Family Friendly Hiking: Valleyview Nature Park

Driving Time: 10min10171001_10152305655986276_152855584_n (2)
Hiking Time: 1-2hrs
Distance Travelled: 1-3km
Stroller Friendly: no
Difficulty: easy-moderate

Here’s a little hike that’s great for preschoolers or beginners that won’t take you more than an hour…..

How do you get there?

The top of Valleyview Nature Park is a gem located off the side of the Kamloops Bike Ranch in Juniper. You can either park at the bike ranch or in the parking lot for the community playground and lacrosse boxes. Either way the start of this little walk is just behind the lacrosse box closest to the soccer field.

Are there any difficult spots?

Several parts of this trail are quite narrow and the connection to make a smaller loop is VERY steep. Alternatively you could just turn around and come back the way you came instead of trekking up the steep slope.

What are some features to look for on the trail?

10003352_10152305654986276_1396738730_n (1)Starting behind the lacrosse boxes head towards the subdivision the trail will head left and follow the back of the houses.

For a simple sunny walk stay left and high. You’ll wind your way along a quad track frequented by Juniper dog walkers and eventually running into a fence. Keep an eye out on your left for a steep trail that will take you down to connect with the official “Coyote Crossing” trail. You’ll see it in the hills below. If you want to make a loop you’ll need to make like a goat and head down that steep trail then turn right back towards the park.

Alternatively you can head right when the trail dips down into the bluffs. You will see a green “Coyote Crossing” trail marker where the trail switches back down even lower into the bluffs. The trail is quite narrow then you cross a neat little stream with concrete ladders as it creeps back along the edge of the hillside. You’ll come into a very small glade that I’ve always found to be a special little place that would be a great picnic location for a little person.

This is a good spot to turn around and head back the way you came if you have little ones and will give you a 2.5km return. Just beyond this glade is where the trail rises up and you can either head right to follow “Coyote Crossing” down to Valleyview arena or left up the steep hill I described above to connect with the trail below the subdivision. Going straight doesn’t really get you much of anywhere believe me I’ve tried many times 🙂

The 3km loop will take you roughly an hour but be sure to leave a few minutes to play at the playground on your way out.

Coyote Crossing as I mentioned takes you down into Valleyview and finishes at Valleyview arena. You can use the bike ranch switchbacks to head back up if it’s not bike season (we’ve done this in the winter several times) In the late spring, summer and early fall I’d suggest another route with little ones as they can too easily run out in front of the fast moving bikes. It is about a 5km return to Valleyview and back up to Juniper and will take you 1.5-2hours depending on how many times you stop as you come up the hill!

For a SUPER easy 1km loop for toddlers head out the same way instead of going right down coyote crossing stay left. Every time the trail bends just stay left and keep heading towards the park. There is one steep little “mountain” and then you will be on top of the bluffs level with the playground again. Your toddler will feel like they walked SO far and like magic wound up back at the park.

Krystal Williams-Gardener is a mom to three children under 10 in Kamloops BC. She is also the owner of Kamloops first Outdoor Preschool for children aged 3-6 years. To learn more visit www.lovinglearning.com

Krystal Williams-Gardener started Kamloops Parents in 2007 and is now the owner/director of Loving Learning Preschool where they offer Waldorf & outdoor based preschool classes for children aged 3-6.
She actively studies child development & anthroposophy (a philosophy of inner development & spiritual growth) and strives to inspire parents to be their best selves for the highest good of all man-kind.

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