Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway

News from the Kettle Valley Railway
January to December - 1998


1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 New

December 12, 1998
Colin Young
Tulameen forest fire

We biked on the KVR and particularly enjoyed the hopitality of Burt Sharkey's horse motel en route to Brookmere. Soon after that we heard about the forest fires ravaging the Tulameen area. Does anybody know how badly the KVR suffered in the fires, and whether Burt was affected?

Oct 24, 1998
paul mallory
where does trail start outside vancouver?

visiting vancouver dec 4 for 10 days-would like to know if someone know a good circular route inland from vancouver using part of the trail system. i am using hybrid bike

October 2, 1998
Barbara Craig
km 22.8 Carmi Sub
I recently bought 2 copies of your book (1997) "Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway" to give to my two biking daughters.
However, I was and am very indignant and disappointed in your description of km 22.8 (Midway to Penticton) and wonder how much more of your publication is not accurate. I am the owner of that property and neither of you has ever spoken to me though I have lived here since 1995.
Your paragraph "the electric fence has no other purpose than to keep cyclists from crossing the railbed" is a complete and utter falsehood. You would be wise to insert a retraction in all future publications - indeed in future sales. And the metal gate you describe has never been locked - only closed against the cattle which roam the adjoining pasture and rangeland. The padlocks are used as weights.
The 8 foot fence was built in an attempt to keep deer and elk out of the fields and gardens. It has never been electrified but if ever it is it will be against large animals, not bikers. Three years ago a small gate on the south end of this property was repeatedly left open by bikers so my son installed a large gate. I am planning to put in a more manable gate sometime soon.
Several Bikers - 2 groups from Calgary and a couple from Germany amonst them - have stopped to speak to me as I worked in my garden. I was able to direct them. Incidentally they remarked that the road had a better biking surface than the railbed. Also the road has shade whilst the railbed has none.
In the future it would be courteous and wise of you to speak to the landowners before writing incorrect information for publication.
Yours truly,
Barbara Craig

P.S. An electric fence is not harmful to people and only one strand of wire carries the current. Perhaps you know this. Just a point of interest, most people know this little fact though you made it sound so threating.
Most bikers whom I have met have been courteus and interesting people.

August 30, 1998
John Henderson
Subject: Parking, Midway and Osoyoos
Anyone have any recommendations on parking cars at Midway and Osoyoos while doing the Carmi ride?

August 24, 1998
J Moore
Hi we are about to do the Midway- Osoyoos loop of the KVR and are trying to decide what sleeping bag to bring. We would like to know the average nightime temperatures on this route. How cold does it get.

August 13, 1998
Dean & Cynthia Fortin
Re:Midway to Penticton Trip for Aug 18, 98

A group of five of us just finished cycling from Rock Creek to Penticton, our daughter being 7 rode behind Mom on our trail-a-bike. Great way to take kids on this trip. Our oldest group member was 77 and he rode a cruiser style bike with a 4 speed internal gearset. The trip was great, there were no restrictions due to the Forest Fires except fire bands are in place everywhere.Our trip started on Aug 6th from Rock Creek. We signed in at Midway the day before but due to the number of detours from midway we decided to start at Rock Creek. After Westbridge the railbed gets quite rough and this was our hardest cycling day on the trip.We stayed at the Beaverdell hotel the 1st night and Sally and Brian have reopened the restaurant which was just excellent food. I'll provide a complete diary after I get unpacked..thxs.

August 12, 1998
Craig Hunt
Columbia & Western Railway Updates
July 26, 4 of us started on our ride I asked about on Feb. 18th ( Castlegar to Spences Bridge via VV&E
It was a beautiful ride but the 40+ deg C heat took it's toll and after one of the group spent 6 hours in the hospital getting rehydrated with 2 liters of IV, we quit after two days in Grand Forks. (On the Castlegar to Christina Lake section we each used 7 large bottles of water each, and according to the doctor that was only half of what we needed. He said 1 liter of water per hour!)
Anyway, here are some updates for the Columbia & Western Railway section

We stayed at the Twin Rivers Motel in Castlegar which was quite reasonable and clean.
(250) 365-6900
1485 Columbia Ave.
Castlegar V1N 1H8
15 Units & 8 Sites - cable TV, phones, kitchen, complimentary coffee, full hook-ups, no pets.
For early morning food, the restaurant at the Monte Carlo Motor Inn opens at 6:30am

Trail Updates;
14.9 Washout, Has been improved, could drive a truck through it now.
36.6 Washout, Has been improved, could drive a truck through it now.
~50 New logging road crosses railbed.
60.9 Highway #3 Overpass. There are now 2 small rock falls under the bridge
61.3 Paulson Tunnel, Rock fall at exit
61.8 2 small rock falls.
73.0 Lafferty watertower. Washout. Has been repaired. Could drive truck through.
89.1 Kettle River Bridge. Trenched both sides
. 91.7 Kettle River Bridge. Trenched both sides.
103.1 Collins Road. Railbed very overgrown with weeds after this point. Need shin pads or ride the highway into Grand Forks.

