‘Walk Around Lake Country’ improves trails, signage, maps

Published on November 1, 2022 by Okanagan Journal

Okanagan Centre Beach Trail is pictured.Photo: WALC Lake Country Trail Map
Okanagan Centre Beach Trail is pictured. This jewel meanders through a strip of forest alongside Okanagan Lake stony beaches below Okanagan Centre Road West.

Lake Country has been working over the past year to make its network of trails easier to navigate.

The Walk Around Lake Country initiative received about $100,000 in funding through the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative, as well as $20,000 from the Lake Country Rotary Club.

A lot of work has taken place in 2022.

So far the project has included upgrades to trails, decommissioning of excess trails, installation of signage, the creation of paper maps, and an online map tool.

“This project started with hundreds of hours of volunteer time, identifying, describing, and photographing every trail in Lake Country,” says Dev Fraser, spokesperson for the Walk Around Lake Country initiative.

Fraser says once inventoried, the group worked with district staff and software designers to ensure all trail details were correctly captured.  More volunteer hours were dedicated to signage design and locations, working with district staff and project contractors, says Fraser.

“I am grateful to all the dedicated individuals who made this project a reality,” says Fraser.

A lot of physical work has gone into Jack Seaton Park, located on Camp Road. Workers have done gravel surfacing and the installation of kiosks. Trailhead signs and trail markers were funded by the grant.

Some of Lake Country’s trails

Photo: WALC
High Rim Trail overlooking Oyama's isthmus.

Help from Lake Country Rotary

Rotary’s donation was used for two aspects: an improved crossing over marsh drainage to facilitate safety and protect the surrounding natural areas as well as improvement to the surface and grades on the Marsh Loop Trail, increasing accessibility for people with strollers, walkers, wheelchairs and smaller-wheeled bikes.

“Rotary is pleased to support projects like this one, making trails in our community safer and accessible to more people more often,” said Lake Country Rotary Club President, Kathryn Battrum.

Meanwhile, some of the trails within Jack Seaton Park have been decommissioned to allow overused forested areas to rejuvenate.

Where to get paper maps

Paper map pamphlets that detail all of Lake Country’s trails will soon be available at the District office, 10150 Bottom Wood Lake Road, Lake Country.

“Trails offer accessible and affordable opportunities for health and wellness, exploration and connectivity within neighbourhoods and the greater community,” said long time WALC member Elisabeth Dahnert. With the completion of this trail mapping and wayfinding initiative, it is hoped residents, newcomers and visitors will get out on the amazing trails Lake Country has to offer.