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Food and Travel Blog

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Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway through Myra Canyon in British Columbia

The Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) has a history that dates back to the early 1900s when silver was discovered nearby Nelson, British Columbia. In 1990, the railway lines were abandoned and converted into a 600-kilometer path that is now available for use in the hinterland.

Since then, cycling on the Kettle Valley Railway has become very popular.

The Kettle Valley Rail Trail is true wilderness. It winds through the hinterland of southern BC and through a range of environments including vineyards, orchards, forests, lakes, deserts, and mountains. Small centers are connected by the path – places like Beaverdell, McCulloch, Chute Lake, Coalmont and Brookmere, which are only dots on the m and have at most a few places to stay.

Tunnels, bridges, wild animals, rattlesnakes, extreme heat, and thunderstorms are some of the dangers one can encounter.

Cycling on the Kettle Valley Railway Trail in British Columbia, CanadaCycling on the Kettle Valley Railway Trail in British Columbia, Canada

Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway Trail

The Myra Canyon The section of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail is a very scenic and easy 2-4 hour drive. The route takes you over 18 railway trestles (many of which were rebuilt after a fire in 2003) and through two tunnels over about 11 kilometers. Monashee adventure tours You can provide rental bikes, guides and shuttle services or rent a bike for 4 hours and up to a day Myra Canyon Rentals, conveniently located at the end of Myra Forest Road. (National Geogrhic recommended one of Monashee Adventure’s tours in the area!)

The other option is to drive 80 km from Myra Canyon to Penticton for most of a day. Chute Lake Resort is close to the half-time mark. Here you can buy lunch, cold drinks or a freshly baked piece of cake. From Chute Lake it goes downhill to Penticton, which sounds easier than it is. The grade is 2.2%, but there is quite a bit of sand to negotiate.

The views of Lake Okanagan and the Naramata Bench wine country are especially fascinating the closer you get to Penticton. Just after the Hillside Winery, stop at The Trail Store for a cold drink or try The Banking market for delicious food and drink as soon as you step into Penticton. Monashee Adventures offers a shuttle service that will take you to Myra Canyon and pick you up in Penticton to return to the start.

Wait at least two weeks if you want to explore the full length of the Kettle Valley Railway. The book Cycling the Kettle Valley Trail by Dan & Sandra Langford provides detailed route directions and some ms to hike the Kettle Valley Railway.