In Christina Lake we stayed at the Lakeview Motel
Phone: (250) 447-9358
1658 Highway 3, Christina Lake, BC. V0H 1E0
Quiet sleeping and two room housekeeping units, air conditioned, queen bed, cable TV, complimentary coffee, log gazebo and firepit, near restaurants, shopping, laundry, beaches, 18 hole golf course, golf packages, pets. 12 Units -- (S) $40-52; (D) $57-75; (T) $48-56; Add'l $6; Kitchen $6
We can't say enough good things about the owners. They allowed us to drop off our extra gear a day early on the drive up and transported the heat exhausted member of our group and their gear to the hospital in Grand Forks and wouldn't accept payment for the ride. If you are looking for a bike friendly place to stay in Christina Lake, this is it. They are located at the intersection of Santa Rosa Road (86.8 km) and Highway #3.

We will return to complete our trip!

August 12, 1988
Matt Thirkell
trail news
Hi all,I am planning to ride from Midway to Penticton with a group starting on Monday Aug. 18th,. Has anyone heard of any restrictions or closures due to forest fires in the area?

August 10, 1998
Joanna Steinman
Type of tire

Friends and I are coming up to do portions of the KVR in September and I'm due for new bike tires. Any suggestions on the amount of knobbiness? I currently have a sort of hybrid road/mountain bike tire. Is the bikeway rough, smooth, a combination?
Thanks for the input.

August 9, 1998
Dave Brown
McCulloch Lake Resort

Received a call tonight from Nancy Pollard at McCulloch Lake Resort asking if I could update you on their facilities since they are not on the net, so here goes.
They now have a modern four-plex log chalet to rent as well as the six rustic cabins. The main floor of the four-plex has two fully self-contained units with kitchen, bedroom, full bathroom and a gas fireplace. Each unit sleeps up to four people. The two upstairs units have a bed-sitting room, full bathroom and a loft. They each will sleep six. All units have decks and all have an excellent view of the lake.
The new lodge is now open as well. It is designed along the lines of an old railway station. It is fully licensed as a pub and restaurant so full meals and spirits are available. The store is also enlarged and improved with a larger selection of goods.
Construction of the new shower house is well on its way and should be completed soon.
Camping is still available. ( 20 sites)
They will be open all year.

Address 9995 McCulloch Road, Kelowna, B.C. V1P 1K3
Phone 1-250-491-8804 (radio phone)
Fax 1-250-862-7834

August 9, 1998
Darren Critchley
Web Page

Ok folks, I have finally got the Kettle Valley Section of my page going.
go to
When you get there, press the yellow caution sign and from there you will get a map.
I am still improving it as there is alot more of the KVR I have to visit. On the map just move the mouse around, and if there is a pciture of that area a little white box should come up.
If you have any pictures, info or corrections to the KVR stuff, please let me know.

August 8, 1998
Tara Alexander
Summerland to Hope

My partner and I just finished cycling from Summerland to Hope. It took us three days and in the heat, the trip was extremely exhausting. But I certainly don't regret going.
A few updates to the trail include:
Princeton Subdivison:
The 3 Lakes General Store at Bankier is closed. The woman that owned it has recently passed away and the store is up for sale. However, Roxy's B&B is right on the other side of the tracks and the owner was very helpful in refilling our water bottles. And the new washroom set up for cyclists is the nicest outdoor one I have seen yet! Also, a restaurant has recently opened at the Coalmont Hotel and offers wonderful home-baked food. It is currently open 7 days a week but she is thinking of closing for one day a week.
Coquihalla Subdivision:
Though the update on this website states that TransMountain Pipe Lines owns a major portion of the route, we took our chances and on the recommendations of a few locals, ignored the No Trespassing signs and decided to try that route. We did pass many TransMountain employees and absolutely no one seemed bothered we were there. One worker even stopped and pointed out a few sites that we shouldn't miss along the way. The rumour is that while perhaps "offically" they are not giving anyone permission, they do not appear to mind cyclists at all. (ATV riders are another story!) And the best part is that the road they have put in place is in terrific shape. The road begins just outside of the Coquihalla Lakes Lodge (near the toll booth and rest stop) and ends at Portia. I am very grateful that we didn't miss this part of the trail because it is truly wonderful. Note: If anyone decides on this route, make sure you head toward Hope, otherwise it is one ugly uphill climb. The road is definitely not a 2 per cent grade.

