Rail trial paved

With the recent paving of a new section of the Okanagan Rail Trail, you can now cycle on smooth asphalt from downtown Kelowna and the Rotary Marshes:to the north end of Kelowna International Airport. The latest section of the ORT takes you from the corner of Gordon Drive and Clement Avenue west past Richter Street to Manhattan Drive to Sunset Drive Park to Rotary Marshes, above.

Summer turned into fall with cooler temperatures this week, but occasional rain didn’t stop outdoor recreation activities.

The Sheriff and Constant Companion Carmen joined hiking-cycling buddy Audra to check out the Glenmore Highlands trails north of the Wilden residential development.

There are no directional signs, but once you’ve done the same trail twice, you get the lay of the land. The ridge to the west — with its panoramic views of Okanagan Lake — lies north-south so it’s an easy orientation feature.

A wayward turtle was scrambling to return to its pond, but was far from the water’s edge. So it received a helping manicured hand from Audra although it got a little frantic when it thought she was going the wrong way.

Earlier in the day, the Sheriff discovered new paving for the latest addition to the Okanagan Rail Trail at the corner of Gordon Drive and Clement Avenue which means you can now walk, run and cycle from the downtown all the way to the north end of Kelowna International Airport.

The former rail line from Old Vernon Road north is still closed, however, waiting for the federal government to process an addition-to-reserve application for the Okanagan Indian Band so the final six-kilometre section can be upgraded with funds from the $7.8-million Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative campaign.

A reminder that the Okanagan Rail Trail will be closed from early morning to 5 p.m., weekdays Sept. 16-27 between Kekuli Bay and Lake Country, and between Coldstream and kilometre six to stabilize the Kalamalka Lake bank and prevent the erosion that has been narrowing the trail.


A recent cycle on the Okanagan Rail Trail proved the value of carrying a first-aid kit, even if it is a small, light one.

As four of us were heading back to Lake Country from Coldstream, we approached a couple standing beside their Pedego demo e-bikes just north of Oyama.

The woman was holding a small tissue, soaked with blood, against her lower leg.

The Sheriff grabbed a paper towel from his bike bag and applied it to a two-by-three-centimetre flap of skin as she explained she was turning her bike around when the pedal scraped her leg.

We asked her to lie on the grass at the edge of the trail and the Sheriff raised her leg to reduce the blood flow. Cycling buddy Maggie put on the rubber glove from Constant Companion Carmen’s first-aid kit and used moist tissues to clean the skin around the wound.

Then, she and CCC carefully covered the entire area with a Tegaderm transparent film dressing.

The woman relaxed for a few moments while we popped over to Pedego Oyama to let co-owner Sheila Fraser know what had happened.

Even after this unfortunate accident, the couple wasn’t dissuaded from cycling and bought both e-bikes.

Hopefully, they also consider bringing a first-aid kit with them when biking around the Okanagan.


After learning about her sales success, (Pedego Oyama co-owner Sheila) Fraser mentioned Pedego e-bikes have been making quite a splash in the Okanagan.

Phil Johnson from AM1150 radio station in Kelowna rode a Pedego Patroller police e-bike during the opening ceremonies of the BC 55+ Games on Wednesday night, she said, and Games president David Graham pedalled it from site to site through Kelowna during the Games.

“We are also giving away our Boomerang+ (in neon blue with mag wheels) to a lucky volunteer on Saturday night. All the volunteers working the Games had a chance to win this bike.

“It’s been our best seller this season. Even the City of Vernon purchased them for their employees to use instead of a vehicle while travelling between city buildings,” she said.

The draw was held at the Volunteer Appreciation Event at the Kelowna Curling Club last Saturday.


You’re encouraged to share your thoughts and help the Regional District of the Central Okanagan as it updates its plan to manage Mission Creek Regional Park in Kelowna.

The new long-term management plan for the park will help guide the regional district with future development and amenities in the 92-hectare forested park in the heart of the city.

“On behalf of RDCO Parks Services,

members of the management plan consulting team will attend the Kikinee Salmon Festival in the park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 22). They will ask people attending to share information about how they use the park,” said Bruce Smith, the regional district’s communications officer.

Information about the park management plan process and future opportunities for involvement can be followed on the regional district website: rdco.com/planourparks.


Too early to think about cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding? Not if you need new or used equipment, clothing and other winter gear.

* The Canadian Ski Patrol Ogopogo Zone’s Sport Show Swap is this weekend at the Kelowna Curling Club, 551 Recreation Ave., Kelowna. Consignments will still be accepted 8-10 a.m. today.

The sale is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday (Sept. 22). You can pre-register equipment at: cspsoz.com/swap/.

* The Vernon Ski Club’s Ski Swap (vernonskiclub.ca/clubs/4618/pages/112602) will be held on Oct. 18-19 at the Vernon Recreation Centre, 3310 37th Ave.

Consignment drop-off with $2 consignment tickets is 3:30-7 p.m. on Oct. 18 with the public sale 8:30-3 p.m. on Oct. 19. To

volunteer, email VSCswap@gmail.com.

