Author Judie Steeves looking through the pages of the new update of the book Okanagan Trips & Trails, which she co-authored with Murphy Shewchuk. (Barry Gerding - Black Press)

Popular Okanagan/Shuswap hiking guide updated

Fourth edition of Okanagan Tips & Trails now available in bookstores

If you are a dedicated hiker in the Okanagan and Shuswap region, there’s a good chance you might have crossed paths with Judie Steeves in your outdoors travels.

Steeves began accumulating her knowledge of the outdoors more than 20 years ago as a reporter with the Kelowna Capital News, which she often shared through her outdoors Trail Mix column.

Her newspaper profile introduced her to Murphy Shewchuk, who had noticed that outdoors column in the newspaper which led him to meet with her.

“He said to me he was looking at writing a book about Okanagan Trails, something I had begun to think about doing myself at the time. He thought it would be better if we work together on one book rather than working against each other,” Steeves recalled.

“It has turned out to be a great collaboration. He tends to know more about the North Okanagan and Similkameen trails and my knowledge is more about the Central Okanagan and little bits with the north and south.

“He also knows more about maps, GPS and technology where I am not as good at, so it’s been a good partnership.”

That partnership led to the publication of the Okanagan Tips & Trails in the ’90s, a book that is now available in its fourth update in local bookstores.

See more: COVID-19 curbs North Okanagan outdoors club

See more: People asked to make smart decision outdoors on BC Day long weekend

The accumulated sales with each new edition have generated sales of from 15,000 to 20,000 books.

“A national bestseller is considered sales of 5,000 so it has been a national bestseller many times over,” Steeves noted

“I am really proud of how it has turned out.”

Besides updated information on trails within the Okanagan and Shuswap region, Steeves is also excited to see every page printed in colour.

“It is definitely the biggest book we’ve done. When the first one came out the idea was to have something you could put in your backpack and refer to it when out hiking,” she said.

“But it’s a bit heavier now so carrying it in a backpack may not be as convenient, but people today tend to take the information they want, save it on their electronic device, whether it be photos or maps, and just use that.

“But there is a ton of information in it, with a bunch of new trails added, colour pages throughout, so it’s evolved into more of a coffee table book.

“Readers can have an armchair holiday by just reading it, looking at the photos and follow up some of the links provided. There is just so much neat stuff in it now.”

Steeves says hiking opportunities across the region abound, continuing to expand as the area population and various levels of government fund trail building initiatives have been developed.

She doesn’t profess to have a favourite trail, saying many trails offer different opportunities to enjoy being out in nature — Fintry Creek, Mount Boucherie, Monashee Mountains, Trepanier in Peachland, Okanagan Mountain Park, Pincushion Mountain.

She says concerns about ticks and encountering wildlife can be addressed mainly by following common sense.

For ticks, she said they tend to most prevalent in early spring.

“They like to burrow into your hair or around your ears, so after returning home from a hike, give your hair a good combing, brush off your clothes and have a shower. I have never had a tick burrow into me since I was a kid. “

As for wildlife, she says to keep your pet dog at home if you have one, as they can attract nervous animal moms prepared to aggressively defend any perceived threat of their pups, as in the wildlife hierarchy dogs rank as the equivalent of coyotes.

“And it is really important not to go out hiking alone. If you get into trouble, hurt yourself or break a leg, there is not always cell phone coverage everywhere in the backcountry. Hiking with other people is always advisable.”

Hiking

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Evacuation alert for homes near Dry Lake fire rescinded

Fire status changed to Under Control, crews remain on site patrolling and extinguishing hot spots

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Most Read