Greenway the Other Way

We finally had a beautiful, warm, sunny day, and I took advantage of the opportunity to take a bike ride on the Greenway.

I’ve ridden the Greenway quite a few times, but this time I started in Mission Creek Park and rode “the other way” toward Gallaghers Canyon.  It’s been a few years since I’ve gone out there, and I wanted to check it out again.  I found well maintained trails shared by cyclists, walkers, and dog walkers.  It’s a great ride on a nice day.

Starting at Mission Creek Park and heading on the Greenway toward Ziprick Rd, you’re riding a little uphill and a little bit on big gravel.  That doesn’t last long.  Keep going past the Ziprick entrance and you’ll come to what looks like the end of the Greenway.  Just jog onto Creekside Road, which is a wide residential street, and take it a couple of blocks until you come to Gerstmar.

Gerstmar Park

Gerstmar Park

There’s a nice little park at the Gerstmar entrance to the Greenway now, and there are public washrooms there.  Jog right, toward the creek, then onto the Greenway.  Mission Creek is on your right.  People’s back yards are on your left.  This part of the route is pretty flat and smooth.  I found plenty of dogs and people walking, and a few other cyclists.

Pretty soon you’re out of the back yard portion of the trail, although if you look left you can see there are houses on the road kind of above you.  Looking right, you can see across the creek.  I’ve seen deer and coyotes there, but not today.  There are bear sightings over on that side from time to time.  Today, just rocks and trees.

The trail narrows and there is a little up and a little down, a couple of twists, and then a nice beach.  Be careful as you come around the curve.  There are often dogs playing there and the trail is pretty narrow if you have to do an unexpected dismount.

Singletrack

Singletrack

Ride through the trees a little farther and you’ll end up on singletrack.  When it’s raining, this is basically mud.  Today it was absolutely perfect.  No mud but not dry enough to be dusty.  And purple things and yellow things and pink things on either side.  Stunning.

This short track will take you past the bike skills park at Hollywood Road, right exactly at the spot where Randy Zahara assured me that the off-leash dog area would be, back when he was in charge of  dog park prevention.  That would have been a terrific place for an off-leash dog area, but some study or other determined that there wouldn’t be adequate parking for that.  It’s great that these kids have a bike skills park, and that there also appears to be adequate parking there.

Continue across the road to the parking area for Scenic Canyon Park.  There are also washrooms here, and lots of parking.  This area seems pretty heavily used, at least on a beautiful Saturday, by people out for a walk alone, with other people, and with dogs.  The trail is beautiful, winding through wooded areas and across bridges.

And then…the trail is closed.  You can see that it continues, but the dire warning of falling rock and trail erosion was enough for me.  I stopped for a bit to watch the creek and headed back the way I came.

 When I got to Ziprick this time I crossed the bridge and took the smoother side of the creek back to the Eco Centre.

All told, this was just over 13 kilometres (8 miles).  With a couple of stops to take pictures and admire the view, it took me an hour and 20 minutes.  You might want to ride it faster, but I took my time and enjoyed the scenery.  Here’s a gallery.   You can click through it.

What rides in or around Kelowna do you like?  Please leave a comment.

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