* Big White Ski Club (bigwhiteskiclub.com/skiswap) will hold its Ski, Board and Sport Swap on Oct. 25-26 at New Life Church, 2041 Harvey Ave.

The one-day sale is 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on the Saturday (Oct. 26) with admission $2 per person or $5 for a family.


The Regional District of the Central Okanagan had hoped to hold an official opening ceremony for Black Mountain/ sntsk’il’nten Regional Park this month but it has been delayed until 2020.

“We’re still working on it and getting technical issues resolved with designing and building suitable parking that would allow us to open the area accessed off Swainson Road,” said Bruce Smith, the regional district’s communications officer.

“We are working with volunteers again this fall to work on another area of Black Mountain/sntsk’il’nten Regional Park. Our hope is that we would be able to get it ready for next year at a date to be determined. As well, weíve been diligently working on getting another park (Goats Peak) ready for opening.”


The Sheriff recently heard from a reader who spotted an e-board on The Great Trail of Canada (formerly the Trans Canada Trail) through the Myra Canyon.

While getting BC Parks to clarify its new e-bikes policy for provincial parks, the Sheriff asked about these new motorized trail-riding toys.

“Electric skateboards capable of 100-per-cent self-propelled motion are governed by the same rules as motor vehicles under section 24 (1) of the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation, and are restricted to park roads unless otherwise permitted by a sign or authorized by a parks officer,” said a BC Parks’ spokesman.


Several outdoor clubs in the Southern Interior are sharing $200,000 in provincial funding to 22 clubs to support off-road recreation, enhance tourism opportunities, and promote healthy living for all ages and abilities.

The clubs are receiving funding to improve trail riding and to promote rider safety, including the B.C. Off-Road Motorcycle Association, the B.C. Snowmobile Federation and the Quad Riders Association of British Columbia (ATVBC).

The next intake of applications to the Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Trail Fund will begin in early 2020 with at least $200,000 available to fund applicants.

Projects awarded funding from the first intake of ORV Trail Fund applications:

* Southern Okanagan Dirt Bike Club, $2,900: addition of two more sites to the campground of Okanagan Falls ORV recreation site, and re-establishment and grooming of features on the trail.

* Vernon Snowmobile Association, $7,600: widening, brushing and clearing of Passmore Trail as well as danger-tree

assessment and falling.

* Lumby Mabel Lake Snowmobile Association, $11,444: improved signage in four distinct areas on existing trails that provide access to Park Mountain and Nelson Mountain. Trail markers will be numbered to allow for reporting positions in the case of accidents or lost riders, aiding search-and-rescue location.

* B.C. Off-Road Motorcycle Association, $8,157: education to improve awareness of off-road motorcycle riding best practices through a 15-week Safety through Education public awareness campaign.

* B.C. Snowmobile Federation, $10,000: completion of a comprehensive review of all course curriculum (hands-on and online) for the Safe Operators Program.

This will involve clarifying program

policies and creating an online portal for instructors to communicate and receive updates.

* Quad Riders ATV Association of British Columbia, $4,910: supply and distribution of trail safety, caution and regulatory signs for use on ORV trail networks throughout B.C. to ensure ORV trails are properly signed and safe for all users.


The Regional Waste Reduction Office is reminding everyone to do their part to keep the neighbourhood safe by managing all things that attract wildlife around the home, including household garbage.

Conservation officers confirm bears have been spotted in several neighbourhoods from Southeast Kelowna to West Kelowna and Peachland. Waste reduction facilitator Rae Stewart says that means it’s time to be extra vigilant.

“This is the time of year bears amp up their foraging to build fat stores for winter denning.

“The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is to reduce your risk of conflict and take responsibility for your trash,” she said.

Stewart reminds residents to securely store their trash and only put garbage out the day of pickup, not the night before.

J.P. Squire, aka the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff, is a retired reporter. Email: jp.squire@telus.net

The idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily. If they find your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can become food-conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you and your family, your neighbors and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

The Regional Waste Reduction Office, with its waste contractor E360s, will be

conducting a pilot project of new

fully-automated, bear-resistant garbage carts in select neighbourhoods this fall.

Depending on the results of the pilot and how those carts stand up to bear activity, there may be new bear-resistant cart

options for residents in the future.

J.P. Squire, aka the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff, is a retired reporter. Email: jp.squire@telus.net

Wildsafe BC has the following tips to keep wildlife wild and help prevent bear-human conflict:

* Only put out garbage for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before.

* Encourage neighbors to do the same, offering to help if they are not able to put out garbage at appropriate times.

* Secure your garbage on non-collection days; store it securely in your home or in a garage or shed.

* Consider freezing kitchen scraps until the morning of collection day.

* Keep the barbeque clean and covered.

* Pick ripe or fallen fruit, mix well into the compost bin or put in yard waste cart.

* Use birdfeeders only in the winter.

You can report human-bear conflicts to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

J.P. Squire, aka the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff, is a retired reporter. Email: jp.squire@telus.net