Touring Kelowna and West Kelowna by Bike or by foot.
Cycling is a great way to get around the city, surrounding countryside and the mountain trails. It is the most efficient mode of transportation ever developed. If you prefer, the routes detailed below are perfectly suited for touring by foot. Get some exercise, feel healthier and experience the beautiful Okanagan in a new way. You can rent a bike in the city close to the city of Kelowna’s many bicycle routes, rent on location in places like the Myra Canyon Trestles up in the mountains south of the city, or rent in the city and get a shuttle up to the trestles.
Bicycle routes in the extend all the way from the Airport on the North end to orchards and wineries in the south. In West Kelowna the Gellatly Bay waterfront area is a great place to bike or walk on a level path along the lake. Pick up a “Kelowna Visitors Map” from the guest service staff in the hotel, it has bicycle routes shown as red dotted lines alongside the roads. It also shows some routes that pass through a few of the cities many waterfront parks. Alternatively you can go to www.kelownamap.com and view the bicycle route map on your mobile device. Get a Kelowna Visitors Map from the hotel front desk now and start planning your route; I have some suggestions as follows:
Biking the Kelowna lake front. Renting a bike, start your trip from South Pandosy or the downtown Lakefront Promenade. Rent it downtown from Lakefront Sports Center, located right on the Lakefront Promenade by the Grand Hotel. The whole downtown lakefront is a bicycle friendly zone which connects up to Abbott Street, a popular biking path through the residential neighborhood along the lake. The Lakefront Promenade bike path goes right through City Park along the beach, passing under the bridge to access Abbott Street. Keep an eye out for little beach access parks along Abbott, usually located at the point where a road ends at the lake, a great place for a picnic along the way.
More ways to explore the city by biking or walking. Just south of the South Pandosy area is Lakeshore Road. Follow it for one km till you get to a small bridge over Mission Creek. There you will find the entrance to the Mission Creek Greenway. It is a level gravel path meandering along Mission Creek, a great place to be on a hot day. After 5.8 km you reach the EECO Center on Springfield Rd located at Mission Creek Regional park. From there you can take Springfield Road back to Pandosy Street, passing Orchard Park Mall, or continue for several more kilometers up the Greenway into East Kelowna.
Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park is located at the end of Stewart Road in the upper Mission area of Kelowna (right beside Crawford Estates). At the top four-way stop drive straight trough (now on Stewart Road) to the end/park entrance and park in the upper parking area. Myra-Bellevue is a treasure trove of trails with riding suitable for all levels or disciplines. This is by far the most extensive network in the area. There are endless combinations of cross country/all mountain loops as well as technical all natural downhill’s (Vapour Trial to Connector to Heckle or Rocky Screech is a favorite that can be shuttled via June Springs Road), get your map from Tourism Kelowna located on HWY 97.
Knox Mountain Park is located just North of downtown Kelowna. If you start from the Lakefront Promenade to the Rotary Marshes you can connect with the city bike route North to the foot of Knox Mountain. See the article on page 38 for more details. The road that winds up the mountain plays host to the Knox Mountain Hill Climb, an annual event. Take your camera, because you will get spectacular views of the city. Once near the top of the mountain you can connect to Clifton Ave via Rio Drive and take a route down through Glenmore and explore the Northern part of the City..
Major Recreational Facilities
With a number of recreation facilities in Kelowna and one in West Kelowna, you’re sure to find a great location for a swim, work-out, fitness class and more.
Parkinson Recreation Centre @ 1800 Parkinson Way, Kelowna. Features: 25M swimming pool, leisure pool, steam room, whirlpool, gymnasium, cardio & weight rooms, activity rooms, fitness classes, meeting/activity/party room rentals, banquet. Call Sport & Recreation at (250) 469-8800.
Kelowna Family Y @ 375 Hartman Road. Features: 25M swimming pool, diving tank, leisure pool, hot tub, saunas, cardio centre, circuit and weight training, group fitness and aqua-fitness classes and multi-purpose rooms. Call the Kelowna Family ‘Y’ at (250) 491-YMCA (9622). Also see H2O ad and article on page 30.
Capital News Centre @ 4105 Gordon Dr, Features: Two indoor artificial turf fields, 2 NHL sized arenas, an indoor running track and fitness facility. Additional amenities include a physiotherapy clinic, library, concession, fully licensed restaurant and several meeting and tournament offices. Call the Capital News Centre at (250) 764-6288
Johnson-Bently Memorial Aquatic Centre @ 3737 Old Okanagan Highway, West Kelowna. Features: Pool, fitness room, swimming and fitness classes, activity arid meeting room. Call The Johnson-Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre at (250) 768-4442..
