about the carmi trails
This significant network of beginner / intermediate
recreational trails are a rarity in the Okanagan Valley.
The South Okanagan offers a wide variety of extremely
easy paved paths and the KVR - which, on a scale of 1 > 10,
would rate a 1 in difficulty - along with a huge array of
difficult to extreme mountain trails.
What it has a dearth of are trails like those offered in the Carmi Recreational Trail Network; beginner through intermediate class trails that the whole family can enjoy. The Carmi trails offer hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and trail-running during warm months, and in the winter - snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
The Trail system is described on both SweetSingletrack.ca and Trail Forks.
history of the carmi recreation areaThe Carmi Recreation Trails are loosely based on turn of the century logging and mineral extraction / exploratory routes dating back to the time of Hugh Lier. Thereafter, these forest routes fell into disrepair and were somewhat overgrown - until the late 1970's, when the City of Penticton Parks Dept. gained $30,000 in government funding ($100k in today's dollars) to establish the trails as cross-country ski trails for winter months, and hiking tails during the spring, summer and fall.
The trails were cleared, connected, signed and an open-face shelter was created at the extreme northern end of the trail network. The area was maintained by various groups, including the Penticton Outdoor Club until the late 1980's / early 1990's, when the POC moved their focus further up the Beaverdell Rd., toward and beyond Rd.#201. The trail network sat neglected, save for the odd hiker, hunter for many years thereafter.
In 2012, the South Okanagan Trail Alliance became aware of the scope of the now decrepit trail network and began chainsaw-clearing, signing and GPS mapping the original 1979 trails, to be used as a location where we could safely introduce novice mountain bike riders and hikers to the great outdoors, in a safe, cliff-free zone. A year later, we signed our first Partnership Agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC (Gov.) which allowed us to shift our work into high gear. At present, all of the trails are marked and mapped, with Website and Apple Apps safely guiding folks through the entire area.