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December 29, 1999
Shirley & Stan Clarke
My husband & I traveled from Castelgar to Penticton this summer. There are a few things that have not changed.
1. the condition of the trail leading up to Grand Forks is very overgrown. We have written to the Chamber of Commerce asking them their plans for improvement. So far we have not heard a word.
2. We encountered several logging trucks on the section of trail near Eholt and also near the beautiful downhill stretch into Christina Lake.
3. Can we do anything about the 6 foot fence that blocks the trail! We traveled with a BOB trailer and throwing that over the fence was a real hassle.
4. There are no markers on the trail. Are there any organizations that we can contact that might take an interest in keeping the history alive? The trail through Naramata was a real plus with the seats and information station. I like history, and that is missing on the trail. You don't always want to consult the book!
5. WATER - we went the end of August. There was no water for many long dry kms. This should be stressed in your book. We were very lucky to have brought lots of water, but there was nothing at Bulldog tunnel. There has been logging in the area, and also some water diversion.
Will finish the trail this summer with a 72 year old pal who really is a train buff.
December 15, 1999
Backroads Bike Shop
Washout km 123 Princeton-Coalmont
Just a note to let you know that the major washout at km 123 is now passable year round. (Without getting your feet wet)
December 5, 1999
June 99, Colleen & I, along with her two sisters, Helen & Sharon, her bother-in-law, Joe, and friends, Pam, Karen, and Connie completed the KVR from Penticton, Coalmont, Tulameen, Brookmere, Merritt, to Spences Bridge. We had a great time meeting people and stayed a some great B&Bs, but that's another story.
We now are investigating, next years trip, from McCullock Lake to Midway to Castlegar. When we stopped at Midway, we discovered a great find, the Midway "Mile '0' Motel". The new owners, Jennell and Jack, have recently renovated the restaurant and found a great chef. They, also, are providing 'car' shuttle service for bikers during the bike season of couse. We were only going to stop for a few minutes to get information on rooms, but we spent 2 hours chatting with Jennel, Jack, and David. We, also, had a great supper for a very reasonalble price. Definately a great place to stay, stop and eat.
November 3, 1999
Coquihalla Subdivision Trail Updates
Dear Mr. Langford,
In October there was an article in the Vancouver Sun describing the Orthello-Quintette Tunnels crossing the Coquihalla Canyon near Hope as a public recreation area worth visiting. I recall the author describing the wooden bridges linking the tunnels.
Several days ago I visited the site and looked closely at these so-called "wooden bridges". They are not wooded bridges at all, but wooden decking and side-rails attached to the original steel box trusses of the KVR bridges. In places the chords of at least one of the trusses have received considerable abuse from fallen rock. The protective coating used to guard the steel from corrosion is flaking off and totally ineffective. These trusses probably go unnoticed by the majority of visitors because they must be viewed from the extreme edges of the tunnels.
I bring this to your attention firstly because to me the structures appears to be unsafe for public recreation, secondly because you have requested it by way of Trans Canada Trail web-site, and thirdly because you likely know who to report this observation to so that it can be evaluated professionally.
John O'Brien P.Eng
October 25, 1999
Just spent a week on the Kettle Valley
Well, we just got back from a glorious week of exploring various sections of the Kettle Valley Railway. We found your book most useful, but have a couple of suggestions.
As we were accessing the trails on a daily basis, and not travelling unsupported for an extended period, it would have been nice to have a "Companion" to Cycling the Kettle Valley RailWay. The "Companion" could contain a few suggestions for day trips e.g. Myra Canyon between Little White and the other parking lot (can't recall the name at the moment) or perhaps Arawana to Glenfir, Grand Forks to Eholt, Greenwood to Eholt etc. We found many of the access sites were hard to sort out when you had to look through the whole subdivision. Also, we met many people doing day trips as we were doing and picking out sections to ride and then finding the access, like for "Faulders", was a hit and miss effort.
Also may we suggest a keyword index because frequently we recalled a location by name but had to thumb trough the book to find it again.
We found that the youth employment project BC "E" Team had completed many trail improvements this summer making the trails even easier to use. We hope that the access sites will be better marked in the future but then I guess the secret would really be out!
