Kelowna: Okanagan Lake is a massive, beautiful waterway

Hikers ramble near Sparkling Hill looking down on Adventure Bay on Okanagan Lake. (Colin Baxter /Black Press Media file photo)Hikers ramble near Sparkling Hill looking down on Adventure Bay on Okanagan Lake. (Colin Baxter /Black Press Media file photo)
The Okanagan Rail Trail, which is 50km in length, starts at the north end of Kalamalka Lake and ends at the center of Okanagan Lake, downtown Kelowna. (Contributed/Black Press Media file photo)The Okanagan Rail Trail, which is 50km in length, starts at the north end of Kalamalka Lake and ends at the center of Okanagan Lake, downtown Kelowna. (Contributed/Black Press Media file photo)
Okanagan Lake as seen at sunset at Carrs Landing in Lake Country. (Janine Lavroff/ Black Press Media file photo)Okanagan Lake as seen at sunset at Carrs Landing in Lake Country. (Janine Lavroff/ Black Press Media file photo)
An athlete with the Kelowna Paddling Centre trains on Okanagan Lake. (Marissa Tiel/Kelowna Paddle Centre/ Black Press Media file photo)An athlete with the Kelowna Paddling Centre trains on Okanagan Lake. (Marissa Tiel/Kelowna Paddle Centre/ Black Press Media file photo)
A view of the Lake Okanagan Resort in Kelowna. (Black Press Media file photo)A view of the Lake Okanagan Resort in Kelowna. (Black Press Media file photo)
Ogopogo statue in Stuart Park, Kelowna. The mythical lake monster is said to inhabit Lake Okanagan. (Michael Rodriguez / Black Press Media file photo)Ogopogo statue in Stuart Park, Kelowna. The mythical lake monster is said to inhabit Lake Okanagan. (Michael Rodriguez / Black Press Media file photo)
Underwater Ogopogo statue in Lake Okanagan. (Youtube screenshot from colintube1 /Black Press Media file photo)Underwater Ogopogo statue in Lake Okanagan. (Youtube screenshot from colintube1 /Black Press Media file photo)

The defining feature of the incredibly fertile Okanagan Valley is Okanagan Lake, a 135-kilometre long waterway that forms the area’s backbone.

It’s large, deep and popular for swimming, boating, fishing and more, and cities on the lake include Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Lake Country, Summerland, as well as the famous winery community of Naramata.

No description of Okanagan Lake would be complete without mentioning the Ogopogo, a mythical lake monster said to resemble a long, dragon-like serpent.

First Nations people in the area traditionally refer to the Ogopogo as Naitaka, which has various translations, including water demon and water god.

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