New hiking trail into Kelowna's Mission Creek Greenway planned | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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New hiking trail into Kelowna's Mission Creek Greenway planned

A new trail is planned for Layer Cake Mountain overlooking Mission Creek Greenway in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Tourism Kelowna
January 18, 2021 - 5:03 PM

Unless more than 20,000 people object to a land swap, a new trail will be built into Kelowna’s Mission Creek Greenway.

The plan is to exchange a few acres of land in Scenic Canyon Regional Park with cherry grower David Geen. That will allow for the existing trail from the end of Mantle Court in the Black Mountain area of the city to the top of Layer Cake Mountain to be upgraded and continued down the western side more than a kilometre to the rim overlooking Mission Creek. 

It would end at approximately the same elevation above the creek as Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Course on the south side.

“It’s not flat by any stretch,” Murray Kopp, parks services director for the Regional District of Central Okanagan, said. “It requires elevation gains to the top of Layer Cake Mountain, but it’s not incredibly steep. We’ve tried to configure it so the trail would have no more than 10 – with a maximum of 15 – per cent grades in any particular location. Most of the trail is far less than 10 per cent in grade.”

Eventually the trail could be extended down to the creek itself.

This map shows what lands are proposed to be exchanged in Scenic Canyon Regional Park.
This map shows what lands are proposed to be exchanged in Scenic Canyon Regional Park.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Regional District of Central Okanagan

Since Scenic Canyon was originally bought with tax dollars, any removal of land from the park has to be approved by residents, even though the regional district will actually get more land than it’s giving up, plus cash.

The regional district can get approval either through a referendum, or what’s called the alternative approval process where 10 per cent of eligible voters – estimated at 20,598 in this case – have to send in forms opposing the deal. All Central Okanagan residents are entitled to oppose the proposal.

The regional district has chosen to go the less expensive alternate approval route.

There are a number of parcels of land to be exchanged with Geen to get two parcels at either end of the park totalling about 8.7 hectares that he plans to plant in cherries, Kopp said.

In exchange, the regional district will get a 9.4 ha parcel, a few small pieces of land and some rights of way, along with $454,000 in cash.

The cash can only be put into a fund to buy more park land so can't be used for trail construction. Right now the Scenic Canyon trail isn't in the regional district's five year parks construction budget.

Those in favour don’t have to do anything. Those opposed have to get their forms in by 4 p.m. on March 1.

More details, maps and the response form can be found here.

Scenic Canyon Regional Park spans both sides of Mission Creek as far upstream as Hydraulic Creek. On the south side of Mission Creek it runs along both sides of KLO Creek.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro 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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