June 27, 1998
Ian Sibbald
Fast trip Rock Creek-Penticton

We are wondering if it is possible for a fit cyclist to do the Rock Creek to Penticton section in 2 days (all we have). Is the trail surface good enough to do 100k a day? Is there accomodation at Idabel lake or McCulloch lk. resorts? Any feedback would be appreciated.

June 21, 1998
bob mcewen
cycling companion

Mid fifties Vancouver cyclist would like a companion to join him on Sat June 27 weather permitting from Myra Stn to Chute Lake - return same day.

June 19, 1998
Alex Kerr
Kettle Valley Steam Railway

Does anyone know what has happened to the home page of the society that runs the trains? The link from all the link pages I have found including this one and the Summerland one seem to be broken.

June 11, 1998
Jeannette Klein
Penticton to Hope

Has anyone done any of this portion of the KVR this year? We are leaving Saturday morning, so if there are any new developments I'd appreciate hearing about them.

June 10, 1998
Brent Henry
touring with children?

I'm an experirnced tourer and would like to get feedback on touring the Penticton to Rock Creek section with a 9 year old on bike and my 5 year old in a trailer. My nine year old loves cycling. I realize that lots of time would be needed and travel early and later in the day would be the best. I've ordered Langford's guide. Has anybody tried this, and what is a reasonable length of time?
Brent Henry

June 6, 1998
Agent Willard

Just wondering what tires would be most suitable for the Midway to Osoyoos trip. Semi-slicks? Knobbys?
I am riding a hybrid bike. Any suggestions? Thanks.

June 4, 1998
Brookmere to Hope

I want to do my first trip with a friend in August sometime. I would appreciate anyone's knowledge of this - Is Brookmere to Hope passable on bike? Is there camping overnight on it - where? I don't want to venture too far from Vancouver, but if it's worth the drive to another part of KVR and then bike, I'm in! We were thinking 2-3 days

June 2, 1998
Riding in Sept

How would it be to cycle from Kelowna to Merritt in the middle of Sept.Please let me know

May 30, 1998
Jo-Anne Trounce
State of trail

We are hoping to be in BC in Sept. or early October, to ride some of the KVR. Is it suitable for hybrid or racing-type bikes? We are enticed by the possible views from the trestle bridges. What section would you recommend?
Jo-Anne Trounce

May 26, 1998
Brian Collier
I'm thinking of trying this KVR

If you are interested, we can accommodate an additional few people on our trip (4 days on the trail from Rock Creek to Penticton, staying at hotels the first 2 nights, and ranches the last two, with a b & b for Penticton). We are starting on the trail on July 1st from Rock Creek. If you are interested, please reply to my email address above. This ride is being organized by the Victoria Alpine Ski Club.

May 21, 1998
Agent Willard
Re: Highway #3 to KVR (in response to message posted on Feb 20th)

Hi Rhona. I am planning to cycle from Osoyoos to Midway along Highway #3 and the rest stop at Canyon Creek sounds great. Just how steep is the climb out of Osoyoos and how long is the climb?
Thanks for the info.
Agent Willard

May 21, 1998
Route planning - daily km
RE: Rock Creek - Pentiction trip. Is it reasonable to plan on; Day1 Rock Cr. to Beaverdell; Day2 Beaverdell to McCulloch Lk; Day3 McCulloch Lk to Chute Lk; Day 4 to Penticton? We're thinking of going light, staying at the lodges along the way and not racing past the great scenery. We're not completely adverse to camping either. Suggestions appreciated.

May 13, 1998
Agent Willard
Oliver to Midway

Just how gruelling is the ride from Osoyoos to Midway along Highway? I have heard stories of steep grade for 20 km, blistering heat, water shortages, and semi-trucks with sparks flying from their brakes. Not to mention the constant exhaust fumes. Planning to finish up the last leg with this trip (Osoyoos to Midway) one fine July day.

