Oh Canada: The Kettle Valley Railway Trail Edition

Summer 2014 after we returned home from our Vernon, B.C. vacation, my friend posted about her family’s experience biking the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR). As they passed over soaring trestle bridges and tunnels that looked like something from a Grimm fairy tale, I mused “where is this place?”I couldn’t believe it was in Kelowna, merely 30 miles away from  our lakehouse. I became obsessed!

On one of our cooler days last summer, my dad, brother Jade and his two boys Jaxson and Connor joined my family for what was truly the most unique experiences I’ve ever had on two wheels. Originally built at the turn of the last century, the economic importance of the railway line decreased in later  years and by 1990 the last of the railway line was abandoned. Fortunately it was converted from rail to trail between 2003 and 2008, and re-salvaged after the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire claimed 12 of the trestle bridges. 

We biked one of the most famous and scenic sections–the 12 mile (24 km) round-trip portion of Myra Canyon to Ruth Station section that passed over 18 trestle bridges and through two tunnels. Thanks to the 2 percent rail grade to accommodate the steam train technology of the day, this section is an easy hike or an awesome bike ride for families with kids. But not too young because I was admittedly gripping my handlebars a bit tighter every time we crossed a steep trestle hanging preciously on the sides of Myra Canyon.

At every turn, my mouth stood agape at the views of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake as the forest cast a pale-green lambent light.

I’d spent more than a year building up this ride in my mind and it exceeded every expectation. However I felt a letdown when it was over, musing “now what?”Until I learned that this small portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail is part of  a 600 kilometer (360 mile) trail system that passes through vineyards, orchards, forests, lakes, deserts and mountains.

Guess what I’ll be doing next summer.


In case you missed our other Canadian adventures this summer:

Oh Canada: The Lethbridge Edition

Oh Canada: The Canada Day in Raymond and Waterton Edition

Oh Canada: The Calgary Edition

Oh Canada: The Banff/Canmore Edition

Oh Canada: The Lakehouse Edition

Oh Canada: The Kettle Valley Railway Trail Edition

 Oh Canada: The Edition Not in Canada

Other Posts