Thanks for all your work. When are planning to publish your next edition?
Rose Lynn and Bill Petty
October 24, 1999
Country Canada Show
CBC - Country Canada - Show #4
Broadcast Date: Oct 27, 1999
TROUBLE ON THE TRAIL
The Trans-Canada trail is an ambitious millennium project; a recreational trail that will eventually span the entire country. But in some parts of Canada, the trail is trouble - especially for farmers.
Country Canada producer Jim MacQuarrie travels to the Kettle Valley in British Columbia where landowners are both angry and frustrated. The proposed trail will cut right through their property-- on an abandoned railway line that is already bringing vandalism, noise, weeds and worry.
"Having a managed railway with a half dozen trains a day and 3 or 4 maintenance workers going back and forth is a hell of a lot easier than having drunken parties and beer cans and all the other nuisances that go on," says farmer Gary Champagne.
Country Canada documents Champagne's struggle to have the trail moved, but he's running out of time. The Trans Canada Trail officially opens in less than a year and the government is reluctant to make any changes. Says BC Environment Minister Joan Sawicki, "We've got to think about the magic we're trying to create here."
September 26, 1999
Craig J. Hunt
Christina Lake to Spence Bridge via VV&E
I thought I'd send you an email with a short trip report and updates of the rail bed a small group of us rode starting September 14th in Christina Lake and ending September 21st in Spences Bridge.
As we were planning to ride the VV&E which has many disconnected sections and two international border crossings involved we used a support vehicle to shuttle us to the point at which you can ride and pick us up at points that can't be ridden.
We drove up on September 13th and stayed at Texas Creek Provincial Park (on Christina Lake) which is a long way from the rail bed. A recommended restaurant in Christina Lake is located at the golf course, open early and located next to trestle at 89.1km.
We started at Fife Station (82.2km) as that is where we had stopped last year. Updates are from this point on.
91.7 Bridge, trenched both sides.
103.1 Collins Road. For the next 1 km weeds are very tough. After that they aren't as bad.
112.1 Westend. For the next 2km the rail bed is tough to ride as it is soft and sandy, torn up by motor cycles although we didn't see any.
120.4 Major Washout, repaired.
127.8 Logged area, done this year.
130.0 Creek access at fill.
130.7 Rathmullen Creek Forest Service Road also intersects the rail bed at this point. It is the only one signed so it can be confusing.
133.6 Easy access to highway.
We left the rail bed at this point as we were losing daylight. Road the highway into Greenwood.
Recommended campsite in Greenwood, Greenwood Motel & RV Park Ph. (250) 445-6363
Recommended restaurants, Greenwood Inn Hotel restaurant and Anaconda Cafe.
Next morning we were shuttled up to the international border south of Bridesville at 46.2km.
46.2 to 37.9 the rail bed is in very rough shape. What we did is follow a small road (Molson Rd.?) that follows Baker Creek along the bottom of the valley until we met up with the rail bed at 37.9.
37.9 for the next 1.5km there are a lot of dead falls on the bed. Lots of walking and climbing required.
35.5 Missing Trestle. Road and cow trail to south of bed to detour around missing trestle.
28.1 Rail bed in good shape.
Just before Myncaster at 22.7km a house is built on the rail bed. We ended up speaking to the rancher that owns the land that this section of the VV&E crosses and he told us that the land was sold to his father in 1939. He also told us that there was no way to get around the missing trestle at 11.5 so we called it a day and road the highway back to Greenwood.
Next morning we drove to Molson via Osoyoos and Oroville to enter the US legally. The rail bed is accessible just north of the museum. The rail bed to 46.2 is in good shape and used as a local road except the last 0.5km is posted No Trespassing, and as they carry guns down there we didn't want to chance it.
49.3 Road is in good shape.
67.3 Circle City, lots of No Trespassing signs so we didn't chance it. Follow Nine Mile Road to highway and then highway into Oroville.
Recommended Oroville camping, Osoyoos Lake State Park.
Recommended restaurant, Peerless Restaurant
87.7 to 105.9 Follows the Similkameen River. Rail bed access beside post office.
