Trails with a History (Click here for current plan)

A comprehensive trail network is planned within the Boss Creek lands some of which retrace the tracks of the historical BX Ranch


        The trail network will expand and enhance the parks and trails of the Greater Vernon area for the local residents. This is a high priority of local government as identified within the “Parks and Recreation Master Plan – Ribbons of Green”.  Vernon Hill is specifically mentioned and primary trails will be developed to meet this regional objective and local residents’ desires.  These primary public trails will be designed under the guidelines of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department of the Greater Vernon Services for all residents.

        In addition the trails will enhance the Boss Creek residents’ enjoyment of the land by providing the ability to move through and around the property by non-vehicular means.  By integrating a series of hiking, riding and biking trails, all residential homes will connect with the public trail network which provides access into the Crown Land, scenic viewpoints, and other on-site attributes. The trail network will meander through the development and will strengthen the sense of community neighbourhood and enjoyment of the land.


Boss Creek was originally part of a horse ranch (the BX Ranch) used for raising horses for the stage line that supplied the goldfields in the Cariboo area of BC. In 1860, Francis Barnard began ranching five miles east of present-day Vernon. The name BX was applied to the ranch after Barnard had established the B.C. Express and Stage Line, more commonly known as Barnard's Express. Barnard had come to Yale, B.C. from Quebec in search of gold. Like others, he found a more reliable income in providing services to the mining towns. He obtained a mail delivery contract to the Interior, first on foot, then by pony, and finally by a full-scale freight and passenger service. In 1868, he sent his foreman and senior driver Steve Tingley, to New Mexico where he purchased 400 horses and drove them back to the BX Ranch. These horses became the breeding stock from which Barnard drew the horses needed on the stagecoaches and freight wagons. The run from Cache Creek to Priest's Valley and Okanagan Mission operated until the completion of the Okanagan branch of the CPR in 1892. The Cariboo run survived until 1917 and the opening of the PGE railway. After Barnard's death in 1889, the estate retained the ranch until 1900 when it was sold to Alexander Macdonell. In 1911, a morning fire destroyed the ranch house and barn. Mrs. Macdonell lost her life in the fire. Macdonell sold the largest part of the ranch, retaining only 320 acres. The youngest son, Roddy, inherited the ranch when his father died in 1925. In six years, the bank took over the ranch and sold it to John de Roo. Various parts of the Ranch changed hands and  the Mountain portion purchased by Boss Creek Development in 2005. Old worn, horse shoes can be found there today, so keep an eye open when you walk on a Vernon Hill Ranch nature path.

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