Spring nature hikes organized by local naturalist club will begin this weekend

By on February 26, 2014

The annual hikes organized and sponsored by the Oliver-Osoyoos Naturalists are ready to kick off this coming weekend.

The hikes take participants on long nature walks to view and enjoy some of the spectacular scenery and natural settings spread across Osoyoos and Oliver.

“These hikes are all about getting outside and enjoying nature,” said Skip King, a longtime member of the Oliver-Osoyoos Naturalists. “We try and add a few new hikes each year, while also ensuring that our more popular hikes return every year.”

Some club members attend every single hike, while others pick and choose which ones they want to participate in based on personal interests, said King.

You don’t have to be a club member to participate in any of the hikes, he said.

“We want to make it very clear that our hikes are open to all members of the community,” he said. “This is all about sharing a love of nature and enjoying everything that this beautiful region has to offer.”

The first hike will take place on Sunday, March 2 at the River Restoration Oxbows, Phase 2. The hike will feature an easy walk along the east ban from the CPR station in Oliver to the latest restoration site. Participants are asked to meet at the Oliver information center 9:30 a.m.

Contact Skip King at 250-485-0263 if you need more information.

The second hike takes place on Saturday, March 15 at the Similkameen River walk. This hike will include a leisurely walk along the river between Cawston and Keremeos. Participants will meet at the Lakeview Plaza in Osoyoos at 9 a.m. Contact Carol Boan at 250-495-6107 for more information.

The club’s annual general meeting will take place on Monday, March 24 at the Osoyoos United Church beginning at 7 p.m.

Guest speaker will be Lauren Meads, who will make a presentation about the Burrowing Owl Recovery Program.

The third hike will take place on Sunday, March 30 and will include birding and a visit to the old railroad tunnel in Midway. This will be a level walk and participants are being asked to bring a flashlight. Participants will meet at Lakeview Plaza in Osoyoos at 9 a.m.

Contact Doug Brown at 250-495-6164 for more information.

The next hike will take place on Sunday, April 13 and feature a trip to the White lake area, which features a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains. Participants will meet at the Oliver information centre at 9:30 a.m. Contact Margaretha Hogeling at 250-485-4222 for more information.

The next hike will take place on Saturday, April 26 and feature a guided walk and birding tour at the Osoyoos Desert Centre. Participants will meet in the parking lot at the desert centre at 9:30 a.m. Contact Carol Boan at 250-495-6107 or Donna Heard at 778-439-2066 for more information.

The next hike is set for Wednesday, May 7 at McIntyre Bluff, a hike that is described as moderately difficult with some steep sections and loose gravel. The round trip will take hikers 10 kilometres and take five hours to complete. Participants will meet at the Oliver information centre at 9:30 a.m. Contact Greg Byron at 250-495-5108 for more information.

The next hike is set for Sunday, May 25 and feature a trip between Madden Lake and Ripley Lake. This is a moderate hike with little elevation. Participants will meet at the Oliver information centre at 9 a.m. Contact Dan Nieman at 250-498-1560 for more information.

The hike set for Saturday, June 7 will include a visit to the Ingram Mountain grasslands, which features spectacular flowers among amazing grasslands. Participants will meet at the Lakeview Plaza in Osoyoos at 8:30 a.m. Contact Doug Brown at 250-495-6164 for more information.

The hike set for Sunday, June 22 will take participants to Skaha Bluffs and features a slow, but steady climb to great views of the entire Okanagan Valley. Sun., June 22 Skaha Bluffs. Walking poles are suggested. Participants will meet at the Oliver information centre at 9 a.m. Contact Paul Doyle at 250- 498-6636 for more information.

Another hike is set for Saturday, July 5 at the Beaconsfield Summit near the Apex Mountain area and features beautiful flowers and amazing views. This is a fairly strenuous hike to the top of the mountain. Poles are recommended along with good footwear. Participants will meet at the Oliver information centre at 9 a.m. Contact Barney Bedard at 250-535-0458 for more information.

The final hike of the season is set for Sunday, July 27 at Three Falls Trail in Manning Park. The hike will start at Strawberry Flats, and cover nine kilometres return. Participants will meet at the Lakeview Plaza in Osoyoos at 7:30 a.m. for car pooling. Contact Margaretha Hogeling at 250-485-4222 for more information.

For every hike, participants are asked to bring lunch and water and to wear suitable footwear and clothing.

Current annual membership dues are still only $25 per person or $30 per family. Your membership includes a subscription to “BC Nature,” mailed to members four times a year.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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