s overdose prevention site in Vernon is saving lives. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon’s controversial overdose prevention site saving lives

Site sees fewer problems than expected, but some still want it moved

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Old English design elements can be seen in the sign of the Summerland Farm and Garden Centre in 1993. The guidelines are no longer in place, but some downtown businesses still show aspects of the days when Summerland had a theme in place. This photo was taken by Summerland photographer Dan Dorotich. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Summerland’s Old English theme has been abandoned

From the 1980s until the early 2000s, Summerland had design guidelines in its downtown

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Most Read