SILVER STAR, BC — The architecture of this village will strike you as fun, lively and very welcoming. Featuring all colours from the rainbow, with oranges and purple taking presidense are all over the buildings and private homes.
"It was when the village was first founded in the 80s," explains long time resident Gwen Thompson. "The owner’s wife was an interior designer and wanted to create something unique, so a minimum number of colours was instituted as a mandate for building here."
Now you see every colour matched with some funky, almost new Orleans/Gold Rush inspired architecture complementing the village’s overall mining theme.
What’s so special about Silver Star?
"Its location. You can head down into the Okanagan Valley, which is the hottest, driest part of Canada,” said Roseanne Van Ee, tour operator and owner of Outdoor Adventures. “Then making your way to where we are now, it flanks along the interior rain forest of the Columbia Mountains which is known as the second wettest place in Canada only next to Clayoquot Sound.”
And this is good news for us snow hounds as most of this precipitation falls as snow.
"But what you find is that between these climatic extremes is highly diverse and concentrated variety of wild, plant and entomocical life,” said Van Ee.
In addition to enough slope-side Nordic and downhill options to keep any snow enthusiast busy for weeks, Silver Star also includes outstanding snowshoeing trails within its land base and in the neighbouring Sovereign Lakes.
With 10 years as a local and 10 years as a interpretive guide with Parks Canada, Van Ee is the perfect person to share the stories and her own experiences about this beautiful part of British Columbia.
Silver Star is located in a provincial park, which was first instigated by the locals who, in the 30s, would make their way into the area via ski expeditions. They would stay in the mining cabins which were put in the early 1900s and love it so much, that after World War II, they help the government put in a road for better access.
"It was right along the trail we are on tonight that would take these explorers from the town of Vernon up here, so I call it the trail through time."
The trail she was referring to, took us to a stellar ridge with a beautiful view of Lake Okanagan, a lake that stretches 150 kilometres south of Vernon.
Van Ee offers a number of afternoon and sunset tours, plus evening tours that, depending on which one you book, ends with a decadent chocolate fondue or a delicious wood stove baked dinner.
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