When I lived in England, I got used to having quality sidewalks on both sides of the street. My family did not have a car when I was growing-up, so walking was a fact of life. Of course England is famous for all the walking trails that make the countryside so accessible. They have been used for hundreds of years and the access is well-protected by law.
After coming to Canada and buying a house in Surrey, I liked to walk to the local corner store but my neighbours would stop and offer me a ride. They seemed puzzled when I told them that I preferred to walk.
Here in Peachland we noticed a difference when they put in a proper sidewalk opposite our house. An upgrade to the water main along Turner Avenue also allowed for the construction of a sidewalk. Since then we have noticed a significant increase in people walking along this street, now that it is safer to do so.
Residents that are new to Peachland may not be aware that we have a walking club here. The Peachland Trekkers organises a weekly walk led by members of the group. During the summer, we walk on Wednesday evenings and in the winter on Sunday afternoons. Our walks are casual in nature and last about an hour. After the walk, we get together for a coffee and a chat.
For many years, the Peachland Trekkers were called the Peachland Volkssport walking club. In 2011, it was decided that the club should drop its membership of Volkssport and become an independent walking club.
The club has about 60 members, who live in Peachland or West Kelowna.
Summer walks are often on forest trails in the area between Kelowna and Penticton. In the winter, the walks are more likely to follow a road instead of a trail. When there is snow, the walk sometimes uses the Peachland Beach Avenue walkway. Some longer hikes are also organised for our more active members.
The club philosophy is to encourage members to “take a hike” without “taking a risk”; most walks are very gentle in nature. Members are advised of the type of walk by use of a trail grading code The club website has details of these codes and the walks at www.peachlandtrekkers.ca. The club also has a display panel which is in the kiosk near Beach Avenue on ”Harold’s walk” path.
By Eric Hall