May 5, 1998
Dan Langford
Coquihalla Subdivision

It has been brought to my attention, by Micheal W.P. Boyle of Trans Mountain Pipe Line Company Ltd.,. that the KVR between Coquihalla (km 30.2) and Jessica (km 64.0) is "owned outright by Trans Mountain. For a variety of reasons, foremost among which is public safety, this portion of the abandoned railway is not open to public access." For further information see
Coquihalla Sub.

May 1, 1998
Nelson Area Trails Society
Working on securing the Salmo to Nelson rail line corridor

Work continues by NATS to lobby governments, railway officials and now the media to secure this route upon abandonment and turn it into a trail, even if only temporary (at first). What we need to know from trails volunteers and advocates is;
What are the positive aspects of owning property that borders on a trail?
We need to be able to inform adjacent property owners that a trail will not be a liability to them, and will not result in a depreciation of their property. Any factual information from real experience along these lines will be a help to us.

April 30, 1998
David Klima
I'm thinking of trying this KVR.

I'm interested in trying the KVR. If there is a group (in the Vancouver lower mainland) who is familiar with the route and is planning a trip in the near future, and who doesn't mind an addition biker, let me know. It doesn't matter if you are planning to do only sectional parts of the KVR.

April 9, 1998
Stan Price
Starting point for Midway to Penticton

Planning on arriving around noon hour on a Friday to bike on trail from Midway to Penticton. Our first overnite is at Beaverdell so want to reduce travel distance by starting around Rhone or Westbridge where the trail is close to highway 33. Looking for someone who knows how practical it would be to leave a couple of cars in this area so that first half day is only around 30km.

April 9, 1998
Chris Beaton
Princeton to Brookmere

We are planning a cycling trip from Princeton to Brookmere. Is there anywhere to stay along the way?, hotel etc.?

March 24, 1998
Ted Moser
Osoyoos Parking

Hi, Can anyone suggest a safe place to park several vehicles in Osoyoos for a week in late May while we cycle the Carmi and Osoyoos subdivisons. Thanks for the help.

March 16, 1998
Rick Arason
Roxy's B&B at Bankier
(km 66.7 Princeton Sub)
Hi Dan, just a hello,and an update on what is happening in Bankier. Have over the winter constructed a bath house which will be operational by May. Also by May I will have tent sites available. The bath house will have a shower stall and a refinished 5ft.clawfoot tub,vanity. This will provide for those who don't want the B&B. The tent site, with picnic table and bath house will be $10 per person.

March 9, 1998
Judy Sadoway, Nelson Area Trails Society (Registration pending)
Nelson to Salmo Trail

We are a Nelson group trying to establish a trail between Nelson and Salmo on the BNSF rail line which is currently going through an abandonment process.  We are looking for information regarding the economic benefits that such a trail could bring to the communities of Nelson, Salmo and Ymir.  We are also interested in any environmental considerations of such a trail, both pros and cons, and finding out the names of the folks who "got the ball rolling" as far as KVR trails go.

Feb 23, 98
Neil Chalmers
May long weekend - too early for carmi sub?????

Making plans for the Midway-Osoyoos run. I want to miss the hot weather but am wondering if mid May is too early to miss the snow in the Myra. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Feb 20, 98
Rhona Terry
Highway # 3 to KVR

If you are riding along Hwy # 3 from Osoyoos to Rock Creek, you need a rest stop. The Canyon Creek Ranch is inviting you to stop, get fresh water and relax after the steep climb from Osoyoos. We are a guest ranch and craft shop right on the Highway, past (east of ) Bridesville - over the bridge. Mention this message for a free souvenier of the KVR.

Feb 18, 1998
Craig Hunt
Castlegar to Spences Bridge' Summer 98

After riding from Rock Creek to Hope in Aug. 97 (see trip report dated Sept. 3, 97 below), we are thinking about another KVR ride and are considering;
Castlegar to Midway (C&W),
Midway to Princeton (VV&E),
Princeton to Brookmere (KVR),
Brookmere to Merritt (KVR),
Merritt to Spences Bridge (NK&S).
It looks like under 600 km of riding. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions other than what is already posted on this site? Is this route harder or easier than the regular KVR ride. Thanks for any and all information.

Jan 22, 1998
Steve Crout
Need info on best time to go.

I'm interested in taking my daughter and son on the trip, ages 8 and 16. Anyone had a similar experience? Also, I'm looking for the best time to travel between June30 and September 5/98. Thanks in advance.

Dec 31, 1997
How far is it.............

How far is it between Penticton and Osoyoos, and is it passible on a bicycle? Also, are there any maps available?

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 New




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