May 07, 2016 - 9:30 AM
WEST KELOWNA – The Central Okanagan’s newest hiking trail is being called better than Knox Mountain by a West Kelowna parks planner.
The Mount Boucherie Trails in West Kelowna opened late summer of last year.
Mark Roberts says the old trail was popular with hard core hikers but inaccessible for many.
“The trail itself… essentially went straight up and down the mountain,” he says.
Now after around $70,000 worth of improvements, the three trails cover 3 kilometres with 38 switchbacks. The trails are for everyone, including dogs on leash and cyclists.
“It gives spectacular views all the way north to Vernon and out towards Rose Valley and back towards Peachland and Penticton,” Roberts says. “I’d compare it to the Apex trail on Knox Mountain but I think it’s much better than Knox. You get spectacular views of the entire valley and the trail itself is more rewarding.”
There are three trails ranging in difficulty.
Boucherie Rush trail runs up the face, the Flint Man trail parallels east boundary road and the Andesite Grinder is more challenging trail that is quite steep and has looser footing, he says.
Roberts says the Andesite Grinder is one of the regular lunch time jaunts for West Kelowna city staff.
"Some people can make it up in 17 minutes and others take their time," he says.
You will see all types of vegetation and species of trees along the trails. Snakes, deer, birds and other wildlife have been spotted by lucky hikers. Interpretive signs with historical and geological information are posted along the way as well.
"All the signs have been crafted in partnership with Westbank First Nation and one of the signs is dedicated to the First Nation story of the importance of the mountain,” Robert says.
City of West Kelowna communications supervisor Kirsten Jones says the trail has blown up in popularity lately.
“As you’re coming up the trail you get a 180 degree view of the whole valley,” she says. “You go up and down the same trail with views at different points. It’s a beautiful trail.”
There are two parking areas, one near the baseball diamonds and another further south.
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