Penticton has plenty of outdoor activity options this spring

Spring means get outside

"Four seasons of fun" is new a collaboration between Castanet and Travel Penticton showcasing what Penticton has to offer all year round. Watch for it every Monday morning.

With temperatures expected to reach over 20° this upcoming week, it's time to put away the winter coats and pull out the sunscreen. Wild flowers have been blooming all over the Okanagan Valley and with the beautiful weather, it is a great time to head outside and do some exploring.

With countless wide open spaces around Penticton and the Okanagan, it really isn’t hard to find a park, beach, trail or pathway to socially distance and enjoy some time outdoors.

To help you discover a plethora of scenic hiking trails just minutes from Penticton, try out the AllTrails App. It showcases local trails, their length, ratings and difficulty so you can find the perfect trail to suit the type of adventure you’re looking to have.

If you like to live a bit more of a fast paced life, the Trailforks App is great for biking enthusiasts and will point you in the right direction to fantastic nearby mountain biking trails.

The Bench, which is perfectly located just off the KVR trail offers fantastic coffee and homemade snacks to either begin your adventure the right way or refuel during your journey.

If you are needing to stock up on some hiking, camping, backpacking or climbing gear make sure to visit Eskala on Front Street. Eskala (which means go climb in Spanish) opened in September of 2019 and owner Claudia Reyes Nunez says, “it’s been a challenge, a bit of a rollercoaster. We were closed from March to May of last year due to Covid 19, and in the fall when there is great conditions for climbing, there were fires in the Skaha bluffs.”

However, in spite of those troubles, she has noticed an increase of people looking for activities to participate in and greater enthusiasm in people looking to get outside.

“If you are looking to try something different, there are some amazing overnight hiking trails in the area with great campsites along the way,” she recommends, and adds “you can also ride your bike over the Kettle Valley Railway for several days. You can make it all the way down to the Kootenays.”

Eskala sells all kinds of packable gear for your adventures and Reyes Nunez is a fantastic resource for advice on climbing spots, hikes and beautiful hidden areas to escape to.

As for must need supplies she recommends Voss UV Protection Apparel which protects you for any activities you participate in or are just great for day to day use and says “no matter what, merino wool always makes the best birthday or Christmas gift for someone.”

If you’re new to the area or a bit weary to go out on your own, Sagebrush Tours offers amazing opportunities to explore the outdoors with an experienced guide who can teach you about the region, give you safety tips and show you some unique incredible spots.

They offer anything from Bat Tours where you are led on a guided walk through Peachland and Birding adventures around Vaseaux Lake to more lengthy and challenging tours up Okanagan Mountain in Kelowna or a Desert Tour in Osoyoos.

For 28 years Skaha Rock Adventures has been offering local climbing tours. Led by guides with the highest standard of certification, all are welcome and encouraged to learn.

“We teach a lot of families, even ones with young children, and there is no maximum age,” says Russ Turner, owner of Skaha Rock Adventures. “In fact we are encouraging seniors over 55 to come out this year with a special we’re calling Freedom 55+.”

The climbing season typically runs from mid-March to mid-October and all skillsets are welcome.

“We will teach everyone, from first time climbers to advanced climbers looking to upgrade their skill sets,” says Turner.

If you don’t have equipment, you’re still in luck. All you need to bring is a lunch, water and your running shoes. They’ll provide all the gear you need. They are offering a 15 per cent discount for anyone booking in a group over three throughout the season and 20 per cent off for midweek groups booking three or more for April and May.

With over 2,000 guided excursions throughout the typical season and over 55,000 clients since their opening, Skaha Rock Adventures is a great way to learn to climb in one of Canada’s top climbing regions.

The South Okanagan/ Similkameen region is an amazing birding location and home to over 250 species of birds with more species arriving daily throughout their spring migration. The area also has a diverse array of spectacular wildlife to see and the best way to see them is with Mountain Bluebird Tours.

They offer guided walking or hiking bird watching tours where you can see rare and beautiful birds like the very rare Sage Thrasher, and wildlife photography tours where you can get up close with the region’s most spectacular animals like California bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, mountain goats, deer and several species of snakes.

Although their most popular tour is a half day birding tour between Penticton and OK Falls, “my favourite tours are full day tours where we can go to rarer, more special locations, even down to Osoyoos” says Eric Newton, owner and guide for Mountain Bluebird Tours.

“All tours are completely customizable. We know areas that people don’t know about, the hidden gems. We are always out and up to date on where to find a specific species and can educate you on ecosystems and habitats. Spring is a fantastic time to explore nature, it is so rejuvenating and rewarding,” he adds.

Mountain Bluebird Tours offer tours year round and specialize in Covid safe, guided tours with individuals or small groups. Springtime is a great time to see some of the Okanagan’s rarest birds and the amphibians are calling out already!

Starting in May, Epic Cycling offers high end biking tours in the region and will newly begin offering walking tours. If you enjoy exploring in style, any one of their tours is a fun way to experience the wine region with knowledgeable and athletic guides.

Throughout the ride, stop for wine tastings and enjoy a catered picnic lunch with local farm to table ingredients, in a lovely vineyard setting. Bike rides, hikes and e-bike tours are available to explore Penticton's many nearby wineries.

“All tours include pre-booked wine tastings for your group and a support vehicle for your wine purchases so you can enjoy the experience without worrying about a thing,” says Tamara Paul, owner of Epic Cycling.

Even if you are local and familiar with the area, these luxurious and carefree tours are a fun way to get outside and enjoy nature.

When you’ve worked up an appetite from enjoying nature and the beautiful spring weather, reward yourself with some drinks and delicious food at some of the fantastic patio spots in town.

Learn more at www.visitpenticton.com and on social @visitpenticton

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