.

Low impact walks and short hikes

A few things aren’t quite right these days, and the seasons are changing, but the great outdoors is still available! At the request of The Times, I have put together a few possible outings in and around Clearwater; just make sure you have the right footwear. Inexpensive ice grippers are available at Greffards (and elsewhere) for extra safety precautions.

The following short walks are on pavement with minimal, if any, changes in elevation. Dogs need to be leashed. For example, enjoy our rivers by walking across bridges and back again. Check out three paths built with grants obtained by the District’s Trails Committee.

The first one constructed goes behind the hospital and Evergreen Acres. The second one takes you from Evergreen Acres to the Medical Centre, Shopping Centre, and you can cross at the round-about to visit more stores and eateries. From there you can wander along the pathway most recently added that goes to Wyndhaven Subdivision.

If you aren’t up to going the full distance, just turn back! If you are looking for loops, every subdivision works — just go around a block or two (or three). Ditto for Blackpool and Vavenby. A perfect choice on The Flats.

Conversely, these low impact hikes take us mainly along trails rather than pavement, are potentially longer than walks, but still with few or no hills. Most require a short drive to get started. Sturdy footwear is good!

One example would see you leaving your car near the blue bridge (think Ski Hill) so you can access the dikes, one going each way along the North Thompson River. Secondly, go from Dutch Lake beach into Bampton Recreational Area, or through Dutch Lake Resort to see different views of our “jewel.”

Third, there is a small section of North Thompson Park that can be reached by turning off Highway 5 on the town side of Clearwater River. This delightful bushy walk takes you out to the confluence of our two large rivers. Last time I drove by, the rest of that park was closed, unfortunately, but has several super options when available.

Further south towards Little Fort, turn right onto crescent-shaped Roundtop Road which curves past much-loved old buildings. Closer to town again, follow the trail beside the KOA, to a lovely loop (for which locals are particularly grateful) on Mr. Harby’s land.

Please help to keep this area clean and its environs undisturbed.

Or, want to walk near Raft River? Trail starts at the very end of Raft River Road. For a multitude of lengthy hikes, Roland Neeve’s Wells Gray book is an invaluable source of information.

While you are out there, listen for the birds, look up at the sky and the trees, look down to watch your footing, and always be aware of your surroundings. Take a cell phone if you have one, as well a favourite buddy (or not).

For longer walks, have water and tuck a snack in a pocket to reward yourself for having so much fun!