For those with mobility issues, getting into a quiet nature setting can be challenging. If you’re on a scooter, an electric wheelchair, using a walker, or using poles for balance, you really need more details on trails than just, easy, moderate or difficult classifications.
For scooters and wheelchairs, you need to be aware of the clearance level of your wheels and the width of your scooter. I have been exploring our local trails with my husband on his mobility scooter and we have discovered some wonderful routes that work well for his scooting and my walking. One great nature walk we really enjoy is a small portion of the Grey Canal Bella Vista trail from the top of Pinto Drive heading east towards Crosby Road.
The trail is hard-packed gravel, fairly wide and level. Continue halfway - where the trail splits with a steel gate on the left side - and return the same way. Round trip is about 1.5 km with wonderful views of Okanagan Lake, the orchards, the airport and east towards the city and Bluenose Mountain. Lots of shady trees along the way.
Another trail located away from city noise is the Longacre Trail, which runs parallel to Longacre Drive. To reach the trailhead, take Apollo Road from Okanagan Landing Road. Continue past the Longacre intersection to a small parking lot on the right.
This fully paved wide trail gradually takes you uphill to Bench Row Road by the Seasons subdivision. The beginning of the trail leads through fields and halfway is a wetland area with bulrushes. Several benches offer stunning views of Okanagan Lake. This quiet trail with very little shade is ideal in cooler weather. Keep your dog on a leash, as coyotes are in the area.
For those who enjoy the lakeshore, Marshall Road between Cummins and Lakeshore has now been paved. You can scooter from the dog park in Marshall Fields to Lakeshore Park and the beach without travelling on busy Okanagan Landing Road. For a shady quiet route, we enjoy Polson Park and the newly expanded boardwalk along Vernon Creek.
For more information about local trails, visit the Ribbons of Green website.
- Catherine Lord is the Ribbons of Green vice-president