90.4 Trestle, decked and in good shape. The trestle is gated and marked "No Trespassing" with the organization name of "Okanogan P.U.D." The "cowboy" (his word) we met near Nighthawk told us that we should have got permission and a key from the Okanogan Public Utility District which apparently uses the rail bed as a service road.
94.1 Bridge, in good shape. Beside this bridge the Similkameen River is dammed. We were told this is what the utility company uses the rail bed to access.
95.7 Tunnel, 0.6km long, wet inside but passable.
105.8 Just before Nighthawk there is a very tall fence and gate with many padlocks on it. We were able to get around it by detouring a little into ranchers land for about 100m. If we had got permission, probably one of the keys would have got us through the gate. Getting bikes and people over this fence would have been very difficult.
105.9 Nighthawk, at this point we detoured North on highway to re-enter Canada legally.
At this point we drove to 186.8km and followed the Old Hedley Road into Princeton.
Recommended camping in Princeton, Princeton Castle Resort & RV Park (250) 295-7988 It is located right beside the rail bed 3 km NE of Princeton.
Recommended restaurant, Belaire Cafe Restaurant.
KVR, Princeton Subdivision
115.3 Bridge, Decked.
123.0 Washout, in good shape.
126.7 Washout, marked detour up hill to bypass washout.
138.1 Bridge, decked.
139.2 Bridge, decked.
165.2 Missing trestle, detour no longer required as a good trail cuts down and up abutments.
165.7 to 173.6 Rail bed being used as a road so is now washboard.
168.5 Now called Keyshar Horse Motel. Also has a cabin for rent.
KVR, Merritt Subdivision
2.8 Ballast is easy now, 2 paths through it.
5.7 Major washout, half rail bed gone.
6.7 Minor washout.
18.7 Bridge removed. Detour to Coldwater Road, up hill, turn left on top dirt road at cattle guard sign.
25.9 Major washout, passable along a very rough trail up hill along the railway fence line.
28.3 Detour right on to Patchet Road, then Left on to Coldwater Road.
43.1 This access road is not marked on Coldwater Road. (we missed it).
Recommended campground in Merritt, Claybanks RV Park & Campground (250) 378-6441
Recommended restaurants, Best Western Nicola Inn and ABC Family Restaurant.
18.5 0.1km of bolders placed on rail bed to stop erosion. Trail at side.
21.3 Deep trench in bed for water irrigation line.
28.4 Old Merritt train station sitting in field.
29.8 Trestle abutment being washed out on West side. Okay now but will be hard if washout continues.
49.2 Rock slide on to bed, road around.
56.2 Half rail bed washed out.
59.8 to 60.0 Rock fall.
72.4 0.2km of rock fall.
On the way back to Vancouver we stayed at the Coquihalla Lakes Lodge again and had another great time. (250) 378-2096
A couple of people in our group were riding the KVR for the first time and are already asking what we are planning to do for next year.
Thanks again for having such a useful book to make this sort of trip possible.
September 24, 1999
We bought your book and visited the many trestles and tunnels. Thank You, it was great.
I have a question RE: The entrance to Myra, we took the very twisting logging road that comes up from behind east Kelowna. Is there a 2nd approach road that goes to Myra? One that is closer to the end with the 2 tunnels after the many trestles? Is it east, near the highway to big white? HWY 33 ? I wanted to know if there is something not quite so bad as the logging road. Thanks so much.
Best Regards, JP
September 23, 1999
I recently moved to Faulder and my property adjacent to the right-of-way is an up-and-coming campground. The campsites back onto Trout Creek, but as of yet, the washroom facilities are primitive!
RR#3 Site 43A Comp 90
October 25, 1999
Alison Drummond firstname.lastname@example.org
Campground in Faulder
I'm busy telling people about the Relay 2000 and worked last weekend clearing an access area between my driveway and the Trail. I'm hoping to have some bike stands for the area soon. I believe I am West of the old station. My property is one of four homes visible where the tracks cross Kettle Place. School bus drivers locally, refer to Kettle Place as the Gibbs' driveway. My home is directly behind the Faulder maiboxes, between the creek and the tracks. There are 2 Canadian flags marking the top and bottom of my driveway. And my new e-mail is email@example.com looking forward to a new issue...had lots of Germans this past summer; they're all carrying a copy!
