Over the past three years Volunteers spent hundreds of hours restoring and maintaining 55 – 60 km of the High Rim Trail from hwy 33/Philpott Road to Cosens Bay in Kalamalka park. This section of trail is between Cosens Bay in Kalamalka Provincial Park and Mission Creek and Wrinkly Face Provincial Park is situated midway on the trail. The High Rim Trail is a section of the Okanagan Highlands Trail which was proposed in the early 90’s to circle the entire Okanagan Lake.

Recently, Cabin Forestry Services was successful, through a provincial Job Opportunities grant to put unemployed forestry workers back to work on the 55 km section of the High Rim trail where maintenance is still required. Crews have been working on the High Rim Trail since June and have completed about 17 km from the north end and about 15 km from the south. Some of the work includes widening the trail, restoration, removing danger trees and adding new creek crossings – new signage and km signs will be added. This year the trail has been used by more backpackers, runners and hikers.

In addition to this project, a federal grant has been applied for to work on the 55km section of the Okanagan Highlands Trail which continues south from Mission Creek to the Little White section. A bridge over Mission Creek is in the plan and will connect the High Rim Trail with the Okanagan Highlands trail. The backpacking opportunities are unlimited. This work will compliment the work that is going to be completed this October on the northern 55 km section of the High Rim Trail project. The contact person for this project is Steve Milne of Cabin Forestry Services – 250-308-4288 – email: cabinforestry@telus.net

We need support from the hiking community to make sure that we continue to have wonderful wilderness areas in the Okanagan to hike.

Trails in the Kelowna area are slowly being lost to cut backs to provincial parks budgets – for example the Goodes Basin trail in Okanagan Mountain Park has large timbers across the trail as does the trail to Lacoma Lake, making the route almost impassible. We have hiked these parks for decades but since the fire of 2003 the trails in Okanagan Mountain Park have been deteriorating.

The recent fires in Glenrosa and Terrace Mountain have impacted our hiking trails on Mt. Drought, Shorts Creek and Sugar Loaf to name some. It will be a very long time before we will hike these areas again.

We need non motorized multipurpose trails such as the Okanagan Highlands Trail which are centrally located and very accessible to everyone from Vernon to Naramata and beyond.

I am writing to a letter of support to The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts to help have a Grant approved for the completion of the following hiking trail work by Cabin Forestry Services. Please comment below in support of making the Okanagan Highlands Trail world class and for everyone to enjoy.