Friday, 1 July 2011

Cycling the Kettle Valley Railroad

Cycling the Kettle Valley Railroad is an amazing experience.  Due to limited time and even more limited ability on my part, Doug and I cycled pieces of the railway.  We would love to go back and cycle larger sections but we would have to train a little bit first!

We started our adventure in Princeton.  Heading east from Princeton we road through the 1000+ ft. tunnel. We were told the lights would be on, but later found out they only put them on on weekends.   Riding in the dark is not something I recommend, but it was the quickest way through so that is what we did.  The scenery was amazing and thankfully the trail was well kept.  With a maximum 2 per cent grade on the entire railway, even the most novice mountain bike rider can ride the trails.

The following morning we decided to ride east of Princeton.  The switchbacks heading up the hill sounded daunting but were much easier than we thought.  The trail takes you through rolling farm land.  After about 20 km we turned around and headed back to our camper.  The second day was taking it's toll on my body!

We traveled down the road to Penticton and stopped at the info centre to check out the best approach to the trails in that area of the province.  We decided to drive to the Chute Lake Resort and set out from there.  We road the trail north of the resort for about 7km and then back.  We found the trail a little sandy in this area.  The fire of 2003 went through this area so it has an interesting landscape.  The areas that were burnt are starting to rejuvenate.

The last day of our ride we drove along the trail for about 12 km until we encountered the first tresle.  The bikes came out and off we rode towards Myra canyon.  The first 9 km was a nice hard packed trail with lush growth everywhere.

We entered the Myra Canyon which is 12 km of well maintained trail.  Eighteen trestles, two tunnels and lots of tourists.  There is a trail guide available to answer questions and lots of signs explaining the different attractions.  This section has parking lots at either end and is easily accessible from Kelowna.   This section of the trail is perfect to walk, run or bike by people of all abilities.  A must see!

During our ride we encountered several deer, a moose, a rabbit, lots of chipmunks, squirrels and marmots.  The most interest was a black bear on the last day.  We were upwind so he didn't know we were coming.  Doug hollered at him to get off the trail.  The bear ambled off the trail then stopped to watch us ride by.  A wonderful B.C. wilderness experience!

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