Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway

 


News from the Kettle Valley Railway
January to December - 2006


 

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December 10, 2006
Bruce W McLaughlin
Arrrrrg

Thanks Brian for updating the railtrail conditions. I really wish the government would be able to crack down on all those stupid quads and dirtbike riders. There are some sane ones out there who do not tear everything up but alas few and far between.
I noticed in another post that there is a significant amount of wrist and bottom pain in riding the railtrail. I ride a Lightfoot Ranger Recumbent off pavement and am happy to say that I will never have a upright bike again as the comfort issues are phenomenal. At the end of a long day the only part of my anatomy that has any pain is my thigh muscles and that is becomeing a non issue as I strengthen them. You might consider a recumbent bike over a dual suspension like I had before. It's worth the try.
Looking forward to cycling the KVR in 2007, as well as the Kootenay railtrails.
Have a great season.

December 10, 2006
Mike and Sandra
Otter Sleep Inn in Tulameen

Hello Dan, We own the Otter Sleep Inn in Tulameen. Our Web site is www.ottersleepinn.netfirms.com We have a modern 6 unit motel located in the heart of Tulameen. " Comfort in the heart of Tulameen!". We love cyclists staying at our facility which is only about 150 meters west of the KVR. Hope you can include us in your book. Regards, Mike and Sandra

November 6, 2007
Bryan (Ladysmith)
Kettle Valley Railway

Dan,
I rode the sections from the Kettle River campsite, to Beaverdell, to McCullough Lake to Penticton, then halfway down to OK Falls (late August).

My impressions were not entirely favourable; in fact, I would not recommend the trip. The long straight sections to Beaverdale, were hard going over the wash board; I had to miss a larger section closed by a local farmer, just outside the Campsite. The best section was the bed from Beaverdell to McCullough Lake, with a taste of meeting speeding Quads; I heard them comming, but they never saw me. I stayed at Idadell Lake, and at the end of a hot day, the ride uphill for 2 km, passed by a speeding logging truck, was not pleasant. I payed a small fortune for B&B in Idadell. The Myra Canyon is a desolate place, but the detour was just plain ugly. The route to Chute lake was not particularly nice, with a lot of car traffic before Chute Lake. Chute Lake was great, except for motorbike roaring up and down from the Government campsite. The ride down to Pentiction was the worst part of the trip. First, the trail was damaged by ill-informed repairs with sand, then the trail was broken up from Quad and motorcycle traffic; I was passed by over a dozen motorbikes and 4 quads. In Penticton, I had a helluva time finding the trail to the Old Train Station (what a disappointment, and missed opportunity). Fortunately, friendly local people helped me to find the trail to OK Falls. This was a good trail, and then a geneous pair loaded me and my heavy cycle up to the campsite on the Highway where I met my wife and friend.

It was a challenge, perhaps because of the heat, but the trail is being ruined by motorized traffic. The trip could be made more enjoyable with some information at the Historic site, without detracting from the wild part. Bryan (Ladysmith)

November 4, 2007
Steve Webb, c-swebb@telus.net
Cycling

Hi All, hoping everyone has had a wonderful riding season.....perhaps there's still someone out in that first-fallen snow tryin' to fix a tire and make it to the Blue Moose before closing time?...I hope.
I am feeling very thankful for all the good riding this year.....best ride ever in the Kootenays. If you haven't done the railtrails there yet......put 'em on your 'to ride' list. There's more than just riding.....there's borsht!
Thanks for all the good information, experiences and trail conditions.....it would not be as enjoyable without everyone staying in touch on this site.
If you are in the vicinity of Merritt, check out the XC trails at Kane Valley, just east of Merritt, very ride-worthy. Lac le Jeune as well as Lac du Bois Grasslands are a good, undulating variation from our beloved Kettle.....something to help rid us of 'washboard butt'!
I'm looking forward to the Myra being whole again, perhaps next season? If so, it will likely be gridlock.....but of a welcome form.....everyone ooooing and ahhhing from the repaired trestles......so busy they'll be opening a Best Western at Chute (sorry!).
Anyhoos, get those spokes an' hubs fixed.....rest the wrists and buns.....let's see how the Mother Nature changes things over the winter.....explore some more next spring?
P.S. Any stories????? stories are good!

October 28, 2006
Alex Galitzine. therussian@shaw.ca
Re: Coq toll booth to Tulameen

Crissy, Yes, there is the KVR trail to Tulameen and beyond.Although I haven't travelled it yet, I look forrward to it in Septmeber 2007! I think you will find all of your questions and answers in a book called "Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway" (third edition) by Dan & Sandra Langford. Along will the site you've posted your message too as you may have noticed. Good Luck,Alex

October 18, 2006
Ty & Tasha
Beaver dell Hotel

Hi Dan;
Our new web site is now up and running. www.beaverdellhotel.ca
Is there a chance that you can update the info on your web page to show the changes ?
Your web page for the carmi subdivision; link to the beaverdell hotel not working.
Eugene's no longer here. Beaver Creek Services & bakery/deli no longer here. new business is beaverdell gas, bakery & deli closes at 7:00pm
Links page accommodations on the web can you add us please ?
www.beaverdellhotel.ca
Many thanks
Ty & Tasha
Beaverdell Hotel

October 6, 2006
Crissy
Coq toll booth to Tulameen

Is it possible to get from the coq toll booth to Tulameen via gravel roads, logging trails etc? If so - anyone mind giving me directions? Crissy :)

October 5, 2006
Louise Middlemiss
New changes for 2007 Web site

Hi Dan... Can you please make these changes (In bold Black below) for the new 2007 cycling season coming up. Thank you. Louise

118.1 Okanagan Falls Forest Service Road ---Turn left, 4 km. to Raven's Inn B&B for Cyclists only ----------- # 32 Paradise Rd. Idabel Lake.. 1-250-765-0228 email: louise@idabellake.com

121.8 McCulloch Lake Resort
Since the fires in Myra Canyon McCulloch Lake Resort has undergone ownership changes and hopes to be operating later in 2007 or 2008. Camping is available at Hydraulic Lake Forestry Campground ( km 121.4)
Address: 9995 McCulloch Road, Kelowna, B.C. V1P 1K3 Contact Louise Middlemiss for info.....email: louise@idabellake.com or call 1-250-765-0228


Plus, in Beaverdell the "Tamarack" has a new phone number. Can you also make that change for Monique and Rosy, owners.

68.1 Beaverdell Tamarack Lodge 250-484-5490 - Food and Lodging

October 2, 2006
Mike and Sandra www.ottersleeping.netferms.com
Otter Sleep Inn

Hello Dan, We own the Otter Sleep Inn Motel in Tulameen. "Comfort in the heart of Tulameen!" We love cyclists staying at our motel. We have 6 units. Our website with all details is www.ottersleepinn.netfirms.com We are located only 150 meters west of the KVR in Tulameen. Hope you can include us in your book
Regards, Mike and Sandra

September 26, 2006
Glen S Boulier
Sasquatch

Hello Dan-
Spoke with you quite a while back on the Princeton-Coalmont area, and the possibility of Sasquatch involvement along that section. Through research thus far, including our encounters involving the creature at Princeton in 1974 & 1985 - it seems the species has been in the region for over 125 years. Susan Allison and First Nation's People spoke of the 'Big Men Of The Mountains.' I'm finding, that the creature may have used the track bed between Coalmont and Princeton to further it's goals. With the amount of perishable goods transported along the route, the animal may have picked up the odd meal through leaking or damaged railcars. (Possibly other areas as well.) But, at the moment, I'm focusing on travel, as the creature was also seen over a 5 week period near Coalmont in 1986. The species has been seen in the region as late as 2003 - near the Red Bluffs...along Tulameen Road - coming up from below the roadway. Through this research also, I am finding, that the creature was visiting the Princeton area for the gardens that are there - also the deer kills in the Fall. Is it possible to leave a little note under (posting) - if any bike rider or visitor has witnessed the animal, or encountered anything that may relate to the Sasquatch - strange activity...this type of thing, in the Princeton, Copper Mountain, Coalmont, Tulameen, Coquihalla areas? It would be greatly appreciated. And again, thanks for all your hard work with your work on the trails and such. It is 'okay' that my e-mail address is posted, and anyone contact me.
Sincerely- Glen S Boulier Glen.boulier@shaw.ca

