Canada // The BC Interior //

The Kettle Valley Railway and Myra Canyon

The Kettle Valley Railroad operated in the Thompson–Okanagan region from 1915 until the early 1960s, to be finally abandoned in 1989. Since then great chunks of it have been part of a rails-to-trails programme which allows you to hike or cycle for hundreds of kilometres through the region, though the key stretch is the 215km section between Midway – on Hwy-3 near the US border – and Penticton. However, its greatest spectacle is Myra Canyon above Kelowna. Here the series of gigantic wooden trestles which once allowed the railway to be routed between the Kettle Valley and Okanagan now provide an impressive testament to engineering. This was underlined by the spirited work involved in rebuilding the structures after 2003 wildfires ran riot – as interpretive boards along the route explain. To get to the eastern trailhead drive 25km southeast from central Kelowna on Gordon Drive, KLO Road and McCulloch Road. From the parking lot you can walk or cycle out and back along the trestles for an hour or two, or even cycle all the way to Penticton, a fairly easy four to five-hour ride since most of the route simply descends into the Okanagan Valley – with a series of tunnels and the gorgeous scenery below making it a memorable ride. You’ll need someone to pick you up at the other end; Monashee Adventure Tours offers this service along with bike rentals, with their $120 Myra Canyon tour including a gourmet lunch and tasting at the Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

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