Visits to Kelowna’s popular Knox Mountain park look slightly different this season, as the city faces the global COVID-19 pandemic.
While the park may remain open, the city has made a number of changes and additions in interest of public safety, including:
- New overflow parking opened this week on the western side of the base of Knox Mountain, accessible from Poplar Point Drive. Intermittent parking space closures are in place to ensure park users maintain safe distance from one another when arriving to, or leaving the park.
- A turnaround point is being set up at the end of the main parking strip at the base of Knox Mountain to allow visitors to safety turn around rather than back out of the parking area.
- The Apex Trail is one way only. Walkers, runners and bikers can use the Apex Trail to travel up the mountain and Knox Mountain Drive to go back down. Directional signage is in place to guide park users.
“We’ve really strived to find a balance when it comes to Knox Mountain,” said Blair Stewart, parks services manager. “We understand that outdoor exercise and fresh air is something that our residents need right now. The changes are in place to allow for this space to remain open as long as park users respect the physical distancing directives that are in place for the health and safety of all.”
Signage is still in place around the park to remind visitors to remain a safe distance apart.
Knox Mountain Drive will remain closed to vehicle traffic throughout 2020. The roadway is currently closed to vehicles to assist with distancing measures and it is typically closed due to fire risk for a large portion of the summer.
The city also reminds park-goers that warmer weather also means increased wildfire risk. Open burning is not allowed on private or public property within city limits, nor are campfires or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including wood-fueled fire pits.
Briquette barbecues are not allowed in city or Regional District of Central Okanagan parks. Smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes and cannabis is also banned in all city and regional parks and beaches.
Anyone who sees fire or smoke in any park should immediately call 9-1-1 or *5555 for wildfire.
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