September 22, 2006
Nick Pearson
KVR scout trip on the labour day weekend

On the 2006 September Labour Day weekend three Rovers , one Venturer and two Advisors, of the 18th Seymour North Vancouver, cycled along the Princeton line Kettle Valley Railway (KVR), from Penticton to Brookemere, which is 30km South of Merritt, for a trip of 175km. They set out at 2.00pm on Friday afternoon heading along the only working part of the railway and reached Summerland by 6pm, where they had a quick break. Traveling for another 2 hours in grueling sand/gravel they reached Trout Creek Forestry camp site, some 42km from our original point, where they camped for the night. Saturday morning and there were some very tired bodies which rose in the morning to breakfast and the next leg of our journey, 68km to Princeton. Already the temperature was starting to rise to the mid 20’ Celsius. They out on a steady incline of about 2 degrees; the trail had a washboard effect, either from the old rail bed or the ATV’s. (Generally the ATV drivers were courteous but the dirt bike riders were down right rude and dangerous) After riding for 4 hours we stopped for lunch. Everyone thought this was the end of our trip; the legs had gone and we were exhausted. But after Scouter George had given us a great lunch of hotdogs and fresh water and fruit, we climbed back into the saddle. The legs were stiff but nothing compared to our butts. There was a steady climb up to our first tunnel about 20km North West of Princeton After which there was a beautiful down hill ride, through farming fields and rolling hills into town along the Similkameen river . We camped at the Princeton Castle Resort and Camp Grounds, where everyone made us welcome. Having traveled 96km in a day and a half we were ready for the hot showers, really nice washrooms and pizza for dinner. The next day we were totally refreshed for our final leg of the trip. After a short ride through Princeton we went through our second tunnel which is 300ft long. Heading up through the Tulameen Valley It was really hard work going uphill for about 30km on the washboard trail. But after saying all that the, trail was one beautiful vista after another, of valleys, canyons lakes and wildlife, the Tulameen valley is really one of the least know treasures of British Columbia. We rest for a small break in the very quaint hamlet of Coalmont with it’s heritage hotel and quirky road signs, We then headed for the town of Tulameen, which has the most beautiful beach on he Lake Tulameen, Scouter George laid on a great lunch of local corn on the cob and melon. Having past Tulameen Lake, Osprey Lake, and Otter Lake, heading for Brookemere the last 20 km was grueling up hill climb. By this time the smoke from the Tatoosh forest fire was beginning to become a factor, with ash falling all around. The end came when the water tower and caboose from the old KVR of Brookemere came in sight. We could not believe we had actually did it, 175km in 2 ˝ days. I’m very proud of the boys, especially Johnny, our 14 year old Venturer. Well done guys!

Scouter Nick Pearson
18th Seymour Venturer/ Rover Advisor

September 5, 2006
Calvin Allen
Carmi Station to Penticton

We just completed this section and had a great time. The trail is great from the Carmi side until you get to the bypass trail at Myra Canyon. We were glad we did the bypass trail from the Carmi side as the trail is very steep coming from the Chute Lake side. The bypass would be OK if you were not loaded with camping gear. The trail between Chute lake and Penticton was soft but we made great time with the down hill grade.

August 31,2006
Bruce Bermel bbermel@cyberlink.bc.ca
Slide update between Christina Lake and Paulson summit

I rode up to the slide from Christina Lake this last weekend to check out the slide. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the slide is now very passable thanks to one of the Rotary clubs from Castlegar. They built a wonderful bypass trail around the slide, complete with cribbing and hand rails. It is easily wide enough to take a loaded bike through, but not wide enough for an ATV. The daring aggressive rider may even be able to ride this section, although there is some up and down. It only takes about ten minutes to travel through this bypass.
Thanks again to the Rotary club from Castlegar.
Bruce Bermel

August 28, 2006
Bernice
Trail update, Beaverdell to Coalmont
Thank you so much for all your info.W
e just got back yesterday and had an incredible ride.
As you suggested the bypass was a beautiful ride...we loved it!!
I am 62 and my husband is 64 ....the other couple slightly younger and we were feeling a little apprehensive but your email reassured us....we did it in two hours exactly and thought it was great! It is very unfortunate that the rumours are abound that it is so difficult...
‘Doreen at Chute Lake said people have asked her to “warn” people about it and tell them not to go as it is so difficult??
Anyway we had an awesome five days...ended in Coalmont and used Tullameen Adventure Tours (Neil) to get back to Kelowna...he was great and I would certainly recommend him...$50 each....but nice van and bike trailer...he was waiting for us in Coalmont and it was all very slick...Well worth it.
We stayed at Jellicoe Station at Chain Lake...what great hosts...les and Darlene...picked us up at bankier Store....he is off trail by two or three kms..straight up hill but what an interesting place...would definitely recommend it..
We did this ride about 8 years ago but it was great to do it again...There was four of us the first three days and then another couple joined us for the last two days.
We were disappointed that the Naramata, Penticton and even Summerland have really dropped the ball on some trail maintenance and signage...where the trail is closed before Bankier...there was no info and the had to keep looking for the trail and referring to the book which is fine but really after all this time there should be trans Canada trail or KVR signs...
Princeton has done a fantastic job with the signage and gazebos, etc...
Why are these other communities getting organized about it...I can’t think it is money as not a lot is needed...just a small amount and some volunteers and some organization.
I would like to do an email to some of these communities and wonder if you have any suggestions as where to best direct my commnts?
I think this is a missed opportunity for some of these communites ...there is so much that could be done to increase ridership of the KVR..
Anyway thank you for all the info...we appreciated it.
Really was a wonderful ride..
Bernice

August 28, 2006
Calvin Allen callen@mail.ocis.net
Joel's view point in myra canyon

Does anyone have the GPS data points for Joels lookout? How close is it to the KVR rail bed. Can a person hike to the view point from the rail bed?

August 25, 2006
Sally Burk sjburky@alaska.net
Smoke as of August 25,2006

I am planning to bike on the Kettle Valley Trail the first two weeks in September. Is the smoke from state of Washington still affecting the area(Castlegar to Penticton) and is it expected to continue into September? Thanks for any information.

August 11, 2006
Steve Webb c-swebb@telus.net
Kootenays

Thanks to all for the good riding info this year so far! I will be riding the Koots railtrails next week (20th...), seeking any recent ride adventure stories and info regarding this area (useful or not)....places to camp, BnB's that are convenient to the trails of the Kootenays....best bowl of borsht......best bakeries.....best coffee..... .......otherwise, if I don't get any replies....it's up to your book Dan 'n Sandra! Steve

August 9, 2006
Alexander
Used Bob Trailer

Hi Dan, I'm looking for some help in finding a web site directed to the sale of used equipment.My key focus is on a used Bob trailer with a shock on it.If you have any suggestions related to his request it would be greatly appreicated!I thought perhaps there would be link site from the TCT web site regarding cycling items for sale. i.e. Mountian equipment co-op has.
My plan is to ride the KVR from Kelowna to Victoria during the first week of September 2007. The route between Abbottsford and Victiora will be via Zero Ave, hwy 99, Ladner truck rd etc.Shorter I thing!
Alexander Galitzine

August 04, 2006
Marlo
Myra detour; Ruth to Penticton; Summerland; Faulder to Bankier

we have ridden various parts of the KVR in the last few weeks, and here is some info ...

it certainly is true that the rider numbers along this part of the KVR are WAY DOWN. But, except for a few KM around Myra, it's still the same KVR. I suppose the media hype has kept people away. I wouldn't change plans to come here at all.

