5 popular get-back-to-nature recreation areas to explore in BC

July 13, 2022

Two bike riders exploring Myra Canyon, BC

Who doesn’t love summer for the chance to get outside and enjoy some fun in the sun? If you plan to vacation closer to home this summer, and you’re looking to explore areas where you can kick back and become one with nature, we’ve got you covered.

Here are five projects we’ve supported across BC to help improve outdoor recreation areas in communities where we live and work. We wanted to provide a lasting local benefit that both BC and its visitors could enjoy for years to come.

  1. Elkford Meeting Place
  2. If your summer adventures take you to the East Kootenays, plan a stop in Elkford, a small community of 2,500, located in a region known as “the Wilderness Capital of BC”. Surrounded by pristine wilderness, its proximity to Elk Lakes and Height of the Rockies Provincial Parks attracts outdoor enthusiasts year-round.

    Our contribution to the community helped it build the Elkford Meeting Place, a centrally located multi-use outdoor gathering space. The community uses the venue to host ceremonies, performances and events such as the annual Wildcat Days.

    Elkford Meeting Place 

  3. Cottonwood Lake preservation
  4. One of the most passionate groups of volunteers we’ve had the pleasure of working with is the Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society, an organization dedicated to preserving this popular outdoor recreation area in the Kootenays. Cottonwood Lake runs along the west side of Highway 6 between Salmo and Nelson. Summer recreational activities include fishing, hiking and biking; winter activities include skating and cross-country skiing. This area also provides crucial habitat for grizzlies and is home to trees that are 300 to 400 years old. A contribution we made to the Society helped it purchase 49 acres of forest above the lake.

  5. Myra Bailout trail
  6. The mountainous area on the south side of Kelowna boasts some of the most extensive hiking and mountain bike trail networks in the Okanagan, including Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park and the popular Myra Canyon Trestles. In fact, we adopted a trail of our own, the Myra Bailout, a six-kilometre stretch that climbs 500 metres to join the lower sections of park to the trestles.

    We’re also a long-time supporter of Friends of South Slope (FOSS), a local volunteer organization that maintains this extensive network of trails. The funds we supplied to FOSS were allocated towards the tools and equipment needed to maintain the trails.

    Brad Wright, retired FortisBC safety and environment manager

    Brad Wright, retired FortisBC safety and environment manager.

  7. Cranbrook Community Forest adaptive trail
  8. Be sure to make a stop in Cranbrook to visit that city’s pride and joy: the Cranbrook Community Forest (CCF). Enjoy walking, biking, horseback riding and running on the CCF’s 100 kilometres of trails within 200 acres of forest.

    We contributed funds to help the Cranbrook Community Forest Society, a volunteer group dedicated to protecting and enhancing the CCF, set up a trail maintenance project, and build a new adaptive multi-use trail for trail-users of all abilities.

    Cranbrook Community Forest entrance 

  9. Stoney Creek Trail restoration
  10. Every year, we organize a number of community giving days to benefit community groups and local non-profit organizations. Employees freely offer their time and effort to these worthy causes.

    One of these outings involved FortisBC employees taking part in planting approximately 350 native trees, ferns and shrubs as part of a restoration project along Stoney Creek Trail in Burnaby, with Evergreen, a non-profit organization devoted to sustainable practices. This two-kilometre gravel trail adjacent to Stoney Creek is part of the Burnaby Mountain Conservation area, a 576 hectare mountain paradise 20 minutes east of Vancouver, with picnic areas, hiking and walking trails and breathtaking views.

    Stoney Creek Trail restoration in Burnaby, BC

These are just five of our favourite places in beautiful BC. There are many more out there for you to find. We hope we’ve inspired you to begin a journey this summer to create a list of favourites of your own.

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