Ribbons of Green Trails Society
The Ribbons of Green Trails Society of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada is a non-profit, trail advocacy group dedicated to the promotion and construction of walking, hiking and cycling trails, both on and off-road within the Greater Vernon region.
The purposes of the Ribbons of Green Trails Society are to advocate for a network of public non-motorized trails within the Greater Vernon area and to encourage connectivity with trails in neighbouring communities.
The mission of the Ribbons of Green Trails Society includes, but is not limited to:
advocating for municipal governments and other organizations for the construction of non-motorized trails in Greater Vernon;
encouraging trail connectivity within Greater Vernon and with those in neighbouring communities
supporting best practices for trail design, construction, use, signage and maintenance
supporting trails and pathways used for both recreation and transportation wherever feasible
working collaboratively with and supporting community partner organizations with similar purposes
promoting community trail stewardship
building relationships with trail groups in neighbouring communities
informing and educating the public
adapting for changes in climate, transportation methods and lifestyles
assisting with natural, cultural and historical interpretation efforts on the trails
Who is the Ribbons of Green Trails Society?
The Ribbons of Green Trails Society currently consists of 10 directors who meet once a month to advance trail development and ensure maintenance.
City of Vernon staff and Council Members, District of Coldstream staff, and Regional District of North Okanagan Parks staff are also in attendance at the monthly meetings.
Trail Map of the Greater Vernon Area
To view an interactive online map of trails in the Greater Vernon Area, visit:
- or click link below:
This map transcends political boundaries and includes trails managed by RDNO, City of Vernon, District of Coldstream, and District of Lake Country.
Ribbons of Green Trails Society does not warrant nor guarantee the accuracy, currency, correctness, and completeness of the information.
Persons accessing the map agree to and accept that their use of any information contained therein is entirely at their own risk.
Ribbons of Green Trails Society assumes no obligation or liability for the use of the map data.
Wanted: New Directors
The Ribbons of Green Trails Society is looking for two new Directors.
We are an active community group comprised of volunteers who are devoted to the development of more and better walking, hiking and cycling trails and pathways in the Greater Vernon area.
Directors are volunteers who attend monthly RoG meetings, work with municipal partners, liaise with partner groups, get involved in projects and advocacy, do trail mapping, develop and work on new additions to our trail network, and promote the use of trails and paths for transportation and recreation.
If you are interested in becoming one of our society’s directors, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: You should live in Greater Vernon
Greater Vernon - Trails Capital of British Columbia!
Ribbons of Green Trails Society has initiated a project to recognize Greater Vernon as the Trails Capital of BC.
Anchored by multi-use pathways that connect Okanagan, Kalamalka, and Swan Lakes, surrounded on the north and west sides by the historic Grey Canal trail, and with the Okanagan Rail Trail extending south, and the High Rim trail reaching to the east and south, residents and visitors enjoy a plethora of major recreational and active transportation routes within the Greater Vernon Area.
Connecting and supporting the major trails is an extensive network of routes ranging from packed earth single track to paved commuter paths, with a wide variety in between. While the number and volume of trails are massive and ever-expanding, it is the scope of trails that is most impressive.
Hike to the top of Middleton Mountain, or cycle to work on the Polson Greenway. Note the “Cycling Without Age” trishaws on the Okanagan Rail Trail and Kalamalka Lake Multi-Use path. Enjoy the vistas from many lookouts on the Grey Canal Trail, or cycle the wooded trails in Ellison and Kalamalka Lake parks on a hot day.
The trail network in Greater Vernon is truly multi-seasonal. Between Sovereign Lake, Silver Star and Predator Ridge, the area also boasts many options for alpine skiing, cross-country, and snowshoeing. Some multi-use paths are cleared in winter, and many trails can be used in winter conditions with appropriate footwear.
The breadth of community involvement is likewise astonishing. Community groups have developed and constructed trails with fundraising and sweat equity. The Regional District of North Okanagan, City of Vernon, and District of Coldstream have created trails through budget funds and leveraged that funding to garner financial support from senior levels of government.
The Official Mark of Greater Vernon – Trails Capital of BC is an excellent way to recognize the contribution of many individuals, community groups, businesses, and local governments. At the same time, it will increase awareness on the part of locals and visitors of the tremendous, sustainable trail network within and around the Greater Vernon area.