1. the infamous Myra detour. Well, I did it. I was worried that I would not make it, but now I realize that the media is making it worse than it seems. Yes, you'll hurt. Yes, you'll be swearing at your idea (at this point, you'll blame anyone!) to take this bypass. Then you'll feel so great that you did it! (plus, you have earned lots of extra treat calories, a bonus) Sure, you hear bad things, but really, it's incredibly interesting, with great distant views of the Myra Canyon and the trestle rebuild project, lots of nature (amazing how fast it recovers from fire). The bypass is very well marked. Watch for small yellow signs. Watch for other traffic, esp on weekends when the ATVs are out and about. Wave at everyone. I would be less inclined to take a bike trailer or heavily loaded bike over this route, but even then, it means you'll have to walk a bit maybe. Parts of the trail are soft, some parts are rutted, but that's no different than the condition of trail from Chute Lake down to Hillside Winery (near Penticton). Don't let this bypass stop your trip along the KVR. (PS - very little shaded sections. It can be very hot at mid-day in mid-summer. Make it an early jaunt.)
Here's a hint for westbound riders - once you reach the top of the blocked-off no-vehicles section of the trail that climbs out of Pooley Creek (narrow bridge with orange markers on it) -- then it's basically a downhill ride to Ruth from there. Whew.

2. the trestles -- see www.myratrestles.com for photos and updates re: construction. Wow, what a project. It's very stirring to see the construction crews, the work going in to these landmark trestles. They look as authentic as can be. Coastal douglas fir timbers, etc. Fantastic. One can ride over 6-7 trestles from the east end, and 2-3 from the west end.

3. trail from Ruth (west end of Myra Canyon) to Chute Lake is in very good condition. tHe big muddy puddles have dried up. Bellevue trestle is spectacular. Fireweed for miles. surface is in pretty good shape. I was impressed. The historically authentic Carmi Subdivision mile markers start at Mile 103, which is approx 3.4 miles east of Chute Lake resort.

4. Chute Lake "resort" - Mile 106.6 on the Carmi Sub - well, as many of you know, it's certainly unique, and it's got character, as they say in real estate adverts. The pie is not-to-be-missed, the service is back-country. On the weekends it's popular with the local noisy ATV/dirt bike crowd, so be forewarned.

if you spend a couple of days here, take a mountain bike ride up to Elenor and Naramata Lakes. Watch for off-road vehicles on the wkds.

there's an active osprey nest across the lake from the lodge.

5. Chute Lake (approx Mile 106.6 on the Carmi Sub) down to Hillside Winery near Penticton -- well, this part of the grade has to be the roughest, bumpiest part of the grade between Myra and Bankeir. I don't know what the local parks department is thinking, esp if this is a major tourist attraction. However, it is very scenic once you get to Adra bypass. Again, this is a popular stretch of trail for unlicensed, uninsured off-road vehicles, so ride/hike defensively, esp on weekends and at dusk. It seems that the local Naramata parks dep't says it's ok for them to be on the trail and basically do what they want. Be warned. The popular photo spot is "little tunnel" which is approx Mile 122 on the Carmi Sub. It's also the local rowdy spot for parties, so watch for broken glass, garbage, and partied-out campers sleeping all over the place. Nice welcome!

Mile 112 is the cattle guard and the top of Eleanor forest road. You can shave off 4 miles by scooting down this bumpy shortcut. Come out at approx Mile 116, but you'll miss the Adra tunnel.

The tote road shortcut (Mile 116 approx to Mile 122) is very interesting, but suited mainly for experienced single track riders. No trailers or paniers. You'll miss the Little Tunnel if you go on this trail.

Bump bump bump and soft sandy spots. It's a killer.

6. Then, at Hillside Winery, you'll cross Naramata Road - watch out, most drivers are speeding and are not looking for cyclists at this crosswalk. The better news is that the wonderful City of Penticton has nicely maintained their part of the trail really well (a milennium project) Finally, your neck and shoulders (and backside) get a break.

In Penticton, the trail is a confusing mishmash, but you should be able to get across to the west side of town by intuition, if nothing else.

If you have time, go and ride around Skaha Lake (28 km total). Start anywhere. Follow the East Side Road (on the east side). On the west side of lake, get on the abandoned rail grade. It's very pretty. You'll cross a 300-foot low trestle (with deck and railings) over the lake. Somebody needs to maintain this trail better tho. The weeds etc have basically turned it into single track. Not much room for paniers or trailer. On the East Side, stop at Matheson Farm straw bale-construction farm market. Excellent produce. Good ice cream. Another popular attraction is Tickleberries ice cream in Okanagan Falls. Ask anyone for directions - it's just south of town on busy Hwy 97. careful if you have young riders with you.

7. Now, the trail from Penticton up to Trout Creek Trestle is controversial, as the local First Nations claim it as their land. However, you can ride, but it's loose gravel. Again, not much shade. Trout Creek Trestle is spectacular, and safe (railings, and decking). Remember, you can't go on that trestle when the tourist steam train is there. Check their website for schedule.

West of the trestle, you'll have to follow backroads to get to the Trans Canada Trail again. If you get totally lost, go in to downtown Summerland, and follow the signs to the Kettle Valley steam train station in Prairie Valley. Grunt up the last hill (view the lovely town dump!) and there you are, at the TC Trail again.

This new section along Trout Creek is very pretty. It's currently soft and sandy, but should pack down over the winter, hopefully.

8. At Faulder, you'll be able to ride on the actual railroad bed again, as you head west toward Princeton. Very nice route thru' canyon, over the new bridges. As you approach Bankier, watch for detours (there is a bridge missing). During the last big rains in Jly, there were some rock/mud slides covering the grade, but all cleared up now. Check ahead before you head west.

the trail surface is surprisingly good. Way better than the Naramata side, that's for sure.

The highlight up in Bankier is the newly renovated restaurant, general store, and cabins. Fantastic. Judy is a great short order cook. We loved her meal (incl pie). The washrooms are sparkling clean, there are showers, there is laundry, a big picnic ground, and even shuttle service by prior arrangements. They are hoping to get a liquor license. (nb - at the time we were there, they don't take credit cards - you have to pay cash, or get cash out of the ATM in the store. I don't understand why they don't take CC, but be prepared)

That's as far as we rode before heading home. More plans later. Bon Voyage!

August 4, 2006
Trestle?
Lois

Just a question about the Nakusp and Slocan Railway route. We cycled from Summit Lake towards Nakusp hoping to find the trestle at 45.4 km near Box Lake. Didn't find it. Has it been changed? Otherwise we enjoyed the cable car at Three Forks and the rest of the trails in the area. Happy trails Lois

August 2, 2006
Bernice Willoughby
Beaverdell to Coalmont?

We are doing beaverdel to coalmont on august 21st. Any info re the detours for the trestles...easy, difficult, are they posted or hard to find? Please email me at bernicewilloughby@shaw.ca Any other info would be appreciated. Bernice Willoughby

July 31, 2006
Sylvia School, sylviauwe@gmx.net,
Accommodation Rock Creek / Beaverdell Message

We just finished our cycling tour from Midway to Penticton with our two boys (10 and 13 years). It was a great adverture! Thanks to the book we had no trouble finding our way. In Rock Creek we found a nice new B&B, called Riverside Ranch Bed and Breakfast. It is located just beside the fairgrounds on the trail. The owner is Lisa Broughton and her e-mail is lisandthehoundogs@yahoo.com.

The Beaverdell Hotel has a new website: www.beaverdellhotel.ca and a new e-mail: BeaverdellHotel@telus.net - we had a great stay there,too! --

July 30, 2006
Dick Johnson dickjohnson@shaw.ca
KVR trip 1st week September

I was planning a bike trip with my adult daughter for the 1st week in September. I would like it to be a 3 day ride. I have ridden parts of the trail the last 2 years and like to keep my rides to about 50 km. minimum up to around 90 km. a day. I was thinking of Rock Creek to Castlegar which I did last year. I was curious about the washout near Lafferty, I am not too keen on trying to carry my bike around it, is there an alternate route to circumvent this wash-out?

Alternately I was considering riding from Rock Creek or Beaverdell to Penticton. Are any of the trestles re-built, or do you need to use the bypass routes suggested on the website? Is it possible to do this trip(Beaverdell to Penticton) without camping? That is, is there accommodation in hotels, motels, B&B’s at reasonable intervals?

July 29, 2006
Ty & Tasha
Beaverdell Hotel

Hi Dan; Just touching base to let you know that Tasha and I are know the new owners of the Beaverdell Hotel as of May 2005
This is our e-mail address and our web address can be found at www.beaverdellhotel.ca
Many Thanks Ty & Tasha

July 24, 2006
Hugh Walker
Accommadations Brookmere Area?

