Vernon, British Columbia


Area Nature Spots, where naturalists go

Introduction : These are all publicly-accessible sites.

Many are on public land, but some are private lands which

can be viewed from a public roadway or path.

Please respect private property.

Please: During the COVID-19 pandemic, please do not gather

in groups and walk or bike ride to these locations if possible.

Adventure Bay, west of Vernon : From the trailhead at 8901 Tronson

Road, ascend up the hill and take trails to lookouts either over Vernon or

Okanagan Lake. Birds and flowers appear early in the Spring as the

hillside warms up. Note: rattlesnakes have been seen here.

Allan Brooks Nature Centre, Mission Road : Interpretive centre.

Admission by donation. Trails, birds and other wildlife.

Bailey Pond, south of Vernon : Bailey Road, just south of Commonage

Road. Check for waterfowl while parked on the shoulder of the road.

Becker Park, Vernon : Park, trails and ridge walks, starting from the

curling club parking lot in Vernon. Spring wildflowers. Beware of cactus!

Birdie Lake, Predator Ridge : Beside Birdie Lake Drive at Predator Ridge community. Observation platform aids in bird and turtle observation. A trail encircles the pond.

Coldstream Cemetery, District of Coldstream : Look for birds in the trees and around the creek. In early Spring you can find Skunk Cabbage growing in wet areas.

Cools Pond, north of Vernon : Corner of L&A Road and Rimer Road. A popular birding spot.

Garter Snake Dens : Deleenheer Road, north side, east of 20th Street, edge of North Vernon Park. Watch for them to emerge in April.

Grey Canal Trail, Bella Vista/Okanagan Hills, Vernon : Parking off Crosby Road.

Grey Canal Trail, Blackcomb Way to Rugg Road, Silver Star Foothills, Vernon : Parking lots at Blackcomb Way and Rugg Road. Loop trail.

Grey Canal Trail, Glenhayes Road to Baker Hogg Road, north of Vernon : Park at either road. Quiet area. Views of Swan Lake.

Grey Canal Trail, McLennan Road to Glenhayes Road, north of Vernon : Park at either road. Good for birds and plants. Be aware of rough ground.

Grey Canal Trail, Turtle Mountain to Blue Jay Sub-division, Vernon : Enter from parking lots off Blue Jay Drive or Turtle Mountain Boulevard.

Heronry, Vernon : East of 24th Street, south of 53rd Avenue. Observe the nesting herons from the surrounding streets, DO NOT ENTER the property.

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park : Many locations. One example is a walk from the Cosens Bay road parking lot on the Cosens Bay Trail to beach on the lake. Note: There are rattlesnakes in the park.

Kekuli Bay Provincial Park : South of Vernon. Take Kalamalka Lkaeview Drive and High Ridge Road. Walk the grasslands trail to see grassland birds and raptors. Access to Okanagan Rail Trail.

Middleton Mountain, Vernon & Coldstream : Hike to the top and enjoy the trails of Farnsworth Nature Reserve. Many bird species and wildflowers, especially in the Spring.

Mud Lake, Middleton Mountain, part of McGergow Meadows : Trails provide access off Middleton Way and Mt. Ida Drive.

O’Keefe Ranch, Spallumcheen Township : Highway 97 on the way to Kamloops, opposite the Spallumcheen Golf Course. The creek is a good spot for birds in the late Winter and Spring. Look around the bridge at the west side of the parking lot.

Otter Lake, Otter Lake Road, Spallumcheen Township : Observe birds from the parking area and small park at the north end. Great for Sandhill Cranes and Trumpeter Swans in late Winter and early Spring.

Plantation Forest, Vernon : On Bench Row Road in the Commonage area of Vernon. Birds and squirrels.

Polson Park, downtown Vernon : Check for ducks at the ponds and walk the boardwalk trail in the southeast corner of the park. This is a good area for birds. You may see the work of beavers too.

Roses Pond, south of Vernon : View waterfowl and turtles from the side of Commonage Road.

St. Annes Pond, Spallumcheen Township : Turn north off Hwy 97 (heading towards Falkland), park at the pullout north of the pond and walk back to observe water birds. Note: Landowner has signed “no parking” beside pond, which is on private property.

Salmon Trail, Lumby : Parking and trails off Faulkner Avenue. More trails along the creek accessible from behind the Visitor Info Centre.

Swan Lake Nature Reserve, north of Vernon : Old Kamloops Road, enter driveway at Stawns Honey. Watch for road signs. Follow driveway to a parking lot. There is a 2 km loop trail in the field. Grassland birds, hawks, owls, herons, ducks, marsh birds.

Thomas Hayes Ecological Park, Spallumcheen Township : From the trailhead on Thomas Hayes Road, trails will take you through fields, meadows and various forest ecosystems.

Thomson Lake, south of Vernon : Commonage Road, south of Predator Ridge. Water birds.

Turtle Mountain, Vernon : From parking on Turtle Mountain Boulevard, take the Grey Canal Trail or climb up to Rocky Ridge Park.

Vernon Creek, Okanagan Lake : At the mouth of the creek as it enters Okanagan Lake. Access from Lakeshore Road, where there is some parking. Good for gulls and ducks.

Grey Canal Trail

near Blue Jay Sub-division

photo by

Harold Sellers