Knox Mountain Park
Knox Mountain Park is the City of Kelowna’s largest Natural Area Park. The park is 310 hectares (766 acres) in size and is located immediately north of Kelowna’s downtown. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Knox Mountain Drive opens in the spring and closes in the fall. The roadway is open to traffic from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from noon until 9 p.m. on Sunday.
2017 update: Knox Mountain Drive is closed for the season as of November 2, and will reopen in the spring.
The summit of Knox Mountain rises approximately 300 metres above the high water level of Okanagan Lake. While the lake shoreline borders almost 1,400 metres of the western park boundary, much of the remaining boundary is surrounded by residential development. The size, height, central location and natural amenities make this park a landmark that is a highly desirable destination for residents and tourists alike. Views to the park from the City and views from the park of the City, lake, and surrounding mountains are unparalleled. The original parcel of parkland was first dedicated to the City in 1939.
Knox Mountain is home to several representative Okanagan ecosystems as the park transitions from lakeshore to mountain top, including: riparian, wetland, Ponderosa Pine Bunch Grass, and dry Interior Douglas-fir. These ecosystems are fragile, dry and highly susceptible to erosion and degradation.
The park supports numerous activities including but not limited to walking, running, hiking, pedal biking (road, cross country and downhill), birding, nature appreciation, sightseeing, winter recreation and dogs on-leash.
Knox Mountain Park Management Plan
Kelowna City Council endorsed the Knox Mountain Park Management Plan in November 2011 directing staff to use the plan as a guide to follow in future planning for the park.
The Knox Mountain Park Management Plan addresses a wide range of issues affecting the park, many of which relate directly to the impact of users on the environmentally sensitive areas. Over the past decade, the number of park users has dramatically increased with the popularity of the park and the general population growth of the Central Okanagan. Park use will likely continue to intensify in use over the coming years as the City's Official Community Plan provides direction for high density development in the adjacent downtown area.
Council's endorsement marked a significant milestone in the history of this city's largest Natural Area Park. The management plan tackled complex planning challenges and has charted a clear and strategic course for the future of the park; one that prioritizes the importance of the park's environmental health and inspires collective efforts to ensure a sustainable future for the park. The management plan includes a financial plan that identifies specific projects and addresses up-front capital expenditures, capital replacement costs and on-going maintenance and operational costs.