Hi My wife and i have done part of the KVR a couple of years ago,started at Beaverdall and got as far as Coalmont before having to call it a day because of fires we would like to do the Coalmont,Brookemere,Hope section this summer can anyone help with the following info. Is there any accomadations other than camping in the Brookemere area ?? Has anyone stayed at the Coquahala Lakes Lodge and do you have any comments?? I understand the Brookemere-Hope section is open for bikes is this correct ?? Is Roxy'b&b still in business ???if not what accommadation is available in Bankier?? Thanks for your help
Hughie Walker
Whistler

July 20, 2003
Dave Keen
Myra to Penticton
Just finished Myra to Penticton over two days - July 14 and 15. 7 of us with 3 kids 13 and under. Everything was fantastic and we all had a great ride. Shuttled from Kelowna with "Trailhead Ed" from Monashee Adventure Tours (he is a great tour guide on the way as well) and visited Myra and then rode through to Chute Lake. Great burgers and pie at Chute Lake and lots of room. Everyone saying how the fire has affected business along the way, even though the ride is still excellent. Had a great night at Chute Lake and an amazing downhill run to Penticton through Naramatta via the Hillside Winery (just like the guidebook says). Our two boys (11) both said it was the best lunch of their lives! Try the Muscat Ottenel, its amazing as well. Ed picked us up in Penticton and shuttled us back to Kelowna and our cars. Only saw about 5 through cyclists, but quite a few dirt bikers and some vehicles.

All were courteous and driving slow. Give it a try, even without the trestles, its still an amazing ride. Making plans to do the whole thing next year. Dave

July 19, 2006
Wing Kee Chan
Nakusp to Three Fork
I took a scout troop two week ago from Nakusp to Three Fork/Sandon.

The ride from Nakusp to the end of Summit lake was great except for a small section just before the Summit lake the trail was blocked off as Private Land and No Trespassers. We have to go on the highway for about half a kilometer, turn left into a road way and wondered around to come back on to the trail again at just about the beginning of the Summit Lake. At the end of the Lake, the trail has to cross the highway it continued for a bit but the trail is pretty overgrown. It turned into a single track with branches and bushes to navigate around. We did not continue at this point, instead we drove down to Rosbery to catch the trail at “Galena trail” to take us up to Three Fork and Sandon. This portion of the trail is busy and popular.

I did not explore the rest of the trail from Summit Lake to Rosberry, I am sure some parts of the trail must be in better shape than the one just after Summit Lake.

July 13, 2006
Paul, Cheryl & Al Miniato
paul@miniato.net
Oliver / Osoyoos

Accommodation notes:
"Above the Orchard" B&B, Oliver (not far from the trail)
< http://www.bbexpo.com/658 >

Great place, great hosts. The hosts, Ed & Lorraine, are both cyclists themselves and can tell you about side-trips in the Oliver area. They give preference to tri-athletes when the triathlons are on. Of course, they can also tell you about the local wineries. Not to mention where to get bike repairs done.

Bike repair notes:
Double O Bikes, Oliver & Osoyoos
< http://www.doubleobikes.com/ >

Got an incredible deal on some emergency repairs while in Oliver on July 9, 2006.

Regards,
Paul, Cheryl & Al
Tsawwassen, BC

July 12, 2006
Nancy
Arta B&B and Vineyard

Hi Dan and Sandra:
Our B&B is located on Sutherland about 3 minutes from the KVR –(down and round the corner). Every year we get bikers staying with us because of our close proximity to the KVR. We are a Canada Select 4 Star Accommodation with magnificent view of Lake Okanagan. We would appreciate your including us in your 4th edition of Cycling the KVR. Check out our website. Regards, Nancy

Arta B&B and Vineyard
Tourism BC Approved Accommodation-Canada Select ****
1120 Sutherland Road, Penticton, B.C.
Canada V2A 8T8
Tel/fax: (1) 250-487-1247
Email: artabb@shaw.ca
Website: www.artabb.ca

July 12, 2006
Mark Grist cdnmoose11@hotmail.com

Hope to Castlegar June 28 - July 3rd.

General comments:

Front shocks would be nice, as my hands and wrists were quite sore, especially after the descent to Penticton.

It was a perfect time to do the trail as the flowers were in full bloom, the days long, and the weather hot!

I'd recommend going west to east, as you get some skookum downhills and you go down the worst sandy/soft section (Faulder-Osprey lake).

The trail is generally in better condition (less detours, more improvements etc.) than described in the 2002 guide, as lots of work has been done. Thanks to all those responsible.

ATV's and dirtbikes are mildly annoying, either speeding along the trail (they were doing 70kms/hr+ by Arawana) or doing donuts (evidence all over the place). I recommend you write the BC gov't and lobby for non-motorized designation for the entire trail.

I'd typically be up with the birds (4:30-5am) and bike for 4-5hrs in the morning, sit out the heat of the day and then put in a few hours in the evening (after 5-6pm). Makes doing 100km+ days feasible and quite enjoyable.

I had one slack day (dropping to Penticton), otherwise they were decent days. Campsites/Distances were:

Hope - Otter Lk (120km), DeMuth FS Rec site (100km), Arawana (55km), Beaverdell (135km), Grand Forks (120km), Castlegar (110km).

Specific comments:

Hope to Brookmere - Fine, I just wish more of the rail grade was travelable. Trail next to impossible to find from km 22.2 to km 18.2, and the Coldwater river was pretty high, even if you could find the trail. Rec site at Brodie Siding rd (km 6.9) is really lovely.

Brookmere to Penticton - Brookmere to Princeton was probably my favourite section. Annoying washboard from Brookmere to Spearing (cars and ATV's use this road). Thalia to Otter lake is sublime. Past Jura the trail gets quite soft in places, expecially around Bankeir. Lots of ATV use in this area. DeMuth FSR site (pleasant) is at km 44.9 and not at km 52.7 (there's nothing there at all) as erroneously reported in the 2002 guide. Trout creek bridge at km 37.7 is in great shape, and makes for lovely travel. The Summerland Sweets factory is on the detour (spitting distance from the KVR on Canyon View road) and should not be missed! Ice cream, jams, honey, all sorts of goodies!

Penticton to Midway - Chute lake lodge is awesome - antiques junkies may never leave! Myra bypass: I'm glad it's there to make the route passable, but it takes you through 15km of steep clearcut hell. Some sections are technical and can be very muddy after rainfall. Do not do this section during midday - you'll roast alive! The dowhnill from Summit lake to Beaverdell is sublime, an absolute dreamscape. The store at Westbridge burned down, nothing there. The deli in the Rock Creek PetroCan makes the world's best Kaisers and Subs. The beef jerky (Freybe) is first class, too. I found a lovely shady spot right by the Kettle river at Ingram creek, 6.7km before Midway. The museum in Midway is not to be missed. Highly recommended.

Midway to Castlegar - Great milkshakes, floats and pizza at the store 1 block past (heading towards Grand Forks) the Copper Eagle in Greenwood (opposite side of the road). Greenwood to Grand Forks is yet another sublime section - the views down to the Granby valley are stunning.

The washout: It is NOT 14km past Santa Rosa Rd, as posted on the notice board (the local authorities are clueless). It's much further, closer to Coryell. There is a bypass trail on the high side of the washout and if you have some off trail experience and can carry your bike on your shoulder, you'll be fine. Some Germans I encountered said, "It's impossible to bypass - a 20 meter cliff" but that's not true. Having said that, there is one exposed move you have to make where a slip would be disasterous. Take care with children and note that the hardest part may be trying to keep your bike from catching in the bushes and branches.

The long tunnel is fine, but watch out for ATVs from Castlegar.

Great trip and highly recommended!

July 12, 2006

Paul, Cheryl & Al Miniato paul@miniato.net
Idabel, Beaverdell, Rock Creek (sort of)

Trail notes:

On July 9 and 10, we covered km 118.1 (Okanagan Falls Service Road) to about km 54 (south of Beaverdell.) (We were then forced to return to Beaverdell due to bike problems.) The weather was perfect for cycling, and we were very surprised to see so few people on the trails. During that entire 78 km, we passed 2 locals on horseback, 2 on ATVs, and one cyclist accompanied by an ATV. (Restauranteurs in Beaverdell had told us that prior to the Myra Canyon fires, it was not uncommon to have several hundred cyclists a day pass through Beaverdell.)

