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Archive for the ‘hidden treasures’ Category

unexpected trails #3

May 28, 2011

One of Penticton’s favorite tourist activities is a lazy summer afternoon’s float down the “Channel Parkway” – which is, in reality, the Okanagan River.  Back in the day, the river meandered here and there across the low-lying areas between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake.  While this was very picturesque and natural, it unfortunately occupied a rather large portion of the limited amount of land.  And as rivers are wont to do, the meanders had a tendency to change their courses over time, as well as flood occasionally.

Thus, the fathers of Penticton, in their infinite wisdom, chose to create a nice straight channel from one lake to the other, cutting off those nuisancy (is that a word?) oxbows.  This created an excellent stretch of slowly flowing water for channel-floaters, with a nice straight stretch to put in a highway bypass for those in too much of a hurry to drive through town.  The cut-off oxbows have also created a narrow “green space” between the highway and Penticton’s western residential areas, much appreciated by local waterfowl looking for nesting grounds and mosquitoes in search of still water in which to deposit their larvae.

These ox-bows are also a great place for a pleasant walk on a lazy afternoon.  The area featured in today’s photos is easily accessed by walking to the western end of Kinney Avenue, and then either turning south along a shady trail, or if you are a wee bit more adventuresome, trekking north through dimly marked footpaths.  There is also, incongruously, a gate along the metal fence on the west side of the trail, and if you go through it, and scramble up a small slope, you’ll find yourself standing on the edge of the highway.

At any rate, whether you choose north or south, you’ll be surprised at how peaceful and wild this little green space, tucked between residential areas and a busy highway, truly is.  Here’s a sample of what you’ll see.

unexpected trails #2

May 27, 2011

Penticton has so many wonderful hidden green spaces and unexpected trails tucked away unexpectedly among residential and commercial neighborhoods alike.

Today’s hidden green space is just a few blocks southwest of Cherry Lane Mall, tucked into a residential neighborhood with apartment buildings on the east, townhouses on the west, and singlefamily homes north and south.  Access trails are on Kinney Avenue near Baskin Street (next to Greystone Terrace apartments), and from Baskin Crescent just off Baskin Street.

The green space itself has only one narrow winding footpath along its western edge, and the rest is a surprisingly wild tangle of trees and wild rose bushes, surrounded by knee deep meadow grasses that wave gently in the breeze.  The surrounding residences seem to have turned their backs on this little bit of nature, with tall cement walls, and graffiti-strewn fences keeping civilized folks safe from this wild spot.  On the other hand, at least one of the local residents has seen the beauty of this green space.  A gate leads out of their yard, and passing under an arbour, they can slip into the meadow; they’ve even put out a bench where they can sit and enjoy.  Good for you, whoever you are!

A picture is worth a thousand words, so without more ado, here is a taste of this hidden bit of nature in Penticton.

unexpected trails

May 23, 2011

One of the great advantages of being a pedestrian rather than zooming along hiding behind the wheel of your car, is that as you meander along you have opportunity to discover lovely unexpected trails and green spaces. This particular lush green trail area is hidden away between multi-story apartment buildings.  To find it, start at the bus stop behind Cherry Lane Mall on Atkinson Street.  Cross the street and look for the brand new trail entry next to the Excelsior condo tower.  Wander along the trail until you reach the other end by the BMX park next to Lion’s Park (off Warren Avenue).  Take a picnic lunch along and enjoy it on the tables in the park.  Many folks bring their children to play in the playground – without realizing that such a wonderful “forest” is right there – a place of adventure and imagination for little ones, and peace and beauty for elders.  It is indeed amazing that such an untouched natural green space could be hiding among all those towers and parking lots.