For islanders who keep a pair of boots stashed in their car for “hiking emergencies” the way some keep a spare chocolate bar in their purse, Olena Domnia has a Facebook group for you. She’s the administrator of the Bowen Island Hikers Facebook group. The Undercurrent caught up with Olena to ask her some questions for those islanders itching to lace up their boots.
What is Bowen Island Hikers? A local community group for hikers of all levels to explore, connect, share, learn and preserve.
Why did you start the group? I have started the group to unite, support and share experiences for all Bowen Island hikers in exploring hiking trails locally as well as off island. As an accomplished long-distance hiker, I am passionate about inspiring and motivating others in enjoying the magical outdoors, educating about backcountry safety, leave no trace, respect for nature and our land.
What sort of adventures have you gone on so far? We have explored the Valhalla Ridge trail cross island, ending at the golf course as well as enjoyed the Mt. Gardiner trails during the first snowfall. As an introduction to new members we have a short meet and greet hike up to Dorman Point every Friday morning with a coffee social post-hike.
What’s the level of difficulty for the hikes? From slow nature healing walks to adventurous Mount Gardener climbs. From locals to visitors – everyone is welcome.
What should participants bring? Basics for day hiking: daypack, water, snacks, headlamp, extra socks, hiking poles, dress in layers, wear comfortable hiking boots or runners. All other gear unique for each specific hike is listed in each event description. The most important is always: smiles and positive attitude.
Is there a cost? All events are free and run on a volunteer basis. Exception: hikes off island will be a normal ferry fee plus carpool share.
How frequent are the hikes? I try to have at least two to three hikes per week on a regular basis. Rain or shine, year around.
Are the hikes always on Bowen? The hikes are local as well as off island. Carpooling is a great affordable way to explore other beautiful hiking areas off-island.
If someone doesn’t have Facebook can they still participate in hikes? Most communications, event postings etc. are done through Facebook and Messenger. However, if people are interested in participating, I am happy to copy and email the information to everyone who is not on social media.