We found the trail north of Beaverdell to be in excellent condition. The last few hundred meters before the paved road into Beaverdell were about the worst of the entire 50. In general, the trail seemed in better shape than it had sounded in the book. (A few junctions were poorly marked and it was necessary to "follow the grade" to get it right. And without the book, we would have been lost for sure.)

South of Beaverdell, the 14 km we covered contained about 8 km of washboard in two sections. Apparently, logging trucks have been continuing to use these sections. This was by far the worst surface we saw in the 64 km of trail we covered. This sounds like the washboarding has increased since the book was written.

The terrain south of where we turned back looked beautiful all the way to Rock Creek, and we look forward to returning and making the "uphill" journey from Rock Creek to Chute Lake when the trestles have been restored. (Does anyone have an updated timetable for this?)

+++++

Accommodation notes:

Rock Creek: The Edelweiss Inn in Rock Creek burned to the ground on May 27, 2006. (We were booked in there, and only found out a few days before we arrived!):
< http://www.bcwwa.org/delver_fisher_fire.php >

According to locals in Beaverdell, the "store" (General Store) in Rock Creek also burned down four days later.

Rhone: Although we didn't make it there to verify for ourselves, some locals in Beaverdell thought that Paul Lautard's "Rhone Station" had been sold. (Best to check if you're counting on it.)

Beaverdell: Apparently, during the past year, at least four establishments changed hands:
- the Beaverdell Hotel
- the Tamarack Lodge
- Mama Woos
- the General Store
(I got the impression, business was hurting from the fall-off in KVR cyclists since the fire.)

Beaverdell Hotel: we were charged $70 per night for a "double" -- 3 of us including our teenager in one large room. The washroom down the hall had no hot water in the morning. The hotel is pretty dark, hot and claustrophobic, as you'd expect for a century-old building. We had one meal in their still unlicenced "patio" -- they are applying for the licence outside and once they have it, there will be no place for families with minors to eat at the Hotel. The food was inexpensive and reasonably good. The owner Tasha was friendly and offered her fiance to drive us and 3 bikes up to our starting point in his pickup for free. (We paid him for gas plus.) He was also prepared to pick us up at Rock Creek, had we made it.

Tamarack Lodge: Micki and Rosy (484-5490) told us they would have charged $45 a night for the same accommodation for 3. They are having trouble letting people know they also offer accommodation. We didn't see the rooms, but it seemed cooler and brighter, and they said they had "more washrooms". Rosy (who is also the local 911 contact person) does all the cooking and baking at the restaurant here, and the portions were HUGE, especially the breakfasts. The second day -- after we'd learned -- we split 1 large and 1 small breakfast between the 3 of us, and still had trouble finishing it.

McCullough Lake: locals in Beaverdell told us that the McCullough Lake Lodge sale is still before the courts so it's possible the Lodge remains closed.

+++++

All in all, great cycling, great book! If anyone knows when all the Myra trestles will be back in operation, let us know, and we'll be back!

Paul, Cheryl & Al
Tsawwassen, BC

July 10, 2006

Jeffrey Li
kvrt kelowa airport to summerland july 5 - 8

hi dan,
kelowna airport to summerland. july 4, 2006. my uncle and i flew into kelowna airport from vancouver with great enthusiasm of riding the kvrt. we were up for an adventure only to realize at the end that it was 'one-hell-of-an-adventure.' once we assembled our bikes at kelowna airport, we started peddling down hwy 97 only to encounter thunder, hale, lightning and rain like never before while trying to get into town to purchase some camping items. we were on two bikes respectively and one buggy when fully loaded weighed about 80 lbs. after picking up the gear we were enroute to mission creak park since it was the most direct route to myra canyon. at the end of mission creek park, you can take a shortcut up a narrow trail (not suitable for buggies but good for saddled riders) to myra canyon fsr. the hill on the shortcut was about 1.5km in length at about 50 degrees slope. since we couldnt climb that slope we found a gravel road in Happy Valley just opposite to the shortcut. its about the same grade but longer in distance. we camped alongside a creek off of mculloch road. the next day we found the myra canyon fsr. it is 8 km to the trailhead. with buggy and all, that hill took us 6 hrs to conquer. the view while cycling the 2km stretch of the myra canyon trestles was just spectacular. the other way of getting onto the kvr was via the june springs fsr but by taking this road it would have been hard to ride the new trestles at myra canyon. we took the detour at myra canyon. the trail in some areas was not marked and certainly very lengthy. i found it very difficult riding through the many rolling hills that were of fairly steep grade. due to the forest fire it was also hard to find shelter from the sun and the thunderstorm which we encountered for three days. we suggest anyone travelling along this trail bring lots of water since there is no 'drinkable' water on this trail until you get to chute lake. before you get to chute lake you will also encounter areas of this detoured trail to have massive pools of water that is ankle deep. if you are riding with a buggy like we did, we recommend putting the tarp on the buttom of the buggy to protect your valuables from water damage. about 30 kms later and one night later we were at chute lake. try their apple pie. it is worth every penny and more. from chute lake to penticton through naramata is a 2% downhill was absolutely magnificent for as long as you were on the trail. there is a detour at the adra tunnel. there, the trail again lacked proper signage thus we ended up travelling down this trail onto a fsr (very loose large rocks) which took us down to the parking lot in naramata rather than skootin' down 20kms of the kvr. from naramata to penticton was just breathtaking. the view of okanagon lake along with its cherry and apple orchards and the vineyards. we camped at a private campsite at skaha lake as there are a few of them around that vicinity. the next morning we tried our darnest to find the kvr trail leaving penticton to summerland. after five hours of riding around town and asking various locals, we discovered two ways of gettin onto the trail. the trail is on the west side of the okanagon river where all the locals go tubing. you can get on the trail by going about 1km west of the okanagon river by the mohawk station or going north about .5km from the mohawk station along the okanagon river to an unmarked trailhead. either way you will discover a trail that is very sandy with loose pebbles the climbs at a 6% grade for about 15kms til you reach summerland. when you are in summerland, remember to buy a waffle cone from summerland sweets. the cone speaks for itself.

July 9, 2006
ShelleyGunn
Coquihalla?

hello there! Myself and a friend are playing to scout out the trail mid June. I am wondering if anyone knows the conditions from the Coquihalla area. We are wondering what is the best route to take during July with kids. We are planning a 3 day trip by ourselves first to see what the route is like. Where is Myra Canyon? Sounds beautiful

July 6, 2006
Melinda Munro MelindaMunro@sympatico.ca
Bear at Trout Creek Crossing

We camped at Trout Creek Crossing Forest Service Campround (km 37 out of Penticton) on July 3. There is a garbage bear at this site. After 4 attempts to run him out of the campsite, we cached everything far from the tent and went to bed, nervous. Fortunately, he only bit a hole in our cell phone as he explored one of the panniers. No damage done to anything else. We reported him to the conservation officer at Bankeir and hopefully he will be dealt with. In the interim, don't stay there and keep all food well cached if you need to stay between Summerland and Bankeir. The bear is young, smallish and cinnamon coloured. Melinda

July 6, 2006
Michele Sanna
General information before departure

I think that my general question may interest those who are going to cycle the KVR in July and August.
After one year reading at the news of this site I would like to know?
What is the situation now from Castlegar to Hope (trestles, washouts, new detours and so on)?
Looking forward to be there (it will be my first visit)!
Thanks Michele
Italy

June 29, 2006
Rick & Terry cterry@nethop.net
B&B name change

Due to copyright restrictions we had to change the name of our B&B "Birds of a Feather". It will now be "Soaring Swallow B&B. ph. 250 295-7676, cterry@nethop.net . We are located on the KVR midway between Princeton and Summerland across from the 3 Lakes Store. Thanks to the guests who posted the such nice comments about our place and service. Hope the name change doesn't cause confusion. all the best Rick and Carol.

June 24, 2006
Steve Erickson serickson@hughes.net
Penticton to Merritt
My wife and I got a late start as we wanted to ride the train from Trout Creek to Prairie Valley. We left Penticton at 10 AM to meet the train at 11 AM at the Trout Creek Bridge. Even with taking the early train we did not leave Prairie Valley until 1:00. I highly recommend the train trip although I wish the trip extended all the way to Faulder.

As Rudy describes the surface is soft from Praire Valley to the summit at Bankier. This resulted in a longer and more exhausting trip than we had anticipated. We did not get to our lodging at the Three Lakes Store until 7 PM. Unfortunately the store was closed and our cabin at the Three Lakes General Store was locked. This resulted in some panic moments as we were not prepared to camp, and we were very tired. After my unsuccessful attempts to call the manager, the folks at Birds of a Feather B&B just accross the road were able to reach the manager of the Three Lakes General Store, and we were able to gain access to our nice cabin about 8 PM.

I understand that the Three Lakes General Store closes at 6 PM. Although the accommodations are nice at the Three Lakes Geneeral Store, I would recommend that cyclists consider staying at Birds of a Feather B&B if there is a possiblity of an after 6 PM arrival. Both have nice cabins, but you won't get locked out at the B&B. For cyclists wanting an early start, the restaurant at the Three Lakes Store does not open until 9 AM, but earlier arrangements can be make at the B&B and they are extremely accommodating.

Like Rudy we also met a Dutch rider. In fact he was the only KVR cyclist we met between Penticton and the end or our trip at Tulameen. On day two we rode from Bankier to Tulameen. This was a little longer than day one, but it was level or downhill from Bankier to Princeton. Again the trail was soft from ATV use. We met at least a dozen ATV or motorcycle riders, and all were polite. After burgering in Princeton we cycled to Coalmont for a brew at the Coalmont Tavern and then on to Tulameen. This was the most pleasant part of the trip, and we took our time as our legs were still fatigued from the day before.

We spent the night at the Otter Sleep Inn where the manager made arrangements for us to have access to a key to our room. He also leaaves at 6 PM but has made accommodations for late and tired cyclists. We arrived in Tulameen about 7 PM. The store and restaurant down the street close at 6 PM and at 4 PM on Sunday (when we arrived), so bring food to Tulameen. On Monday morning we rode back to Princeton and caught the 11:45 AM Greyhound back to Penticton. We came within 25 feet of a black bear just beyond Coalmont on the trip back. We must have surpised him as he bolted quickly down the KVR and into the brush. We saw many deer. This was a great trip, and I hope this information is helpful to those who follow.

June 14, 2006
Rudy Roelofsen
Penticton to Merritt

We cycled from Penticton to Merritt , beginning on June 7 , and arriving in Merritt on June 10. We intended to do as much as possible on the KVR. Six years ago we cycled Grand Forks to Osoyoos , and enjoyed it.

After a scenic start on the west bank we found and were impressed by the newly decked and guarded Trout Creek trestle and Canyon View Station. A local cyclist suggested we take Giant's Head road into town to start the detour around the tracked portion. He also advised us that a trail had been built from Prairie Valley Station to Faulder. After coffee in Summerland we followed signs to the dump and then to "KVR". The new bypass trail starts about 100m north of P.V. Station . This trail to Faulder , built by Trans Canada Trail , is very sandy and hard work. The creek crossing at 37.7 has been rebuilt--very nice. The trail along here was exhausting! along with the heat and the grade , one has to deal with the stones and rocks on the trail , made worse partly due to ATV use in the area. The Dutch rider we met likened it to riding horseback. ATV use evidence is generally more apparent near settlements , and sometimes includes willful damage , like "donuts" on the grade. On the other hand , where the trail's surface material is generally good to start with , the ATV's have less effect.

At 61.4 we thankfully switched to the road as the trail had been consistently rough since Prairie Station. Carol and Rick at "Birds of a Feather" B & B at Bankeir were a welcome sight when we rolled in at 1745. The trail surface continues rough past Bankeir , but since you're now going downhill , it's less challeging. Again we opted for the road at 98.1 as it was starting to rain a bit. It was a bit of a treat rolling downhill on pavement to Princeton.

The trail from Princeton to Tulameen is very scenic , although rough nearing Coalmont , due partly to ATV use. Store and hotel were closed at Coalmont , but we found a nice store/cafe in Tulameen on the main street. After Tulameen we took the road on the west side of Otter Lake , which is a very nice piece. Back on the trail at 146.8 , and the trail is good from there to 164.7 , after which the trail is shared with trucks and is washboard until the summit at Brookmere.

We spent the night at the Keyshar Horse Motel (Bert's) near 168.5. We shared a few coffees with Bert Sharkey , and rented a cabin from him , avoiding having to erect our tent in a thunderstorm.

The next leg to Kingsvale is very scenic , and trail is good as we travelled through the Coldwater valley. The bridge mentioned in the book at 18.7 doesn't seem to be there anymore , and we couldn't easily find our way onto the trail so we stayed on the Coldwater road. There is a hill at the start , but we were rewarded with a downhill at the Merritt end.

Further on I understand the trail is not accessible due to the presence of the Indian Reserve and washed out sections.

Once in Merritt a local business allowed us to store our bikes for a couple of days while we haeaded back to Penticton by Greyhound to collect our vehicle. We were surprised that we had met only four other cyclists on the trail in the four days. Total cycling distance was 221 km.

June 8, 2006
Gord Hunter
Rock Creek

My wife and I want to cycle parts of the KVR this summer and were thinking of using the Kettle River recreation area near Rock Creek as a base for a few days. There doesn't seem to be much written about that part of the trail north or east. I was wondering if it is a less interesting part of the trail to cycle or is it worth while checking it out.

June 6, 2006
George Foster
Accommodation in Brookmere

Does anyone know of any accommodation in or very close to Brookmere. We are arriving via the KVR on June 22/06 . The tourist bureau in Merrit thought there was a B&B right beside the KVR in Brookmere but had no info and I have not been able to find any. Thanks George Foster
June 5, 2006
Leyster Wayne wayleys@telus.net
Myra Canyon Trestle Update as of May 7 / 8

Hello on these two days we walked the Myra Canyon Trestles.
From the west end coming from Chute Lake, 3 trestles are in good repair but the fourth one is not there nor started on the replacement as yet. We drove up a good gravel road to the Ruth Station parking area. On the 8 we drove up from Kelowna to the east end coming from McCulloch, 7 trestles and 1 tunnel are in good shape. The trail was blocked at the far end of the tunnel as they have started replacing the next trestle. When we went up on the 8 there had been an overnight snowfall of 7 inches. We met one of the rock scalers that is working on the trestles, he mentioned that they were hoping all trestles would be done by the fall. Biking from either direction the roads down into Kelowna are very good, we have stayed at the Big White Motel in Kelowna the 2 times we have cycled this part of the trail and they are very cycle friendly, allowing us to store our bikes in the office and they have a hot tub, pool and sauna. One woman working the front desk both times we stayed knows the railway well and her family cycle to Chute Lake on it quite often for family get togethers. Enjoy the cycling this year wish we had the time to do it again this year but alas not, hopefully next year will work for us.

June 1, 2006
Greg Bounds
Cycling the West Kootenay's

A friend and I recently completed a self supported cycling trip in the BC West
Kootenay's. We travelled from Christina Lake to Castlegar to Salmo to Nelson
to Ainsworth Hot Springs to Kaslo and finished in New Denver. As one of the
earliest cyclists this season to cross the trails I thought I would post an
update on your webpage.

++++++++++++++++++
Columbia & Western
++++++++++++++++++
Yes indeed the washout at Fife is real and must be avoided.  We were fortunate
to meet Chris Moslin (a local from Grand Forks who knows the trail well) at
the Texas Creek campground who showed us pictures of the washout. The washout
is far too wide and dangerous to cross with laden bikes. Thus we took the
highway to the Paulson detour road and then rejoined the Columbia & Western
rail trail.

We met a wonderful family on quads who provided us with a “headlight escort”
through the dark bulldog tunnel. Given the wetness in the tunnel and the large
rocks it was a treat to see the interior of the tunnel while riding our bikes
slowly, this also allowed us to keep our feet dry. How great it is when those
riding quads and bikes can cooperate!

The new gravel from 16.8 km to 10.1 km is awful for bicycles.  The rocks are
too large and the depth too deep to be able to cross between tracks and may
block a track.  Thank goodness the quads have mostly created two good tracks
to follow.

++++++++++++++++

At Salmo there is a fantastic new campground just 6 km south of the town on
Hwy 6. The “Rocking River Campground” is nestled next to the Salmo River just
past the bridge where Sheep Creek joins the river.  Sue and Wayne, the
campground owners, are very welcoming to cyclists.  There is even a rec. room
there where one can play pool, table tennis or darts.

++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nelson and Fort Sheppard
++++++++++++++++++++++++
The Rail trail is generally in very good condition.  The Ymir store provides
nutritious drinks and snacks and the rest area by the river is a great place
with tables and benches.

At 25.7 km, the book refers to a “washed out Culvert”.  On May 23 this stream
was impassable due to the high racing creek.  As a note all rivers and creeks
were very very high at this time.

At 32.6 km, Cottonwood Lake Regional Park is a great place to take a rest
break before the downhill run to Nelson.  The trail gets quite busy past this
point with runners, dog walkers, and families.

The Dancing Bear Hostel in Nelson is very good accommodation and has a lock up
area for bikes. Check out their website: www.dancingbearinn.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Nakusp & Slocan rail trail
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
We were on the highway from Nelson to Kaslo as a way to connect between the
two rail trials.  The highway was good, traffic light and trucks and cars
respectful of cyclists.

Upon reaching the start of the Galena trail from Sandon / Three Forks to
Nakusp via New Denver we were not able to take the Galena trail. Unfortunately
on May 26 the trail was closed from Three Forks to New Denver because of high
water threatening to take out the bridge and making the cable car crossing at
1.9 km unsafe.

When you are in New Denver and if you are looking for a high-end hostel try
the “Villa Dom Quixote” Check out their website: www.domequixote.com.  It
offers a welcome sauna and outdoor spa and a well equipped common room where
you can meet fellow travellers.  The municipal campground is also good with
clean washrooms and showers, good tent sites and a campground host.

+++++

This was our third trip through the West Kootenay's and we always find the
folks we meet along the way in restaurants, museums, inns, campgrounds and on
the street to be most welcoming helpful and interesting.

Enjoy your adventure cycling!

Greg Bounds, Edmonton
gabounds@telus.net

May 31, 2006
Peter
Lodging Brookmere?

Hi Dan, Just talked to the owners of the loddge in Brookmere and they are closed for the next couple of seasons. We are planning a tour with 7 scouts and 4 adults this August from Princeton. What are the alternatives for lodging in the area? Is it ok of wilderness camp in the field close to the water tower? thanks for any information Peter.

May 31, 2006
Dennis and Deborah Stefanik
The Spoke 'n' Dog B&B and Cycling Winlaw

Hi Dan, Would it be possible to list our new accommodations B&B and Cycling rentals on your web site links. We have geared our B&B to cyclists (including a 15% discount). We offer quality bike rentals and a shuttle service as well. I have also been elected to the board of directors for the Slocan Valley heritage trail society. I would like to see our trail system as world class destination. Your site is very important and much appreciated, since it is truely a huge area to cover for up to date information. I like to read comments from cyclists so I know how to further develop our system. Have a look at our web site www.spokendog.com Yours sincerely, Dennis and Deborah Stefanik The Spoke 'n' Dog B&B and Cycling Winlaw, B.C.

May 29, 2006
Lisa & Mike Siddons, lisa@lisasiddons.com
Trip on the Victoria Day long weekend (May 20-22, 2006) Spences Bridge to Canford (north to south--uphill)

I've also posted this report (and some pictures) on the www.clubtread.ca forum.

We liked this trail a lot, but there were a few obstacles that we didn't see mentioned in previous reports:
The start of the trail at the Spences Bridge end (km 73.6) was a bit obscure and we missed it and ended up accessing the railbed by going through a small cluster of houses just west of the bridge over the Nicola River on Hwy. 3. It might be that not many cyclists start from the north end. We only had one car, but with the benefit of hindsight, we would recommend taking two vehicles and starting at the Merritt (higher) end. It was a real workout cycling the highway sections uphill--some 8 and 9% grades. It should be possible to do the whole Merritt to Spences Bridge stretch in a 3-day weekend, including travel time from Vancouver.

The section of railbed that runs on the east side of Hwy. 8 from km 62.2 to 60.5 was passable, but very soft and obviously hasn't been travelled much. It's easier just to stay on Hwy. 8 for this stretch.

The section between the Clapperton tunnel (km 60) and Clapperton (km 59.4) has several small slides. One of the slides is quite high and it takes a bit of effort to push a loaded bike across it (but it was do-able). Looks like this part of the trail needs some work, or it soon won't be passable.

It was difficult to find the best routes around the Indian Reserves. We didn't have time to contact any of the bands ahead of time, so we detoured around both the Shackan and the Nooaitch reserves. The best access point at the south end of the Shackan reserve was Dot Ranch Cutoff Road (signed)at approx. km 44.5. Another gravel road called FX Ranch Rd. is just north of this, and looks like it may also provide access, but according to the Cycling the KVR book, it is within the reserve boundary. Don't make the mistake of heading down this road instead of Dot Ranch Cut-off Rd., like we did. It's a steep push back up. These roads may not have been signed when the 3rd edition came out, but they are now.

At the T-junction at the bottom of the Dot Ranch Cut-off Rd., head right and a winding dirt road takes you downhill to the railbed (km 45) and Manning Creek Forestry Service Road. The FSR crosses the Nicola R., and just past the bridge on the left is what looks like an old Forest Service campsite (or a kayaker's site?). It is quite a large site with picnic tables and outhouses. We missed this on our way down and camped in a much inferior spot beside the railbed.

If you are headed north on Hwy. 8, the best access point at the north end of Nooaitch reserve isn't marked--it's a small dirt road (or lane) that connects to Hwy. 8 opposite a sign that reads "Dot Ranch Cut-off Rd. Ahead" approx. km 41.5. There is a gap in the cement guard rail to allow access. This saves you a steep hill climb, but I'm not sure whether it is within the reserve boundary or not.

At the south end of the Nooaitch reserve (approx. km 32), there is a large campground called the N'Kwala Recreation Site on Hwy. 8. There are defined campsites with picnic tables, fire pits, outhouses, etc.

Although this trip does require detouring between the railbed and Hwy. 8, it is worth it! We had lots of sun and only a few sprinkles of rain on a weekend that was forecast to be wet and cloudy on the coast. The Brittle Prickly Pear cacti were almost in bloom, and they must put on quite a display at the end of May or in early June. We encountered no ATVers, and the only roaring came from the mighty Nicola River, and a dog that decided passing cyclists were intruders that had to be chased. There are at least two restaurants in Spences Bridge--Rumor's on the north side of the Thompson R., and a vegetarian place that occupies the old Steelhead Inn. The friendly folks at Rumor's allowed us to park our car in their lot for the weekend.

May 29, 2006
David Dossor
Wash Out at Laferty

Hello Dan, My wife and I have just cycled the Midway to Castlegar section. All the trestles have been decked and railed. The washout near Laferty does present a significant obstacle. There are signs at Bonanza telling people to detour via the highway to Christina Lake. At Cascade there were no signs to warn people of the washout ahead. Perhaps there are signs at Fife. Signage for travellers travelling west to east is more important, since the majority travel that direction. This is the second time we have cycled the route over the long weekend in May and again we passed no other long distance cyclists. The weather was atrocious but the recipe of hail wind rain thunder and cold failed to deter the foolhardy. Your book remains our route 'Bible" Thanks a lot, David Dossor

May 25, 2006
Jack Drok drokj@telus.net
Colombia & Western washout

On May 15th 2006 I cycled the Colombia & Western from Paulson to Grand Forks with a major washout at approximately 68km. I managed to carry my bike around it. It would have been easier with a rope and second person. Jack

May 22, 2006
Jen
Re:Current Conditions?

Thanks for the info Dan. I didn't get your note in time and missed your warning about the first detour. We had the book with us, but got too wrapped up in the beautiful surroundings and failed to consult it. We got back on track though, and only suffered a sore butt and tired legs from the missed detour. The trail is in great shape. There's a few large puddles on the trail, but we managed to ride through them with only our feet getting wet. The snow's all melted now, with only traces in the ditches on the side of the trail. Encountered a bear before Hydraulic Lakes but it was as scared of us and booted in the other direction down the trail as soon as it saw us. McCulloch resort is closed, but the Hydraulic Lake campsite right next to it is open. We opted to shuttle around the detour at Myra Canyon with Ed from Monashee Tours and it was the best $100 we spent. The weather was fantastic until the last day (Saturday) when it downpoured. We were in Penticton by then and a couple of us took the Greyhound down to Osoyoos to get the cars instead of ending the trip on a miserable wet note. Didn't see any other cyclists on the trail until we got to Chute Lake, when there were day trippers up from Naramata. The views were excellent, and the people in the towns were super friendly. I'd recommend the trip to anyone and am looking forward to trying other parts of the KVR. Cheers,

May 20, 2006
Crystal Boser cboser@telus.net
Bulldog tunnel

Hi, I'm planning a trip in early July from Castlegar through to Rock Creek. Any news on the Bulldog tunnel? Thanks Crystal

May 19, 2006
Sharon Figueira
news on trestle conditions in Myra canyon

I’m wondering if anyone has a trestle-by-trestle break down of which are passable and which not in the Myra canyon? I’m trying to work out a route for my brother and I in late June. We’de like to see the canyon but we’re not that fit/adventurous so hiking out carrying the bike would be baaaaad. Thanks for any info on this Sharon

May 18, 2006
Al Moir al@redapplepartners.com
Bicycle and Rider Transportation - Penticton to Midway ?

Is anyone aware of a company that would provide rider and bike transportation shuttle services between Penticton and Midway ? We're cycling the Carmi Subdivision section in early August starting @ Midway but are seeking options as to how to get transported back once we arrive in Penticton...thanks.

May 17, 2006
Bruce McLaughlin
Portia revisited

Just went up the KVR from Portia north and found to my delight the trail is in very good shape , clean and tidy. The transmountain pipe guys have dug up the road to fix a leak but other than that there is a large tree down across the road at about 14 km and lots of snow on the road past the 17km mark. Water levels are moderate and fast with lots of silt being liberated from it's resting places.

May 16, 2006
Louise Middlemiss
RE: McCulloch/Idabel Lake area

Hi Dan......... Can you make a change in dates on this article below that is on your web site: McCulloch resort will not be in operation till 2007 ..... Can you change the "2005" to "2007" Please. And camping will only be available at the Forestry Campsite on McCulloch Lake, not at the resort. In the mean time I will continue to serve the cyclists with a B&B in the Idabel Lake area...... Thank You , Louise

May 16, 2006
katja friedel katjafriedel@gmx.net
KVR

Hi all, I am planning to cycle the KVR from castlegar to osoyoos in mid/end july? Is anybody on the same route at that time? company to cycle a bit together would be nice.
From germany I fly in to vancouver. Are there any good options to get from V. to castlegar with my bike? Easy by bus?Do i urgently need to bring a tent?Is the track on this section hard to find?I am not really good in reading maps ...well, I hope anybody can answer some questions.
thanks a lot, katja

May 15, 2006
Cate cate@shaw.ca
McCulloch Lake Resort

Does anyone know if McCulloch Lake Resort is open to the public now? How would I get in touch with someone there? Thanks. Cate

May 14, 2006
Dave
Travelling from Penticton to Princeton with kids

Hi - planning to travel from Penticton to Princeton over a couple of days in July with two 11 year olds. Any advice where to stay (won’t be able to camp) and info on trail conditions would be appreciated. Dave

May 11, 2006
Frank Liptak
Shuttle to Chute Lake

Hi Dan; Thought you and some of your fans might like to know there's a new Chute lake shuttle operating out of Penticton. Ambrosia Tours http://www.ambrosiatours.ca will take you & your bike from Penticton to Chute Lake for $20. Question I've been wondering is where is Andrew McCulloch buried? Someone told me he's buried in Naramata, which would put him right on his Rail line if its Lakeside Cemetery. Would you know by chance? Regards Frank Liptak

May 9, 2006
Bruce W McLaughlin
Portia trail conditions

Many years ago I found the KVR at Portia and started to clean up the trail, cutting branches and making a detour around the first trestle you come to. Later on the TransCanada trail group went in and cleaned up the trail putting my efforts to shame. I appreciate their efforts as they really did a good job. My question is as they do this each year , when will it be ready for me to either help or take advantage of their efforts.?

May 4, 2006
Jen
Current Conditions?

I've heard and read lots of great stuff about the KVR and have decided to check it out firsthand. I'm planning on checking out the Midway - Pentiction section of the trail starting May 15th. Can anyone provide me with information about the current conditions of the trail, the condition of the bypass routes, the weather, and what resources are open/closed at this time of year? Thanks! Jen
May 11, 2006

April 25, 2006
joanne clark
hey one and all

i sit here with the fire of travel lust fully fired and burning. i am coming from fremantle on the west coast of australia to ride from vancouver to calgary. needless to say all my friends think i am nuts but after much research on the net about this awesome facility you have. i am coming to do this in august 06 i am 104 days away- not counting hours yet!! i am curious to know how much of the myra canyon i can travel - every travelogue/diary i have read all rave about this section and it is a must see for me!!do i have to go round it- not over it? are the tresles servicable? can anyone tell me if my target of 110km a day is easy enough to accomplish or is the trail too technical to comfortably sit on a 15/20km avg?
April 23, 2006
Kelly Koome
camping in Coquihalla section

You can cycle the Coquihalla section from Brookmere to Hope in 2 days. You can camp at Coquihalla Lakes Lodge or wilderness camp further on. For current information before you leave check with Trails BC who are stewards of this portion of the Trans Canada Trail.


April 10, 2006
MIchele Sanna michele.sanna@alice.it
camping in Coquihalla section

hallo everybody, this August me and my wife are going to cycle the Kettle Valley Railway and for this reason we have just bought the Langford book. It is very useful, but we have a question to ask? it is written that it is better to do the Coquihalla section in 2 days, but no campgrounds are indicated. We suppose that that it is necessary to camp in the wild , so can someone give us some informations about some good spots for the night (we will be coming from Brookmere)? Thanks a lot Michele and Paola


April 8, 2006
Rick Hudson info@threelakes.ca
Bankeir Lives!!!

Hi, Dan and Sandra:
My name is Rick Hudson. I have the pleasure of serving as Vice President of the Vermilion Trails Society, and also as a Director of the Princeton and District Chamber of Commerce. We met briefly at last years Trail Challenge.
The purpose of this note is to let you know I have re-opened the Three Lakes Store in Bankeir!! Finally, this well missed and long needed facility is back in business. The building has been completely renovated and remodelled inside and out.



I have 4 guest cabins going in this spring, and should be completed well in advance of the May long weekend. There are proper toilet facilities, showers and a pay laundromat. The restaurant is in full operation. I am carrying basic groceries, drinks and a line of souvenirs and novelties, as well as kids stuff such as masks, swimfins, some beach toys, inflatables etc. No alcohol is available until at least next fall. (Provincial regulations regarding a new business application for a Rural Agency License.) Jim at Backroads has supplied me with a few emergency repair items, tubes, tires, chain and master link, cables etc. There is no mechanic on site. We will also be carrying Tshirts, and some clothing, shorts, halters etc.
I also act as agent for Jellicoe Station Inn, and can make booking arrangements for them. I have also had the distinction of being designated as the first "Trail Information Centre" for the VTS.
I have moved my two existing businesses in house, and offer scenic ATV Excursions which includes shuttle from the store to our departure point. My shuttle service is also here, and we offer complete cyclist and vehicle logistics. Vehicle storage is available. Please contact me with any questions you may have, and I will be glad to let you know what I can. My contacts are: Store: 250-295-4144 Home 250-295-3052 Personal email: kidrick@nethop.net Store email: info@threelakes.ca or info@3lakes.ca I am working on a new website, but it is not ready for launch yet. The address will be www.threelakes.ca I will let you know when it is up and running. (www.3lakes.ca will also point to this site.)

April 7, 2006
Marco Coda info@landsend.bc.ca
bus from Midway to Castlegar

I am planning to do the Castlegar to Midway portion this summer. I have only one vehicle and would like to leave it at Midway.
Any ideas on how to get back to Castlegar? bus? thumb? run!!


 

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email

Dan: kettlevalleyrailway@yahoo.ca


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