Kettle Valley Rail Trail
The once-abandoned Kettle Valley Railway has been developed into a multi-use trail that takes in some of the Okanagan’s best scenery with few challenging climbs. Much of this route maintains railway grades that rarely exceed 2.2 per cent, as cyclists cross old trestle bridges, pass through tunnels and enjoy stunning views across Okanagan Lake.
“It’s beautiful and you don’t have to deal with cars,” says Matt Clarke, a cycling photographer based in Penticton, B.C. “The scenery is just unreal: big lakes, vineyards in all directions and these stunning trestle bridges closer to Kelowna.”
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail offers 600 km of multi-use gravel paths, but the 342.2- km Midway-k el own aPen tic ton-midway takes in many highlights in a three-to-five-day tour. Clarke also recommends two shorter out-and-back rides from Penticton. “Riding from Penticton to Chute Lake (92 km return) along the Kettle Valley Railway,” says Clarke, “is beautiful. It passes Little Tunnel and has some of the best views in the Okanagan. Or you can continue onto Myra Canyon (160 km return) to check out the famous trestle bridges.”
Riding is possible nine to 10 months of the year. But, it’s one of Canada’s hottest summer climates. Cyclists should start early and finish their summer rides long before the heat of the afternoon.