Working Out in the Okanagan


Okanagan Lake above Knox Mtn Photo Credit : Bari Demers
In the past year I’ve been working out, fighting the winter blues,escaping to our joint community condo exercise room. Spring comes and yet I’m bound to the indoor workout room, still waiting for the summer months.

Alas, Summer is finally here! I leap for joy, spending my time in the recreational tourist hotspot known as the Okanagan Valley.

The Okanagan Valley is located in the southern region of British Columbia,Canada. 

From the North Thompson Okanagan region in Kamloops to the most Southern Okanagan tip of Osoyoss (a hop,skip and jump to the US border). Small cities and towns, like Oliver, Penticton, Summerland, Peachland, Kelowna,Vernon,Armstrong, Enderby and Sicamous lye in between.

I was raised in Vernon, B.C.

Growing up in a prime recreational community, it’s without saying, most are active, from snowboarding, hiking, waterskiing including an array of water sports or just lay back and suntan on the countless sunny beaches of the Okanagan.

The recreational possibilities are endless!

Every summer I come back to my hometown to enjoy the countless hiking opportunities from Kelowna to Vernon. My favourite spots are the Kalamaka Lake Provincial Park, Kettle Valley, Bear Creek to Knox Mountain.


Top of Knox Mtn Photo Credit : Bari Demers
While visiting my daughter in Kelowna, I make a point to scale Knox Mtn every morning during the week. By the end of my second week, I’m conditioned enough to start jogging down the mountain. This is when I considered working out fun!

The fresh morning air coming off the beautiful serene view of Okanagan Lake sets the scene for my workout. You feel alive instead of the bottled up feeling at your local gym.

I believe working out should be fun and not a gruelling chore and shared with your best friend or family. Unfortunately, with everyone’s mixed schedule, it’s sometimes hard to find the time with each other.

But you do meet other recreational minded friendly folks on the trail. And I think this is what makes the Okanagan a special place in my heart. Those who love the outdoors and incorporate it into their life-style are the most happiest and friendly bunch of individuals.

You know the kind I mean. They greet you with a nice friendly nod or smile, saying,”Good Morning! It’s sure going to be a beautiful day today.” And within that split second of greeting each other, we cheerfully get back to the fun business of hiking before the sun heats up our day.

Hiking the Okanagan Valley, you don’t have to be Superman or Bat-woman to attempt the fun workout. Or do you have to be a cross-trainer either. It just takes commitment, a friend and one foot after the other. Be sure to bring water with you and if the hike is deep in the woods, be sure you bring a small pack of survival gear, just in case.

But luckily the Okanagan has a lot of hiking trails to choose from that are close to or in town, like Knox Mtn in Kelowna or BX Trail,Kalamaka Lake Provincial Park and Turtle mountain in Vernon.

If you have time, head up to Silver Star Mountain. Take the Chair up to the top and have a fun afternoon hiking down the mountain.

Working out can be fun, it’s just a matter of getting out to enjoy it.

So, next time you’re in the Okanagan I’ll see you out on the trail,” Good Morning! Have a great day!”

By Bari Demers – freelance writer and screenwriter


Grapes in the Okanagan Photo Credit: Bari Demers
P.S.  Be sure to check out the wineries – there’s over 200 of them to choose from!




All photo’s Credit : Bari Demers

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