A new hiking challenge launched in the Kootenay Boundary is motivating residents, as well as visitors, to get outside, explore local trails, have fun and win some prizes along the way.
To celebrate this year’s 125th anniversary of Grand Forks, the “Hike our Story” challenge is a collaboration between outdoor enthusiasts from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Recreation Commission and The Grand Forks Community Trails Society.
Their collective aim is to empower people through connectivity to nature and build an appreciation of Indigenous heritage.
By the end of June, when the challenge has run its course, the hope is that all participants will have discovered new routes as well as the heritage behind them by walking in the footsteps of others who have come before.
With many local sponsors on board providing weekly prizes, it’s also hoped that Boundary businesses sponsoring the event will get a piece of the action and benefit from the subsequent footfall.
“This initiative is going to put more boots on the ground and help increase the visibility of our local businesses and trails which are packed full of history as well as natural beauty,” says Melina Van Hoogevest, RDKB’s Recreation Supervisor at Grand Forks and District Recreation.
“For many, walking is fantastic for mindfulness, can become a fitness catalyst, and provide ‘me time’, health benefits or an opportunity to socialise,” she adds. “It can be a great stress reliever, an escape from the grind or a way to walk right into the hiking community to see where it takes you.
“Whether you choose to do one or all of the ‘Hike Our Story’ trails over the next couple of months, you’ll discover so much more than you’d ever expect.”
Nine mini hiking adventures, varying in difficulty, length and terrain, span the team’s favourite trails in Christina Lake, Grand Forks and Phoenix.
Described and featured on the regional district website, trails can be accessed and assessed for suitability ahead of time.
With a broad mix of easy, moderate and hard grades there will be a trail to suit those new to the benefits of walking as well as the seasoned hiker.
“Some are a grind and have steep climbs while others are short, level or more family-friendly,” says Michelle Millette, Grand Forks Community Trails Society vice-president. “The hiking challenge incorporates iconic views, breathtaking vistas and spectacular sights.”
Some trails are stroller and wheelchair friendly, some are suitable for cyclists, and others pass by great swimming spots, a waterfall to admire or will take hikers through natural forest and giant cedars.
“On others watch out for osprey, eagles, historical relics, and indigenous artifacts,” noted Millette.
Giving an additional reason to participate, QR codes on each trail are waiting to be discovered and will unlock the possibility to win weekly gift cards courtesy of local businesses.
One lucky hiker will win the Wildways Adventure Sports grand prize.
For more information on the epic ‘Hike Our Story’ Challenge visit: rdkb.com.
Click on the “Regional Government” banner then the “Latest News” link from the pulldown menu.