September 16, 1999
Backroads Bike Shop
Kvr info Princeton - Brookmeree
Just a note to let you know that the Backroads Bike Shop has gotten into the email age and will provide info as requested on the kvr in our area. We are located at 308 Bridge st. in Princeton, and at 5th & Nicola in downtown Tulameen.
The Vermilion Trails Society has been formed in this area to promote and develop the Trans Canada Trail between Osprey Lake and Brookmere. Two "E" teams currently working in this area have made a considerable contribution towards trail improvement. Recent changes include, trail improvements at km 165.2 (the burned out trestle) eliminating the need for the detour via Youngsberg road. Manual repairs to the two washouts between Princeton and Coalmont as well as much grooming, rock removal, and some signage. One thing of note in your book Dan, is you show a number of trestle in the 151+ km area. It looks like you have one too many trestles. The one shown as Km152.5 seems to be an extra.
We are working feaverishly to remedy as many situations as possible before winter in hopes of having things operational as early as possible in the spring.
September 11, 1999
On August 22 six relatives (including my 71 year old father in law) and myself rode the trail from Rock Creek to Penticton. Unfortunately bad weather forced us to cancel the last days ride to Oliver. Everyone agreed it was the best holiday we ever had.
Your book was a big part to the trip being succesful! I referred to it at least a couple of times a day. The trail is in excellent shape and it was an excellent ride. Do you know how I could contact the Naramatta Citizens Assocation that are doing a lot of the work on the trail? We all felt they should get a big thanks for the work they have done.
Do you know of any trails like this in Alberta? I live in Calgary and would like to do more riding like this for day trips. If you have any information I would appreciate it. And if not, thanks again for introducing us to the Kettle Valley.
Thanks, Dan Kelly
January 20, 2000
Craig Henderson firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Kelly Sept 11/99
I read your message to the group in Naramata who have undertaken the work on the KVR, under the wing of the Narmata Citizens' Association. They call themselves the Wood Whackers and they all loved hearing how much you appreciated the efforts.
The KVR is a real asset to us here. Thanks for your input.
September 1, 1999
Planning a ride in September from Hope to Merritt. Need some information on name of Motels or accomadations along the route. Would like to no about any accomadations. Thanks to anyone who can help.
August 30, 1999
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful guide to this adventure. My husband and I just completed Midway to Princeton via Pentiction and had a superb holiday.
Only one thing that you might want to add to your "trail updates", which were very useful:
Princeton Subdivision - 3 Lakes General Store at Bankier is open again and now contains a little restaurant.
August 29, 1999
TCT at Penticton
In response to considerable public pressure (including a 5000+ name petition) the Penticton City Council decided, on August 23 1999, to endorse the principle that the Trans Canada Trail follow the Kettle Valley Railway right of way at the north end of the city.
This means that the 3.5km. section from where the KVR trail crosses the Naramata Road to Vancouver Place - where a paved walking/cycling path already exists - will be the route for the trail. 1.5km. of this section has recently been opened up - from the Lakeview Cemetery to Vancouver Place.
A few difficulties lie in the way:
Although the City of Penticton bought the land in 1992 from the CPR several short term licenses have been given to farmers who have planted grapes across the right of way.
A large earth embankment across Randolph Draw has been removed leaving a deep gully. Either a replacement embankment or a bridge will be needed.
The Agricultural Land Commission has already indicated that it would probably refuse to grant approval. The ALC wants a route that is "more friendly to agriculture." This means that trail users would be forced onto roadways, through a swamp and will face much steeper grades.
The support of trail users may well be needed to add to the efforts of local Penticton and South Okanagan proponents of the Trans Canada Trail.
