BX Falls and Creek
Discover how Vernon became the land of fruit and honey by taking a hike on the oasis-like BX Falls and Creek. Adventurers may follow along the channels of water diverted in the early 20th Century to quench the thirst of orchard fruit and ranch cattle. What was once a transportation route for logs traveling to mills down in the Valley is now a hiking route lined with trees, vegetation and wildlife. Steep sections of the 2.2 kilometre trail make for a great cardiovascular workout and require good hiking shoes to navigate. For more terrain to explore, hikers may link up with the Grey Canal Historic Trail that continues on for almost five kilometres.
Camping the Great Outdoors
There are nine campsites in the Vernon area at which visitors may rough it in a tent rather than sleep comfortably in a hotel, motel or resort bed. Ellison Provincial Park is one place where outdoor lovers may search for bugs and shells instead of hunt for lost golf balls. Roasting hot dogs over an open fire at Kalamalka Lake and Kin beaches campsites is a tasty option to a restaurant meal on a Summer evening. The BX Falls campsite is a convenient place to establish home base before hiking the BX Falls and Creek or Grey Canal Historic trails. Local merchants are stocked and ready to sell campers extra gear that they require to enjoy explore the nature that they learn about at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre.
Grey Canal Historic Trail
Thanks to the 1906 Grey Canal irrigation project hikers and vineyards thrive amidst the undulating hills surrounding Vernon. The Grey Canal Historic Trail is 4.8 kilometres of spectacular Okanagan Valley views marked with interpretive signs explaining the local ecosystems. The trail hooks up with the BX Falls and Creek Trail, where evidence of Vernon’s link with logging and agriculture are in plain view. Dogs love sniffing and exploring the many scented trails left by the area’s wildlife and vegetation.
Life on the Beach
A Vernon hotel or motel bed may be comfortable, but not even a pillow can match the soft sensation of sand under the sleepy head. The city’s numerous beaches also provide a more soothing place to sleep for campers roughing it in a tent at an area campsite. A restaurant and liquor store make the yellow sands of Kal Beach a popular destination; Kal Beach is located North of Kalamalka Provincial Park on the tip of Kalamalka Lake. Sandy Beach campers may flip-flop down to Kin Beach on Lake Okanagan, pour on the suntan lotion and rock to sleep to the sounds of waves and laughter. Vernon’s beaches are a wonderful place to play and build sandcastles to rival the snow sculptures created at the Annual Winter Carnival.
Kalamalka Park Trails
There’s a trail for every type of hiking and biking adventurer at Kalamalka Provincial Park in Vernon: bobbing and weaving rocks and roots, navigating paved and gravel trails or crunching branches while exploring wild terrain. The park’s 14 hiking and biking trails provide young or old, tame or free-spirited, with an opportunity to explore the great outdoors at their own pace. The paved Juniper Trail leads to Kalamalka Lake and the park’s picnic areas, while the Crest Trail gives dogs access to play on the beach. Wilderness lovers don’t mind hiking the Cougar Trail to their campsite; nature admirers appreciate the Corral Trail’s easy, grassland walk overlooking Kalamalka Lake. Great views of the lake make continuing on the moderate, woodland Lookout Trail a worthwhile adventure as it turns steep and rocky.
Not every Vernon hotel or motel has a pool, but every guest may choose from 10 waterslides to splash down at a nearby waterslide and recreation park. A mini-golf course, arcade and picnic area also make this a must-visit attraction for birthday and family vacations. The water is heated and tubes are provided so swimsuits are all that is required, however, it might make sense to shopping for earplugs to drown out screams of joy. A waterslide and recreation park's location 5-kilometres North of Vernon makes it a convenient attraction at which to spend a hot North Okanagan day in the Sun. While it does not have a restaurant, there is a concession stand on site to feed growling stomachs; souvenirs may also be purchased at the gift shop.
Starlight Drive-In Movie Theatre
Watching a movie under the stars at a drive-in theatre is a great way to cap-off an evening that began with a romantic restaurant meal on Lake Okanagan. Only a 20-minute drive North of Vernon, North America's largest drive-in screen has two show times in the Summer: one at dusk, and another close to midnight. Popcorn and snacks may be purchased at the snack bar before settling into the car to catch the movie previews. This attraction is the next-best use of an open field other than a golf course; watching a movie at a drive-in theatre also helps to keep the romance going before heading back to the hotel or motel room.
Don’t just tour a ranch, saddle up and ride the Vernon frontier settled by free-spirited ranchers back in the 19th Century. Inexperienced riders can take riding lessons, and there is also coaching on how to speak the language of horses. There are horse trails through large, old-growth forests or more groomed trails along the Shuswap River. Lessons will come in handy for those who chose to join a real life cattle drive, while an overnight camping expedition in the wild will provide a taste of survival on the open range. Two-stepping to country music at the local barn dance is a great way to top off a day of horseback riding, because life as a rancher wasn’t all work. Some riders may require a long hot tub or sauna soaking back at the hotel to ease aching but happy seat muscles.
Fun Factor Family Fun Centre
Kids of all ages, including adults, can let loose at the Fun Factor Family Fun Centre in Vernon like shoppers do at the nearby Village Green Mall. It may not have golf, but there are many neat games like sumo wrestling, bouncy castles, laser tag, and a velcro wall to tackle. One shouldn’t volunteer for the dunk tank right after eating, but a lively game of Gladiator Joust is an intense way to work-off a restaurant meal. The Fun Factor Family Fun Centre is close to several Vernon hotels for those who are visiting on their birthday and require a place to celebrate. It is also located within walking distance of the Lake City Casinos for adults who wish to try their luck at a higher-stakes game.
Kokanee Salmon and other fish stir beneath the surface of a Vernon lake in the quiet calm of a Summer morning. Rainbow Trout peer nervously through a tiny hole in the ice that was drilled by an angler on a cold Winter’s day. Vernon’s many lakes provide fishing enthusiasts with a year-round opportunity to catch for food or sport amidst the watchful eyes of eagles, moose and other wildlife. The feisty salmon struggling on the end of the reel will make a tasty restaurant-style meal. When a wriggling trout pops from an icy hole, the game of cat and mouse between angler and nature is done for now. The smell of fish cooking on an open fire will tease awaiting hungry tummies while a trophy trout on the wall will be the subject of tall tales from the angler who caught it. There are plenty of shops near Vernon at which to rent or buy fishing gear and attractive bait for luring unsuspecting fish. Some good deals on fishing reels, tackle and other gear may also be found in the Vernon business directory or classifieds.