If you happen to follow me on Instagram you know how thankful I am to live where I do. With the amount breathtaking views right outside our door, it is no wonder we spend so much time hiking in our own back yard.
Found in the interior of British Columbia, Canada, the Okanagan Valley is most famous for its Wineries and Orchards. While that might be enticing some – I do enjoy a good wine tasting every now and then – what I love most about where I live has to be the amount parks, trails, and forests that are all less than an hours drive away.
We love spending our weekends outdoors. Whether that means heading to the farmer’s market before working on the garden or adventuring throughout the beautiful valley we call home. As long as we are outside it doesn’t really matter what we are doing.
When our baby was born last Spring we knew that absolutely everything about our life was about to change. Add in a rescued pup and it was safe to say that our hands were (and still are) fairly full. We had ourselves convinced that our time spent adventuring outdoors would have to come to an end – at least for a little while.
Turns out we couldn’t have been more wrong.
To our surprise, the kid loves being outside just as much as we do!
With a bit of research on how to protect our tiny human from the sun, we were well on our way to experiencing the outdoors as a new family. Lucky for us, it just so happens that one of our favorite places to explore is only a few minutes drive away.
I seriously love hiking Knox Mountain Park.
It’s over 766 acres in size and is only minutes away from downtown! Not only does it have a number of trails to hike, run, or bike (15 to be exact)- the location is super convenient! Add in some stunning city and lake views and it should come as no surprise that this park is one of Kelowna’s most popular. Oh, and did I mention that there happens to be an off-leash dog area as well?
Last Sunday I got to spend some time with a few of my favorite people hiking the trail to Paul’s Tomb. Now this trail isn’t the most difficult one on Knox, with only one fairly steep section, but it is one of the prettiest. With most of its length being what looks like a well maintained Service Road and starting about 102 meters up from the lake with panoramic views the entire way, it is one of the most used trails on the mountain. It also doesn’t hurt that it only takes about 45 to make it to the end of the trail (aka Paul’s Tomb).
So what is Paul’s Tomb?
Aside from being a beautiful access point to the incredible Okanagan Lake it also happens to have a little history behind it. In 1910 Remblar Paul had a tomb constructed as a tribute to his family on this piece of land. The Crypt was built 100 feet above Okanagan lake out of 16-inch concrete. The family vault was approximately 9 feet wide, 15 feet long and 7 feet high. Though the vault is now mostly covered beneath the Earth (you can thank Vandals for that) you can still see the very tip of the crest. If you would like to know more about this little piece of Okanagan History you can read a fantastic article that was published in the Kelowna Daily Courier in 2014.
Now, I know it isn’t quite swimming weather yet, but this happens to be one of my favorite watering holes in the hot summer months. Not only is there a protected – though rocky – beach, there are also areas where you can picnic or jump off cliffs into the always refreshing water. My personal favorite are the rocks along the right side of the perfect little cove. Sitting on these rocks with the water just below always makes me feel a little like a mermaid.
I can’t be the only one out there who likes to pretend she’s a mermaid every now and again. Right?
Now I mentioned earlier that this isn’t the most difficult trail on the mountain, and if you are a more experienced hiker I would recommend the Ogopogo Trail that also leads to Paul’s Tomb. The Ogopogo Trail is considered to be one of the more difficult paths. If you are curious as to what other trails are available you can check out the Knox Mountain Brochure here.
Though I may have started out concerned about hiking and adventuring with my baby, I am incredibly happy that I took the risk. In the past year, I have come across some amazing kid and dog-friendly hikes that I may not have otherwise found. It just goes to show that with a little research, a few supplies, and the right attitude having a baby doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love!