This past summer the Walk Around Lake Country (WALC) group put the finishing touches to the trails its members have been locating on Spion Kop, completing a cairn marker at The Grand Overlook from where you can see the magnificent Okanagan Valley stretching south beyond Kelowna. Lake Okanagan, Wood Lake and Duck Lake, the orchards and vineyards of Lake Country and the surrounding mountains complete a spectacular vista.
The trails, all on public Crown Land, mean that you can now walk from a trail head at the Raven Ridge sub-division in Carr’s Landing, along trails identified with coloured diamond markers, through to the other trail head at The Lakes sub-division in Winfield. Along the way there are connecting trails to the Spion Kop summit and to another stunning view to the North, along Wood Lake and Lake Kalamallka, overlooking the Oyama isthmus.
WALC has also published a map of the trails and this will be available at the Lake Country Visitor Centre, the information counter at the District of Lake Country Municipal Office, the Lake Country Museum, and at the two trail heads. It is also included in the DLC Parks and Trails Guide, and in the Lake Country Fall 2012/Winter 2013 Activity Guide available from the DLC.
WALC members and other community volunteers have been busy over the past three years identifying and marking existing animal and other trails to bring hiking access to the wonderful Spion Kop views. Wherever possible, trails were chosen to avoid roadways and other paths obviously used by motorized vehicles. Some of the trails have recently been damaged by “off roaders” and WALC is requesting that motorized vehicles stay off the marked hiking trails and be respectful of hikers.
The accompanying photograph shows some of the WALC members celebrating the achievement at The Grand Overlook. WALC is a group of volunteers dedicated to enabling walking conditions throughout Lake Country, hoping eventually for a truly circular route connecting all our local gathering points.
If you are interested in joining WALC, or receiving more information about this community group, please contact Dev Fraser at 250-766-4399.
One of WALC’s hardest-working volunteers is Oyama resident Arnold Trewhitt. He has been active since the beginning of the trail building and was at the cairn-building “ceremony” as well. This photo shows Arnold enjoying a well-earned lunch break at the Spion Kop summit.
Arnold, his late wife Gladys, and their family have also been very active in maintaining the High Rim Trail on the eastern ridge above Lake Country.