A deep and fascinating blend of unique experiences
Westside Wine Trail
The scenic Westside Wine Trail is the place where rural and sophistication meet in the Okanagan valley. Along the Wine Trail, visitors can enjoy premium wine tastings, restaurants that embrace the farm to table philosophy, culinary classes, art showings, live musical performances and luxury accommodation. Most importantly it is done in a tranquil setting with rolling hills of vineyards, panoramic lake views and wineries that are mere minutes from each other.
The Westside Wine Trail is situated 10 minutes from downtown Kelowna and 40 minutes from Penticton, but don’t let its close proximity to the city fool you into thinking there is hustle and bustle along our roads. Once you turn off the highway, you are welcomed by rural winding roads dotted with West Kelowna’s famous roadside fruit stands, vineyards and orchards.
The tasting rooms are open year round, with each season offering a different type of wine country experience. The summer welcomes the summer crowds, while the fall is when the harvest happens. The vineyards are busy with activity and colours are spectacular. Most don’t know this, but the winter and spring seasons are the some of the best times to visit the wineries. The tasting rooms are less busy, so there are more opportunities to ask questions and learn about the wine and the region. Some have even been lucky enough to have had the proprietor or winemaker serve them in the tasting room and then invited them into the cellar for a special private tour! Yes, visiting the wineries in the off season has its perks!
Watch out for special Westside Wine Trail events, as the Trail is well known their signature ‘Sip Series’ events that take place three times a year. Follow along and share your wine country experiences with us by using the hashtag #WestsideWineTrail.
The best trails are the ones you haven’t ridden.
Smith Creek Gruel isn’t the longest or the toughest mountain biking trail in the Okanagan, but it is one of the most popular for its trail collection, varied level of difficulties and pretty decent views of the lake and valley. Riders of all abilities and skills can hit this area and explore several different trails that will lead them on a cross country journey or on a flowy decent down. Some of the trails also have jumps and bridges, which is perfect for those riders looking to rip it up a bit.
The best part of the Smith Creek Gruel trail network is that you can combine sections of trails to create your own favorite loop – whether it’s 2 kms or 15 kms. Stop by Outbound Cycle or Sovereign Cycle In West Kelowna to pick up a map – then set out on your own adventure.
Don’t take our word for it. Here are some quotes from the pinkbike.com forum about the Smith Creek Gruel.
“Smith creek is great for all skill levels, all jumps are passable, and the climb is great and not too difficult”
“The descent fun and flowy and ride arounds all the TTF’s as mentioned.”
It’s the Farm Fresh Way!
Westside Farm Loop
The Westside Farm Loop, located in West Kelowna, is a collection of farms, fruit stands, markets, farm to table events and agricultural experiences.
The best way to discover the bounty of the land is to round up your friends, fill up the car, grab a map and spend a day discovering these farms and fields.
Breathe in the fresh Okanagan air as you travel along our rural roads, discovering what each small family owned farm, vineyard, and nursery has to offer. Pick seasonal fruits and berries, fill up your basket with honey, fresh organic produce or get your eggs fresh from the farm. Visit a winery to learn how wine is made or take a stroll in a hundred year old nut farm where you can harvest nuts!
The passion for the land and wholesome products runs deep. These farmers and agrarians are multigenerational farmers and they know their stuff. They know which type of apple or peach to use for baking pies vs muffins, they can tell you all about organic practices as well as give you tips on what food pairs best with our Westside Wine Trail wines. We hope to see you on the #FarmLoop!
Mt Boucherie, our dormant volcano
There is a story behind the prominent local landmark, Mt. Boucherie, and it begins over 50 million years ago during the Tertiary Age when much volcanic activity took place. Mt. Boucherie is likely the roots of a volcano that has been worn down by eons of erosion and several glaciations. What we now see is the feeder pipes through which lava flowed on its way to the surface. The last lava making its way through the feeder system congealed in place forming a type of rock that was more resistant to erosion than the enclosing rock. It is estimated that it used to stand over 2000 metres high, but due to time, natural elements and erosion, it now rises 417 metres above the lake with its highest peak, 748 metres, at the northern edge. The volcano is now dormant and poses no risk of eruption.
Some of the best wine in the Okanagan comes from the grapes that are grown at the base of Mt. Boucherie. Soils have been shown to affect wine chemistry, quality, flavours and aromas and the unique composition of the soil in this area reflects the complex underlying geology of the land. While exploring the volcanic history of the Westside, stop by one of the wineries and discover how this ancient volcano has contributed to the development of our wine industry.
Mt Boucherie is the most prominent volcanic exploration to see, as you can spend as little as a half an hour or a half a day exploring Mt. Boucherie. Parts of the trail are easy enough for the whole family to do, while other parts, such as the north east face of the mountain should be reserved for more experienced hikers. Please be aware of the signs, as part of the mountain is on private property. There are also several other places throughout the community that budding geologists can hope to see some volcanic explorations.
Find out what the Top Geological and Volcanic Landmarks of the Westside are!