I have to admit, this winter has felt much longer than usual. Each weekend I’ve been dying to get out, to hit the open road and explore somewhere new. With the highways surrounding the Okanagan still a little dicey at times, we’ve had to find adventure much closer to home.
This past weekend we decided that we needed to get out for a hike. The forecast was showing sun with highs of +8, so we definitely weren’t staying home. I started looking online for inspiration, using Instagram and google maps to discover places we had yet to explore. Knowing that one of us would be carrying Ollie in the back pack, we also knew we needed to find somewhere relatively flat. Let’s face it, we haven’t been overly active this winter and need to work back into more difficult hikes.
We settled on the KVR trail with its easy access and almost non-existent elevation gain. The railbed itself has a grade of 2.2%, so no crazy up-hill or down-hill skills required for this one. We had, however, already done the Myra Canyon section of the KVR multiple times, so we wanted to find a new section we hadn’t seen before. Hence the exploration the the Naramata trail.
The drive to the Naramata KVR parking lot is just about an hour and a half from our house. From the parking lot it’s 4.4 kms to Little Tunnel, the main attraction along this section of the trail. We went prepared to spend much of the day out exploring, with extra layers and a packed lunch in our bags. This was Ollie’s first time in the Osprey pack since fall, so we knew we needed to go slow. Our little explorer is well into walking/running now, so being in the pack for long periods of time doesn’t appeal to him.
There were tons of stops along the way. He gathered pine cones, took in the view and ran happily after daddy. Much of the trail has already thawed, with very little evidence of winter remaining. Spring run off is in full effect, however, so some caution is required around the streams.
We knew we were in for a beautiful days adventure, but it really was more than we expected. Brilliant sunshine. Lovely flat, groomed trail. Incredible panoramic views of the lake. Everything you could ever want from a random day trip.
5 Fun Facts about Naramata and Little Tunnel
1. This section of the KVR passes through Rock Oven Park. Constructed by those building the railway during 1911-1915, these ovens can still be seen at various points along the trail.
2. From the south side of Little Tunnel you get panoramic views of Naramata, Penticton and Skaha Lake in the distance.
3. The KVR spans an impressive 600 kms, from Midway to Hope
4. South of Little Tunnel along the KVR is Adra Tunnel, an impressive 1600 ft spiral “Big Tunnel”. At this current time the tunnel is closed due to a growing weak spot in the tunnel ceiling. However, fund raising efforts have commenced in order to begin restoration on the tunnel.
5. As the completion of the KVR neared, and before regular scheduled traffic started, Excursion Trains were often seen loaded with people enjoying the newly constructed railroad. ‘A Sunday trip to the Little Tunnel (Circa 1914)‘
To see more photographs from this family adventure check out our extended gallery at Lostlake Studios by clicking [here].