The Okanagan High Rim Trail officially opened in April 1994. Pictured are Western Canada Wilderness Committee volunteers Bruce Sumner and Jean Elmer. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives photo #14932)

Vernon history in pictures

A look at the opening of a trail running from Vernon to Kelowna

Retired forester Bruce Sumner had a vision of a trail that would circle the entire Okanagan Valley.

In 1994, part of his vision became reality as the Okanagan High Rim Trail from Vernon to Kelowna was officially opened by Sumner and fellow Western Canada Wilderness Committee volunteer Jean Elmer.

It was Sumner’s dream and passion, and the help of the committee’s “Trail Builders” and numerous volunteers that work began on the trail in the early 199os.

Through the years, according to, the trail fell into neglect before several Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club volunteers took on the restoration and maintenance of the trail in 2005 for a short period.

​Cabin Forestry received a grant from BC Parks in 2009 for further trail maintenance and bridge construction as well as the completion of the Okanagan Highland Trail (an extension of the High Rim Trail from Mission creek south to Okanagan Mountain Park).

The Okanagan High Rim Trail Association was established in 2017 to maintain, improve and promote the High Rim Trail.

A map of the trail can be found here.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Vernon Secondary Class of 2020 Photoshopped into history

READ MORE: Vernon history in pictures

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