Ernie, Tammy and Holly have been off trekking on the Kettle Valley Railway Trail for a last break before the summer sets in and the busy fishing season is upon us… It is Holly’s first road trip with her new family and she is right in her element galloping along beside Ernie and Tammy as they bike the trail.
The Myra Canyon Trestle seen in the pictures with Ernie and Tammy was one of the bridges rebuilt after the August 2003 fire caused by a lightning strike in the mountain destroyed 12 of the original 18 trestles that were once an active railway that opened in 1915 and served the Thompson Okanagan mining trade until 1961 when parts of the rail line were shut down. The remaining segments fell into disuse as a railway in 1989 and became a very popular hiking and biking trail and to date all of the trestles that were destroyed by the fire have now been rebuilt.
The portion of the trail that Ernie and Tammy are exploring with Holly runs from Kelowna, along the east side of Okanagan lake, past Naramata, down to Penticton and on down to OK Falls area. Though originally through lush pine forest that offered a fabulous view between the trees and off the trestles, it is now far more open in most areas with new growth only 12 years old where the forests were destroyed. The trail also goes through the original tunnels cut through the rock as the area is very steep with solid rock in places. Maybe you will even catch a glimpse of the Ogopogo in Okanagan Lake!
Safety improvements have also been put in place in many areas of the trail to catch tumbling rocks and help stop trail erosion along the edges. Though some areas still have rail lines most no longer does. If you are planning a hike or bike so take water and hydrate… This area can get very warm, especially in summer and with no mature trees for shade in many areas the summer sun can beat down heavily so do plan on taking a hat and sunscreen. Hiking and biking in April and May in BC’s Okanagan offers almost perfect weather … here is a link to the biking trail that Ernie and Tammy enjoyed http://bctrail.ca/kelowna-map/ and there are many additional maps and tails on the BCtrail.ca web site.
And when you are done biking and hiking and heading back for a little rest … Check out some of the wineries, this area has many and though this season’s vintage is a long way off most offer tastings of mature vintages and signature blends and you can usually sit and sip, relax and enjoy the view of the rows and rows of grape vines and fruit trees that the area is famous for or pick up a bottle and head back to where you are staying to relax.
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