Have you heard the great news? Vernon is now officially titled the Trails Capital of B.C.
What an honour and asset for our community!
Vernon has a reputation as an outstanding walking, cycling, skiing and outdoor recreation community.
COVID further enticed even more people out onto our spectacular trails.
Vernon’s nestled between three lakes and surrounded by hills and Silver Star Mountain.
We’re so lucky to live in a spectacular area with numerous wonderful, scenic trails in and around our community.
The scenic Grey Canal trail system links neighbourhoods surrounding Vernon and Coldstream.
Plus we have the most jaw-dropping scenery at the north end of the Okanagan Rail Trail stretching from Coldstream to Kelowna.
The refreshing BX Creek trail links to the Silver Star Foothills Grey Canal trail.
Trails in Kalamalka Lake, Ellison and Sovereign provincial parks and Polson Park are supreme as are the trails at Silver Star, Predator Ridge and Sparkling Hill.
Swan Lake Nature Reserve Park has amazing long distance views from its lookout tower and trails.
We’re even more fortunate to be surrounded by many fabulous rec sites and trails around Vernon that are maintained by Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and BC Parks.
These are only a few of our spectacular trails.
Trails enhance the fitness and health of our community and environment. Walking, hiking, jogging, skiing and cycling are mentally uplifting, physically invigorating and nonpolluting. Some can even be healthy travel and commuting corridors to school, work, shopping, etc. instead of driving.
But our trails require trail etiquette, responsible use, care and maintenance.
So we’re fortunate to have the Ribbons of Green Trail Society (ROGTS) – a group of dedicated community volunteers who advocate for local trails and their care. You’ll find the best local map and comprehensive trail list at www.ribbonsofgreen.ca with terrific trail descriptions. Last fall, ROGTS initiated the project to recognize Greater Vernon as the Trails Capital of B.C., to emphasize the multitude and quality of trails in our area.
Kim Young, an active transportation enthusiast and director with ROGTS, shepherded the process along with support from ROGTS, the Regional District of North Okanagan, City of Vernon, Greater Vernon Tourism, Predator Ridge, Sovereign Nordic Ski Society, Silver Star and North Okanagan Cycling Society. Together they shared ideas to create awareness of our trails and register Vernon’s community trademark and logo. This was all completed on a shoestring budget with a committee of stakeholders to develop a strategy for using the trademark and promoting interest in trails of the Greater Vernon area. This spring the Canadian Registrar of Trademarks granted the Official Mark.
Young said, “We are thrilled to see recognition of the years of hard work by volunteers, elected officials, business partners, and government staff to develop the extensive trail network in Greater Vernon. We hope this will encourage and support continued growth throughout the region for years to come.”
Vernon’s new title will go worldwide to attract families and individual outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Then Vernon Tourism’s website will link to services for trail users.
So, get out and enjoy our trails!
Help take care of them by staying on trails, joining in invasive weed pull parties, walking dogs in designated dog parks, and joining or contributing to a local trails or park organization.
Roseanne Van Ee enthusiastically shares her knowledge of the outdoors to help readers experience and enjoy nature. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram.