Photo Credit: Peter Olsen

The sunshine is calling! Whether you’ve been cooped up inside or working, getting outside to enjoy some fresh air is good for your mental and physical health. We’ve put together a list of local places to safely explore this summer, but sometimes nothing beats grabbing a book and finding a nice patch of grass for a few hours. Bring along some snacks and make it a picnic! There are lots of options for open spaces with school and city parks nearby. Frisbee, catch, bubble blowing, and hula hooping are all fun options you can do right outside your door. If you’re feeling up for something a bit more adventurous—read on!

Hiking:

  • Peterson Creek Nature Park – This 100-hectare park is steps away from Peterson Landing and features over 10 km of trails. Trails vary in difficulty, offering something for every ability. Peterson Creek is widely used during the summer months and is off-leash dog-friendly,
  • Kenna Cartwright Park – This park offers breathtaking views of the Thompson Valley and Kamloops which can be enjoyed from the several benches and picnic tables where you can catch your breath. There are trails for all skill levels and the park is off-leash dog-friendly.

Biking (No bike? No problem. Many shops in town rent bikes for day use):

  • Pineview Valley – This all-mountain area is home to 50km of trails ranging from green to black diamond. Explore the wide array of cross-country climbs and fun, flowy descents through pine trees.
  • Kamloops Bike Ranch – The Ranch is an iconic part of Kamloops’ mountain bike scene with its diverse levels of trails, jump park, and skills park. If you don’t want to pedal up, you can catch a lift with Mostly Mental Shuttles.
  • Rivers Trail – This trail provides over 40 kilometres of paved community path along the shores of the Thompson and North Thompson Rivers in and around the community. Walk, bike or run anywhere along this trail and explore historical sites and sightseeing viewpoints.
  • Kenna Cartwright – Good for hiking and biking! Home to over 40km of mountain bike trails, Kenna Cartwright Park is the largest municipal park in BC and provides fast, flowing trails through sagebrush and pine trees.

Geocaching:

Geocaching is a fun and challenging outdoor adventure where you find hidden treasures using GPS coordinates. There are hundreds of locations throughout the city, province and even the world! Collect different trinkets from geocache locations by using a geocaching app on your phone. Some items will even have a registered tag showing where the item started and where it’s trying to go. It’s a world of fun for any age or ability. Check out the Kamloops Geocaching community Facebook group for more information and ideas on how to get started.

Beaches:

  • Riverside Park Beach: Located on the South Thompson River within easy walking distance of Downtown Kamloops. The beach has marked swimming areas, playgrounds, and a waterpark.
  • Pioneer Park: This dog-friendly park is walking distance from downtown, making this beach easily accessible if you want to take transit to the downtown core. Pioneer Park is equipped with change rooms, washrooms, picnic tables, and park benches and is a great place for volleyball, football or fetch with your furry friend.
  • Overlander Park: This beach is the largest beach in the Kamloops core and is located on the North Shore where the North and South Thompson meet. The beach is dog-friendly and has beach volleyball courts!

Purposeful fun:

  • Ride Don’t Hide is a fundraiser for the Kamloops branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association with the goal of increasing awareness and support for mental health. Normally a large group event, this year’s fundraiser has gone digital and encourages participants to move outdoors, indoors or in spirit. It’s really about finding ways to support individual mental and physical health while building community capacity through activity. This could be a fun motivator to get out and enjoy any of the activities listed above.

Whatever you choose, we hope you’re able to get outside and enjoy the simple and enduring beauty of our city.