The Regional District of North Okanagan’s Board of Directors agreed to pursue the Official Mark under the Canadian Trademarks Act on behalf of the Ribbons of Green at the July 20, 2022, Board Meeting. The RDNO will also develop a stakeholder working group to help oversee the usage of the Official Mark.
New Grey Canal Interpretive Signs
A series of five new interpretive signs have been erected along scenic sections of the current Grey Canal trail.
Discover the visionaries who created this gravity-fed irrigation system. Learn when and how the canal was constructed. Marvel at how water was transported uphill without pumps. Realize how the Grey Canal transformed Greater Vernon.
The signs include numerous archival photos, mainly from the Museum of Greater Vernon, which provide stunning glimpses into the past and bring this former irrigation canal to life.
The interpretive sign project was initiated by the Ribbons of Green Trails Society. As successful applicants of the RDNO Greater Vernon Trails & Natural Spaces grant, 46% of the signs funding was provided through the grant. The rest of the funds were provided as in-kind donations from volunteers.
Two local businesses, Tambellini Design Studio and Speed Pro Signs were hired to create and install the appealing, well-constructed signs.
The signs are located on the following Grey Canal trail sections:
Bella Vista (west of Sierra Rd parking lot) Click here for Directions;
Turtle Mountain (northeast of Turtle Mt Blvd parking lot) Directions;
Blue Jay (south of Blue Jay Rd parking lot) Directions;
East Swan Lake (north of McLennan Rd parking lot) Directions;
Coldstream Valley Estates (east of Cypress Dr parking lot) Directions
Since 2005, the Ribbons of Green Trails Society has been working to create a public continuous, hiking trail system along or near the Grey Canal. This 50 km trail would encircle the entire valley from Coldstream to Okanagan Lake, allowing users to appreciate the significant contributions made by our predecessors. Several sections of the trail remain to be constructed.
Click here to download a Grey Canal interpretive sign Scavenger Hunt to help explore the route and learn about this historical engineering wonder.
For information on the Grey Canal hiking trails, click here
For Grey Canal history, click here
For an interactive map of the Grey Canal trails, click here
For a Grey Canal Scavenger Hunt to explore trail and signs, click here
Grey Canal 1910
Image Courtesy Museum & Archives of Vernon, Photo 7569
The Grey Canal - From Flume to Trail
A presentation sponsored by the "Friends of Kalamalka Provincial Park society
Held on July 5th at the Juniper Bay Picnic Area, in Kalamalka Provincial Park
Presented by Ingrid Neumann, Ribbons of Green Trails Society director
Videographed and produced by Bruce Mol, Ribbons of Green Trails Society director
Click here to view the presentation
The Grey Canal was a game changer in the growth of Greater Vernon
Learn how it all began:
Where the water came from, and how it transformed the area.
Who were the visionaries who made this irrigation system happen?
How was it constructed to transport water 50 km from Lavington to Okanagan Lake with no pumps?
This presentation reviews the canal’s history and future - from flume to hiking trail.
The Ways of Water - Stories of the Grey Canal
The Ribbons of Green Trails Society collaborated with the Museum & Archives of Vernon to create a series of filmed interviews about the historic Grey Canal.
The Grey Canal transformed land use and settlement in the North Okanagan. Now a network of multi-use trails, this early irrigation system brought “water from the hills” into the valley from 1914 to 1971 and once comprised the largest irrigation district in British Columbia.
Learn about the early development and evolution of the Grey Canal from those who experienced it first-hand.
In a series of filmed interviews, film-makers Ingrid Neumann and Bruce Mol capture the knowledge and recollections of Bob Davison, Peter Tassie, Tom Ouchi and Mas Sakakibara.
Each tells a different part of the story of this feat of engineering, and how it changed life in the North Okanagan.
These three films are available for viewing on the Museum & Archives of Vernon website: click here
Top 5 Vernon Trails for Epic Views
Tourism Vernon and the Ribbons of Green Trails Society collaborated to promote Greater Vernon's trails.
Check out the video and blogs by Zenseekers and Miss604.
New Trails Map
This updated Greater Vernon & Area Trails brochure contains maps and information about our local Lake trails, Provincial Park trails, Grey Canal trails, Middleton Mountain trails, and more.
