The dark spires of burned tree trunks rise out of clouds of newly-green bushes and undergrowth in the Ellis Ridge area east of Penticton ? a stark reminder that a devastating forest fire here in 1994 claimed 5500 hectares of forest and 18 homes. The force of fire and the wonder of water's effects in this ecosystem are the focus of two short trail systems created at the informative Garnet Fire Interpretive Site on the Ellis Ridge above Penticton.
It's just a few kilometers from the Carmi Cross Country Ski Trails, 17 kilometers of well-marked trails used in winter for cross-country skiing, and in summer for hiking. Ellis Ridge Trail ? water is scarce and a valuable resource in this ecosystem.
Just how valuable is the focus on the Ellis Ridge Trail, where hikers are shown how important it is to care for water resources to sustain communities and maintain healthy forests. Both water and the watersheds from where it flows are essential to all life. In the Okanagan, snowfall is the dominant form of all the water used both for irrigation and domestic purposes, with 90 percent coming from the season's snow pack. The trail takes walkers on a short trip with tree scenic viewpoints, to look at the community watersheds, lakeshore zones, and streamside and riparian areas. In contrast to the dry forest high on the ridge, in such gullies as Ellis Canyon the riparian zones are green ribbons of life, with aquatic plants, shrubs, and trees filtering surface water before it reaches the creek. Stream corridors support a wider variety of plants and animals than any other habitat, and act as transportation corridors for some animals. Excerpts quoted from Okanagan Trips & Trails, A Guide to Backroads and Hiking Trails in BC's Okanagan-Similkameen Region, (Ellis Ridge/Carmi Trails)
Traveling through Penticton turn west off Highway 97 onto Westminster Avenue turn right on Martin Street which will soon turn into Main Street. Turn left onto Carmi Avenue from Main Street and travel for 9 km to the trailhead on the right side of Beaverdell Road just off Carmi Avenue.
(a) Click Wiki Edit This Page to get placed in edit mode
(b) When finished, your update is available to view as draft (click wiki update pending in trail to see draft)
* note: editors are notified and must approve the change