Growing up in a small town in the Okanagan, I often found myself using public transit not only for commuting to and from work/school, but also as a way to explore my surroundings. Many summer days were spent browsing the transit maps and riding routes unknown to me, only to discover some of my favourite places to this day.
When I was offered the chance to head to Vernon to work with BC Transit on their #ExploreBcByBus campaign, I instantly hopped on the opportunity. Finding things to do in Vernon that were accessible by bus wasn’t a difficult task. In fact, the only hard part was trying to cram as many activities as possible in within the 2 days we were there.
We knew the Okanagan was going through a bit of a heat wave, but we were a little surprised at how hot it actually was. Braving the 35 degree heat without nearly enough water, we decided to pick up some bikes and explore around Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. We wound our way through the meadows around the mountain and up Lookout trail where we were greeted by an breathtaking vista looking down into the valley.
We couldn’t resist the call from the vibrant green waters of Kal Lake, so we did the responsible thing, extended our ride and biked down to the beach for a swim. We scrambled through dry grass and along the rocky shoreline and jumped in without hesitation. The summer heat had neutralized any hint of chill within the crystal clear water, it wasn’t hard to stay until the sun went down.
Just incase we hadn’t gotten enough of the lake on the first day, we decided to head back to Kal beach first thing the next morning and try our luck with some paddle boards. We paddled out a few hundred feet, gliding above the clear water watching the fish swim underneath and eventually found ourselves in the middle of the lake without a soul around.
To finish off the trip, we made the trek up to BX Falls. The bus drops you off a little bit down the road from the entrance, but after a brisk walk up Silverstar Road you’ll find yourself at the trail head. It’s a fairly easy hike, about 2hr round trip to the falls and back. We were glad for the thick forest that provided a bit of coverage from the sun. At the end you’re rewarded with a nice little water fall and an ice cold wading pool.
Visit www.explorebcbybus.com to get inspired by their suggested day trips for adventure seekers. Plus, if you share how you’re using BC Transit for your adventures this summer using #ExploreBCbyBus, you’ll be entered to win weekly prizes along with a grand-prize summer getaway!