Trail access directions, parking, viewpoints, and dog friendly routes are included to help you discover and enjoy our fantastic trails.
Get your free copy at the following locations:
the City of Vernon Community Services Building, 3001 - 32 Avenue (next to the museum)
RDNO Building, 9848 Aberdeen Rd, Coldstream
District of Coldstream Office, 9901 Kalamalka Rd, Coldstream
Okanagan Regional Library, Vernon Branch, 3001 - 32 Avenue
A list of wheelchair-accessible trails recommended by Sonja Gaudet, Accessibility Specialist with Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.
Click here for her list and recommendations.
NEW TRAILS in Greater Vernon!
Several new hiking trails have recently been constructed or improved!
Tronson Road - Lake Access Trail
A difficult 1.6 km (return) trail descending from Tronson Road to Okanagan Lake, with a 92m elevation gain. Meander along the forested hillside with panoramic views of Okanagan Lake. A rocky beach, benches, lookout points.
Grey Canal Turtle Mountain Extension
A 380m trail extension heading east continues to Davison Road. Includes wooden bridge and roadside parking on Davison Road.
Grey Canal East Swan Lake, Connection Trail
Access from Baker Hogg Road at water reservoir: head north from 7574 Baker Hogg Rd, turn right at trail signpost, drive uphill 320m to water reservoir building parking lot. Continue uphill on winding trail 270m to reach Grey Canal trail.
An easy 0.23 km trail that passes beside Cools Pond with an elevated covered wooden observation platform to view this rural wetland. Great for bird and nature enthusiasts. A beautiful wooden bench has recently been added, carved by Tyler Welfing.
A short easy trail that follows above Canoe Beach (formerly called Sandy Beach) with a fantastic view down Okanagan Lake.
A 2.25 km trail that wraps around the former BX Ranch farmlands, passing Mutrie Dog Park and ending at the BX Ranch Dog Park.
These trails connect to the northern section of the Grey Canal, Coldstream Valley Estates trail.
Kal Crystal Waters Trail Addition
Starting at the north end of Crystal Waters Road, this 1.8 km trail joins the southern end of the Kal Crystal Waters Trail.
For more details, visit our interactive online trail map.
Hiking Trails beyond Greater Vernon
The Vernon Outdoors Club has created online maps, descriptions, and driving directions for favourite hiking trails located throughout the Okanagan, the Monashee Mountains, and as far as Kamloops and Revelstoke:
Check out our Facebook page!
We post new trail information and photos. Click here to Like us, Share us, and add your comments!
To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, we strongly encourage everyone using trails in our network to follow these guidelines:
- keep a distance of at least two metres from others
- switch to single file when passing others
- avoid congregating at trailheads or on the trail
- chose times that are less busy
- chose trails that are nearby. If you need to drive a car, you’ve gone too far
- stay home, if you are feeling unwell
For more information and updates, visit the websites of the Government of Canada, the World Health Organization, the BC Government, the Regional District of North Okanagan, the City of Vernon, and the District of Coldstream.
Community Bike Map
The City of Vernon has recently released an interactive Community Bike map, which indicates our local cycling routes and multi-use paths.
Click here to access this great resource!
Okanagan Cycling Guidebook
Vancouver author, Colleen MacDonald, has recently published a cycling guidebook showcasing Okanagan Trails, entitled “Let’s Go Biking Okanagan and Beyond”.
Ribbons of Green directors provided significant assistance in selecting and describing local cycling and hiking trails, providing photos, and “proof-riding” the routes.
The guidebook is available at the following Vernon stores (Davison Orchards, Coles, Olympia Cycle, Good Gracious) and can be purchased online by clicking here.
Proceeds from book sales go to the Trails Society of BC, BC Cycling Coalition and local trail advocacy groups.
Suggest a hiking trail
Do you have an idea for a new hiking trail in the Vernon area? Please contact us!
Ribbons of Green Trails Society is not responsible for trail maintenance.
For concerns and suggestions about trail maintenance, please click on our link below:
Donate a Park Bench
Leave a Legacy. Click on our link below:
Ribbons of Green Trails Society
#305, 3402 - 27 Avenue
Canada V1T 1S1
Facebook: Vernon Area Trails