August 24 1999
Shuttle service Penticton area
I rode parts of the Kettle Valley Railroad and the Columbia & Western RR the week of August 16-20, and had a great trip. I was riding solo, so convenient access was a problem. I wanted to ride from Chute Lake to Naramata and with the help of the Chute Lake Lodge people, they hooked me up with Mark Humbke of Naramata. For a reasonable, negotiated fee, Mark picked me up in his extended cab pickup at my motel in Naramata at 8:00 am and drove me up to Chute Lake. I was on the trail and riding by 8:30 am. Mark gave me his permission to post this, he can be reached at Mark Humbke, Box 312, Naramata, BC, V0H 1N0, Phone 250-496-0066 FAX 250-496-0067 Pager 250-770-6119 e-mail email@example.com
My thanks to the Langfords for their excellent book, both editions. They were right...the Columbia & Western Rail bed is awesome!
August 24, 1999
Biking the Princeton/Merritt Subdivision from Faulder to Kingsville, August 17-20/99
A few observations from a "hard-core" mountain biker who just biked the K.V.R. right-of-way as part of a fourteen member group. By the way, I can remember when Victoria's "Galloping Goose" was an active railway, and have as recently as last month enjoyed M.L.A. Andrew Petter's successful financial efforts to improve the access/user conditions for the multi-function recreational users of Victoria. I live and enjoy mountain biking in Kamloops.
Although there were many second edition copies of Dan Langford's book on the trip, it was not needed as a defensive weapon against the bugs! We were able to quietly slip through their territory with only very minor donations.
Is it perhaps about time that the "government right-of-way" not be blocked by neighbouring landowners cross-fencing for their own convenience - how many stops did a train engineer make to open and close gates??
My best moments of the trip, aside from the biking companions, were the gentle river sections of the Tulameen River between Princeton and Coalmont, and also the small creeks such as Otter between Frembd Lake and Spearing Station.
Why Spearing Station? Because this is where Burt Sharkey (page 137 of Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway - Dan & Sandra Langford) operates the best overnight camping business!! Yes, there's covered cooking and seating - even a wood stove with an oven. There's also a wash-house, shower, etc., three horses, and a very friendly-colourful host - Burt. His prices are far below any other private business or even the B.C. Parks charges.
He is about five kilometers east of Brookmere, on the north side of the K.V.R. right-of-way - Watch for his "Horse Motel" signs and his mailbox at the front gate !!
Plan your trip, and enjoy the history and scenery.
At "Heaven's door", just pedalling down the "Galloping Goose", in the City of Gardens !!
August 24, 1999
Some updates for the Midway to Penticton section from Aug/99 trip
Midway to Beaverdell:
The Midway Hotel now does BB. The breakfast was very tasty.
You should mention that they are posting KVR trail updates at the Midway visitor center.
This section would have been a real downer if not for meeting Paul Lautard at Zamora. He is currently adding an extension to hit bicycle rest hut since he is running out of places for people to signature the existing structure. Lori (my wife) enjoyed a rest on his Hammock while Paul talked about his very interesting childhood as a son of a railway worker.
Between 23.4 km and 24.7 there are two new gates. One appears to be erected by the landowners with the electric fence and the other by someone who is part of the KVR. The non-KVR one has a dog warning sign on it. Fortunately we had our bear spray and were ready for the attach (which didn't occur). Both gates were openable.
At 24.9 km there is a sign saying trail is not open to through traffic since the trail enters "agricultural areas". We did not enter however we talked to people who had and said it was a nice ride if not for the number of fences and gates.
At 33km, there is now a sign that says the West Coast Trail. Watch out for the vicious dog near the last residence along the river. I almost had to use bear spray just to get away from it.
Warn people not to stay at the Tamerac Hotel in Beaverdell. We talked to people who said it was unsanitary due to cats sleeping in the linen closet. Also, the Hotel manager wants to be paid in cash (hmmm, is he avoiding GST). A tip for weary travelers staying at the Beaverdell Hotel would be to book a room opposite the highway. The highway side rooms are noisy and hot due to the west exposure. There is an excellent restaurant across from the Beaverdell hotel that makes excellent pies.
48 km: Just after the canyon there is a swimming spot (Paul told us this) that is secluded and therefore great for skinny dipping. Look for a hiking trail leading the river shortly after the Bull Creek Canyon bridge. It is next to a widening of the road were cars can park.
