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Knox Mountain Park photo bombs Trudeau during Kelowna visit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and friends hike the Apex Trail in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park.
September 06, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KELOWNA - Knox Mountain Park has arrived baby, and if you don’t believe it, just ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau…if you can get close to him.

Canada’s first minister, in Kelowna for the federal Liberal caucus retreat, made a point of hiking the Apex Trail in the city’s premier natural park Tuesday evening, Sept. 5, not long after touching down.

Everywhere Trudeau goes, national media follow him and Knox Mountain Park managed to photo bomb the prime minister with its soaring lake views and stunning mountain vistas.

His handlers aren’t saying why Trudeau chose to hike the Apex Trail but it’s no surprise to Bill Bowering the Prime Minister would join the many tourists and locals who make the trek.

“I know he has an interest in the outdoors, so this is the natural place to go in Kelowna,” says the president of the Friends of Knox Mountain Park.

While certainly not as famous (or as difficult) as Vancouver’s Grouse Grind, the Apex Trail has been a go-to destination for local hikers and bikers since the city’s Parks and Recreation department began fencing off the trail and adding stairs to the steeper portions a decade ago.

With so many access points, it’s impossible to calculate precisely how many people use the park and its trail system but previous pedestrian counts on the popular Apex trail show at least 30,000 people a year are making the tough little hike to the first lookout.

Its appeal as an urban park is undeniable, fronting on 1,400 metres of Okanagan Lake, rising 300 metres to the summit of Knox Mountain.

The park even has its own body of water, Kathleen Lake on the east side of the park and is habitat to a variety of plants and animals.

Vehicle counters on the road have shown at least 400 vehicles a day climb to the first look out and half of those venture further up to the top, that is when it’s not closed because of fire risk.

With so many access points, it’s impossible to calculate precisely how many people use the park annually, but previous pedestrian counts on the popular Apex trail show at least 30,000 people a year are making the tough little hike to the first lookout.

Bowering and the Friends of Knox Mountain Park can take a lot of the credit for the park’s expansion and improvement in the last 20 years and he says park users can look forward to a new and improved Rotary Trail in the near future.

However with all that popularity comes problems and Bowering says the Friends of Knox Mountain Park are always welcoming new members, and will hold their next public meeting Nov. 2.

Okanagan sunflowers on Knox Mountain in Kelowna.
Okanagan sunflowers on Knox Mountain in Kelowna.

Downtown Kelowna as seen from Knox Mountain.
Downtown Kelowna as seen from Knox Mountain.

The two lookouts on Knox Mountain.
The two lookouts on Knox Mountain.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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