If spending time in the great outdoors is your thing and you could happily pass the days hiking, biking, swimming, skiing or kayaking you will not be at a loss of things to do in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. Known for its sunny, dry hot summers and snow-filled winters there is something to keep yourself busy no matter the season. Whether you prefer to be in the pristine wilderness or enjoy a round of golf, the valley has a lot to offer any outdoor enthusiast.
If you are considering a move to one of the cities and towns in the area, such as Vernon or Lumby, you will be happy to know there are a multitude of outdoor activities to keep you busy. From well-maintained hiking and biking trails to picturesque provincial parks in which you can pitch a tent and call it home for a night or two. With an abundance of lakes, forests, ski hills, orchards and wineries you will have not problem filling your days. Here are a few to consider.
- The Kettle Valley Rail Trail
For those who enjoy hiking, biking or simply taking in some picturesque views this is an outdoor activity you do not want to miss. Once a working railway, the extensive trail system provides over 600 kilometres (almost 400 miles) of recreational fun. You can choose to be part of an organized group tour or to do it alone.There are trails for novice riders and families or more challenging ones for older experienced riders.
- Kalamalka Lake
If you want to spend the day at the beach look no further than the emerald green Kal Lake Beach. With a sandy beach that reaches far into the water without any significant drop off the family and kids can enjoy the day without any major concerns. Rent a kayak or paddle board and get some lunch from the concession stand or the nearby pub/restaurant. There is also Kalamalka Provincial Park beach if you prefer more of a natural setting.
- Ellison Provincial Park
Also located close to the city of Vernon, Ellison Provincial Park is worth a visit when you are looking for some beach fun but maybe a bit of hiking as well. There is also camping on site but make sure you book early as it is a sought after destination. Spend some time on the scenic hiking trails and end your day with a dip in Okanagan Lake. Bring along your canoe or kayak if you like water sports and your climbing shoes as there are some small granite cliffs to climb.
- Silver Star Mountain Resort or Big White
Silver Star and Big White are open year round so if you are looking to spend the day skiing, hiking or biking both of these establishments are worth a visit. Silver Star Mountain is located 22 kilometres (13 miles) from the city of Vernon. It is a versatile mountain offering downhill and nordic skiing as well as snowshoeing. Big White is another world-class mountain located just over an hour outside of Kelowna offering both summer and winter amusement.
- Oyama Zipline Adventure Park
When looking for places to take your kids for a day of outside fun you may want to consider a visit to the Oyama Zipline Adventure Park. If you have younger kids spend the day at the playground or those with older ones take a guided zip-line tour and take in the amazing views coupled with exhilarating zip-line rides. There is also some tree obstacles, rope bridges and other aerial obstacle courses. You will not get bored or be at a loss of how to spend your time here
- Myra Canyon Trestles
Although a part of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail mentioned above, this section deserves special mention. This picture perfect section of the railway includes steep-walled canyons and breathtaking views. It is a great place for the whole family to spend the day. Consider bringing the bikes along so you can visit the two tunnels and eighteen trestle bridges. It is definitely worth the short drive from Kelowna.
- Predator Ridge Golf Resort
There are a multitude of golf courses throughout the Okanagan Valley, but Predator Ridge is one that stands out. It is a 36-hole golf resort. Pass the day on the course and then head into one of the establishment’s restaurants and enjoy good food and nice views. If you want to do more than golfing you can also partake in other activities such as hiking, biking and yoga.