Shuswap Adventure Girl Sarah Tokarek explores the Bear Creek Lower Flume Trail with her kids Meadow, Mickey and Daisy. (Contributed)

Shuswap Adventure Girl Sarah Tokarek explores the Bear Creek Lower Flume Trail with her kids Meadow, Mickey and Daisy. (Contributed)

Shuswap mom helps others find their own outdoor adventures

Sarah Tokarek is Shuswap Adventure Girl, an online trail guide for the region

“Adventure” is Sarah Tokarek’s middle name.

At least it is online, where the Blind Bay resident goes by the handle Shuswap Adventure Girl, the name given to her website/blog and social media presence through which she shares her hiking experiences in the region, as well as a wealth of information about local trails, current conditions and other pertinent information.

Born and raised in the Yukon, Tokarek’s father was a conservation officer and both her parents were avid outdoorspeople. Tokarek inherited their adventurous spirit and passion for being outside.

About 10 years ago Tokarek and her husband made their way south from Prince George to the Shuswap, where she longed to discover new outdoors experiences.

“I was at home with newborns, I couldn’t find a way to get outdoors, I didn’t know what to do,” said Tokarek. So the family began heading out on weekends to hike the region’s numerous trail systems.

“Every single weekend, we’d grab a back-road map book, we’d grab the trail guide, we go… all over the place, we do it all,” said Tokarek. “I have three small kids. We all love it.”

Tokarek began receiving questions from friends, and strangers, interested in hiking in the region and wanting to know more about where to go, what to see, what to pack, etc. She began thinking of herself as a sort of Welcome Wagon for the area, happy to help people learn more about what she’s discovered. This eventually led to the creation of her Shuswap Adventure Girl blog.

Since then, hiking and promoting Shuswap trails has become something of a full-time job for Tokarek, whose vision is for Shuswap Adventure Girl to become an established local guiding outfit for the region.

While she has only praise for the Shuswap Trail Alliance, of which she’s a member, Tokarek has found some information gaps she hopes to fill, such as categorizing local hikes that are suitable for families or for seniors who may have mobility concerns. She said she’s been contacted by a lot of seniors wanting to know more about trails and trail access.

The top three questions Tokarek receives, however, are if she’s done a particular trail, what trails might be suitable for people with small kids and, despite it being available on The Shuswap Trailwebsite, information regarding trail distances and difficulty.

Read more: Column: The magical English Creek landscape and bouldering destination

Read more: Column: The Shuswap is a staycation paradise with plenty to discover

Asked about her favourite hiking areas, Tokarek, without hesitation, championed the South Shuswap.

“We are so lucky here to have what we have,” said Tokarek. “We have so many trails here. The Tappen Bluffs is a very unknown trail but it offers incredible views and it’s not much effort to get there.

“The Margeret Falls upper loop. Everybody knows Margaret Falls but the upper canyon is a totally different view of what we all know and love.”

Tokarek also spoke highly of Sicamous for having incredible trails that range from family friendly (Riverfront Nature Trail) to more challenging hiking options.

While Tokarek loves going on outdoor adventures with her own children, she’s looking forward to having the grandparents babysit this summer so she and her husband can do an overnight hike on Pukeashun Mountain in the North Shuswap. She’s also looking forward to visiting the old-growth rainforest of Upper Seymour River Provincial Park, something she’s learned about from friend and Shuswap Passion writer Jim Cooperman.

“He’s a wealth of knowledge,” said Tokarek.

Asked what advice she has for those keen to experience their own Shuswap adventures, Tokarek stressed you don’t have to have expensive gear to enjoy the outdoors.

“You’ve just got to go out and try it…,” said Tokarek. “It’s never going to be a waste of time. You’re out seeing something and you feel so good when you accomplish a hike – you’ll feel like you’re at the top of the world, looking at the Shuswap from a different view.”

@SalmonArm
lachlan@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Outdoors and Recreation

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

 

Shuswap Adventure Girl Sarah Tokarek has a particular passion for hiking trails around Blind Bay and the South Shuswap. (Contributed)

Shuswap Adventure Girl Sarah Tokarek has a particular passion for hiking trails around Blind Bay and the South Shuswap. (Contributed)

Just Posted

Linda Sanky photo
Vehicle fire spreads to trees at Penticton beach spot

The fire is at Pyramid beach, off Highway 97 between Summerland and Penticton

Over 300 participants, aged nine to 99 contributed to this yarn bomb outside the Penticton Art Gallery, near the bridge going to the Japanese Gardens. (Penticton Art Gallery)
Penticton has been yarn bombed

Penticton Art Gallery is hoping to yarn bomb even more trees around town but needs your help

Oliver Fire Department. (Submitted photo)
More human caused fires in Oliver

Firefighters have been kept busy putting out several potentional wildfires

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Through their Simple Generosity campaign, Valley First has pledged to donate $1 million of community support to British Columbia communities in 2021. (Contributed)
Valley First rewarding Penticton families with innovative way to thrive together

Participants with ‘inspiring ideas’ will receive a surprise for their family, valued at up to $2,500

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Okanagan dealership gives local cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Most Read