Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hiking the Mission Creek Greenway, Kelowna BC

This week we have been hiking each day on the Mission Creek Greenway trail... which follows Mission Creek from the Okanagan Lake inland for about 18 km.  Click here for full page map.

The Mission Creek Greenway is one of the most successful community funded projects in Kelowna's history... raising over $700,000 in a six month campaign. Plus landowners have donated over 41 acres valued at more than $800,000.

Yesterday was a perfect day for a hike... not too hot and clear blue sky. We were told that this part of the creek was a good place to look for gold.

Sure enough, a little further down the trail I heard the sound of rocks being moved around in the water... and there was a guy with his pan and a shovel, having fun looking for gold. Look at all the gold in the water! Picture is not altered.

A lady saw me carrying a clear plastic bag of rocks and she said she collects rocks every day she hikes too. If you look really, really, really close you might see a tiny fleck of gold in the deepest recessed part of the rock on top, right of centre.

The trail is well marked with posts every half of a kilometre... and there are lots of benches to stop and rest overlooking the creek.

Occasionally there are picnic tables.  Isn't this a wonderful spot to enjoy a picnic?

We saw several bushes of Elderberry. They looked so good I had to try one... but it was very tart.

Hence I was not nearly so brave when I saw these clusters of other berries.

The environment changed when we crossed Hollywood Road South and went into Phase Two of this trail system.

Where the fist section today was very dry... this section was much wetter and there was a large mass of Forget-Me-Nots.

These Fleabanes added a spot of colour to the day.

We came upon a stagnant pond... a perfect environment for algae and frogs.

We crossed two substantial bridges like this one... which is called the Friends Bridge.

Most of the time the trail is built well above the creek bed... but here the access to the water is gentle... and the creek volume is very low.

This section of the trail was the most beautiful of the entire trail.  Here the tree canopy provides filtered shade... and the lush trees are so abundant. You can hear the lapping water and birds singing.

This is the first cedar tree we have seen along the trial. The path thru these parts is truly a joy to walk.

This is called the Cedars Bridge... obviously because of it's proximity to the grove of cedar trees.

A number of boardwalks... deluxe boardwalks with handrails... make the hike most enjoyable and ensure that we are always safe and dry when walking thru the boggy, wet areas.

These snowberries look delicious... but I was satisfied to just get this picture of them.

We were warned by other hikers that they had seen a bear.  A little further down the trail I took this photo of bear scat. That was as close as we got to the bear.  Looks like this bear was enjoying fresh elderberries... they have pits a little smaller than a cherry.

As we returned to the parking lot this huge marbleized boulder had a plaque affixed that told us Phase Two of the Mission Creek Greenway Project was funded by the Canada British Columbia Infrastructure Program.

The washrooms on the right centre are a generous size... and there is lots of room for parking.

Today we planned to hike the last section to the end... furthest from the lake. But there was so much smoke in the air from the Washington fires we did our 10,000 steps in Orchard Park Mall.

"If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk." -Raymond Inmon