Mission Creek Greenway
ocals and visitors alike appreciate one of the Okanagan’s most accessible wilderness paths as it winds along Mission Creek, starting at Lakeshore Road (between Cook Road and Lexington) and extending all the way to just below Gallaghers Canyon in East Kelowna. The Greenway protects 400 acres of park and provides an important link to the wilderness areas above the city. The first 7.5 km are flat and wide, popular with cyclists, dog walkers, runners and equestrian riders.
The remaining 9.5 kms of the trail are challenging and rise above the canyon at two different locations. The reward of exploring the most eastern portion of the trail is a spectacular view filled with cedar groves, an eagle’s view of the winding creek and some of the most remarkable geology in the valley.
There are several locations from which you can access the Greenway. At the Springfield Road entrance to the park, you will find the EECO CENTRE (ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR THE CENTRAL OKANAGAN).
Knox Mountain Park
Minutes from downtown, at the north end of Ellis Street, you will find Kelowna’s premiere natural park, Knox Mountain. The Park comprises 235 hectares (580 acres) of environmentally sensitive, Ponderosa Pine forest and grassland. It is home to a variety of animal and plant life, some of which are endangered species. Kokanee salmon spawn along the lakeshore adjacent to the park.
It offers scenic vistas of the city and lake and recreational opportunities for people of all ages. There are a variety of trails with a range of difficulties for walking, hiking and mountain bike riding. The Paul’s Tomb trail of the park is perfect for the more adventurous. There are also several lookout kiosks on the Mountain including the recently constructed Pioneers’ Pavilion. Though named after Arthur Booth Knox, an early rancher in the area, most of the land for the Park was given to the City in 1939 by Dr Benjamin deFurlong Boyce, Kelowna’s first physician. The park is open to vehicle traffic from March 15 to November 15, dependent on weather conditions. Maps of the park and trails are on a kiosk display in the park. Detailed trail maps are also available from the City of Kelowna Parks Department, 1 359 KLO Road and the Tourism Kelowna Visitor’s Centre at 544 Harvey Avenue.
UBC’s Okanagan campus opened its doors in 2005, and has since earned a reputation as an intimate learning community powered by tier-one research and world-class teaching.
What started as a 3,500-student population five years has grown to 8,500 students. As the campus expands with new, custom facilities, so too does the research capacity and the potential of students who work actively alongside faculty.
UBC’s Okanagan library shares in an elaborate information storehouse that boasts 5.8 million volumes, 5.3 million microforms, more than 833,000 maps, audio, video and graphic materials, and more than 80,000 serial titles. Visitors find a warm, welcoming atmosphere and wide-ranging resources that include more than 100 computers for individual and group study, plus quiet spaces for concentrated learning.
Through interdisciplinary study in the sciences, social sciences and humanities, the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences educates global citizens who value diversity and equality, avoid environmental degradation, and contribute to society in all its forms.
In the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS), the unexpected—and even peculiar—is not only encouraged but celebrated. FCCS brings together traditional disciplines related to the creation and analysis of all forms of art, offering innovative new paths of interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate study.
The strength of the Faculty of Education lies in a belief that, together, faculty and students create an environment of academic excellence and personal growth. Professors know students by name and collaborate with them on meaningful initiatives that go beyond the basics to incorporate community-service learning and advocacy.
UBC’s Faculty of Health and Social Development brings an integrated team approach to research and scholarship focusing on some of the most challenging health and social development issues of our time. Nursing, social work, health studies and human kinetics join forces to transform and ensure the well-being of our communities
Faculty of Management students are treated to a personalized learning environment, and take part in a variety of hands-on and experiential learning opportunities that will help them become global thinkers and leaders.
The School of Engineering offers students a fully-integrated experience in civil, electrical and mechanical concentrations that ensures they develop into well-rounded professionals who will thrive amidst the realities of the modern workplace.
UBC welcomes visitors to campus year-round to enjoy all the great food, recreation, architecture and other services and amenities the university has to offer. For more information, visit www.ubc.ca/okanagan.
Okanagan College’s mission is to transform lives and communities, which it’s been doing since 1963. The college is now the second largest in BC outside of Victoria and the lower mainland, and serves over 20,000 students annually at its four main campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Salmon Arm.
With a $1 billion+ impact on the provincial economy, it’s cemented itself as an indispensable, well-respected educational institution.
OC boasts over 120 certificate, diploma, university transfer courses, and degree programs in various disciplines, including arts and science, health and social development, engineering technology, business, continuing studies, and foundational programs for individuals looking to upgrade their skills.
Its trades program is the second largest in British Columbia, and in 2016 will welcome the grand opening of the new Trades Training Complex—the largest, most comprehensive and environmentally sustainable facility between the lower mainland and Calgary.
Okanagan College is open to visitors year-round. For more information, visit http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/