Since we moved to Kelowna in 2012, we’ve heard plenty of people talking about the Kettle Valley Railway Trestles trail, or more commonly known around here as the KVR. Relatively flat with easy access from multiple locations around the Okanagan, it seemed like a great family day trip.
We decided to start at the Myra Canyon station entrance, which is an easy 40 minute drive from downtown Kelowna. Though the last 8 kms of the drive are on dirt roads, we had no difficulty getting there with our 2008 Ford Focus. The trail begins right from the parking lot and it’s only 1 km to reach the first trestle (trestle #18).
We decided we wanted to see one of the many tunnels along the KVR and set out on a 2.5 km hike. Along the way we crossed 6 trestles, all with spectacular views of the canyon and Okanagan Valley below.
Along the way we a encountered numerous signs with facts and history surrounding the area. It was fascinating to learn about the wild fire that swept through the valley in 2003. Sadly, 12 of the 16 wooden trestles had been destroyed, while the 2 metal bridges required significant repair. Even today there are still remnants of the fires damage along the path.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of the KVR, you can check out this [webite].
5 Fun Facts about the KVR – Kettle Valley Railway
1. The Kettle Valley Railway spans an impressive 600 kms, all the way from Midway, BC to Hope, BC
2. Much of KVR was completed by chief engineer Andrew McCulloch, including the Myra Canyon Trestles and the Othello Tunnels in Hope
3. As the KVR is a typical railbed, the grade never exceeds 2.2%, which makes it a great path for hiking and mountain biking.
4. The longest trestle along the KVR is #6 at an impressive 220m long. This trestles is roughly 6 kms from the parking area at Myra Caynon station.
5. Along the longer trestles there are what we thought were look-out spots, or perhaps safety spots for workers to get off the track if a train were passing. These notches are actually for water barrel storage, in the case there was a fire along the trestle.
To see more photographs from this incredible adventure, check out our extended gallery at Lostlake Studios be clicking [here].