Tuesday ramble near Sparkling Hill looking down on Adventure Bay on Okanagan Lake. (Colin Baxter photo)

COVID-19 curbs North Okanagan outdoors club

Group looking forward to new faces once it can resume activities

Even getting outdoors is proving difficult amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With social distancing and parks closures, a once-active group of outdoor enthusiasts has been curbed.

The Vernon Outdoors Club provides year-round outdoor activities for people that are looking for a healthy lifestyle while meeting new friends.

Current President Rudi van Zwaaij said he tried the club in 2014 and has never looked back. He was impressed by the vast range of outdoor activities to choose from, but especially that all events are well organized and run by volunteer leaders. But COVID-19 has stopped the approximately 250-300 members in their tracks.

“We normally marshal at a meeting place and carpool from there to the trailheads, but currently due to the COVID-19 isolating recommendations, the club’s activities are shut down until the pandemic is over,” said van Zwaaij.

Winter snowshoeing came to an end in March, after which time the VOC usually offers several programs from April 1 to Oct. 31 that include cycling, rambling and hiking.

“In Vernon and the North Okanagan, we are blessed to be surrounded by wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities in all geographic directions,” said van Zwaaij.

The biking program on Mondays and Thursdays caters to various levels of cycling enthusiasts, and each week there are different routes planned. These groups ride at a moderate pace on paved roads but can include easier off-road trails. On many days there is a choice of shorter or longer rides. In September there is an opportunity to take part in a week-long bike camp, which this year is in Merritt.

“On Tuesdays we ramble, which are generally shorter and easier hikes of 5-12 km in length at a moderate pace, often followed by an optional social. A great way to meet new friends and stay active!”

Sunday is hiking day, and as the season progresses these hikes also progress in challenge from shorter local hikes, early and late season, to more challenging longer hikes of 15-20 km at higher elevations in the summer. Often there are choices on the same day to take part in an easier or more challenging hike.

“If you have never hiked in the Monashees, please come along as you will be amazed,” said van Zwaaij.

In August, the VOC puts on a week-long hike camp, which this year is in Revelstoke.

As part of community service, the VOC is active in maintaining all their trails to ensure they are safe for the enjoyment of users throughout the year. If you would like to become a member or need more information, visit vernonoutdoorsclub.org. A membership form, as well as the calendar of scheduled events, is available on the website.

“Once we are through the COVID-19 pandemic we look forward to re-starting our activities, and meeting new people. Please stay safe.”

READ MORE: Bigfoot? Footprint near Lumby examined

READ MORE: Leaf pick-up springs into action in Vernon


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CyclingHikingOutdoors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Snowshoeing above Sovereign Lake on BC Parks trails. (Colin Baxter photo)

Bicycling in Coldstream on Kal Lake Road with East Vernon Hill in the background. (Colin Baxter photo)

Just Posted

Douglas fir trees in Salmon Arm face attack from bark beetle

Online pamphlet can help residents learn how to protect their trees

Okanagan film society screening for scholarships

North Okanagan students pursuing creative arts can apply for $2,000 bursaries

North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse cancels box season

COVID-19 wipes out indoor lacrosse; group hopeful outdoor field season will start in August

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

UPDATED: Two sent to hospital by air ambulance following Enderby highway accident

Drivers involved in collision on Highway 97A in Enderby; serious, but not life-threatening injuries

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

COLUMN: Books come back with curbside pickup

Okanagan Regional Library begins first phase of reopening process

Power knocked out for 1,700 Lake Country residents

BC Hydro crews on scene to restore the outage

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

Editorial: Help local businesses help keep community safe

COVID-19 requirements impacting cost of doing business

Truck thief runs out of gas in North Okanagan

Pickup stolen from Coldstream, found not far away

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

Most Read