McCulluch Lake Resort: Has a new Chalet that has 4 luxurious units.
Chute Lake Resort: Watch out for the paper thin walls. There was a couple next to us who didn't realize how thin they were (they woke us up twice during the night). Awesome burgers but you must book ahead to get anything other than bar type meals.
Lang Vineyards: There are new residential roads that you can take (by keeping left off once taking Arawana Road) that will cut off gobs of uphill pedaling. They now charge $1.00 per taste or free tasting if you buy a bottle (not including ice-wines). Recommend biking back up to KVR to avoid the ups and downs back to Penticton.
In Naramata: Sandy Beach Resort has BB for those wishing to treat themselves www.sandybeachresort.com Cost $80 with beach access.That's all
August 22, 1999
We recently tried accessing the KVR at Brodie and found that we had misinterpreted the directions found in Cycling the KVR (2nd ed.) at pp. 145 & 155. We thought that the road shown on the map (#20, 22) crossing the Coquihalla Highway (just below 6.6 and to left of Brodie) was exit 250. So we expected to cross under the highway, go a little ways north on the side road and find the KVR going off to the right in a northeasterly direction. We did find a road behind a gate going north alongside the highway but it ended after about 1 km at locked gate and high fence. After scouting around a bit, we discovered that we had to go south on the side road about 2 km to find Brodie and the KVR. Brodie Siding Road does cross under the highway there. Exit 250 is not actually shown on the map and is really located at the extreme north end of the side road. Perhaps it would be helpful to others if your website contained the added directions that you have to go 2 km south from exit 250 on Brodie Siding Road to get to Brodie & the KVR. Thanks so much for compiling all the detailed information contained in your book and on your website.
August 22, 1999
Kettle Valley Railway
Hello Bike People! We just returned from a cycling and camping trip during which we'd hoped to find accessible parts of the KVR to ride. We bought The Book, and of course the maps look quite wonderful. However, when we read the parts pertaining to our rides, most of the trails seemed inaccessible or overgrown, or requiring hauling bikes and equipment over various nasty obstacles. Since the parts around Keremeos seemed pretty much a no-go, we headed to Greenwood and camped at Boundary Creek provincial park. The river (which the book tells us to ford) was in flood condition. The folks at the Museum and info centres in both Greenwood and Midway, didn't seem to know where the trail was. Well, in Greenwood they told us where it was but omitted to mention that the bridge had been washed out. We found the directions in the book rather vague, and nowhere could we find any signs indicating KVR bike-trail access. After cycling 10kms searching, we finally realized that the big notices saying PRIVATE PROPERTY, TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED, were actually indicative of the railway being there; however, the trail seemed to go through people's backyards where pit-bulls were slavering, or we would do a stretch and then be faced with an earthmound and think we'd come to the end. If it hadn't been for a local contact who kindly came out to our campsite and explained that the earthmounds were there to discourage off-road vehicles, and that you have to work around them with your bike and then find the next stretch of trail, I don't think we would ever have found the trail. There just didn't seem to be enough clues in the book. The ride from Greenwood to Midway, when we found it, was quite good, though a far cry from the photos in the book which give the impression that the trail is nicely gravelled! We had felt pretty stupid until we started encountering other cycling tourists who kept coming up to us, or calling to us from the road way down below, to ask how we'd managed to get on the trail. One group had cycled most of the Coquihalla Highway without ever finding access to the trail they'd come all the way from Germany to cycle! So directions obviously need to be much clearer. People need to know where they can access the track from places in between the main points. For example, there are about four ways to get on it in the Greenwood area, but the book doesn't tell you this. Saying you can access it in Anaconda just doesn't do it. People need many more clues than that, especially since the KVR isn't signposted and the locals either don't know or are reluctant to tell you. It's obviously a terrific project. Why doesn't the government recruit prospective college and university students to clear it and make it accessible, in return for which they would get their education fees paid? It needs some creative thinking to get it completed (no way is it going to be ready by next year!). I don't think we'll see it in what's left of our lifetime (we're in our early 60s, late 50s) but it should be great for our grandchildren. How about having someone in each are cycle a stretch of the trail posting notices saying KVR THIS WAY or something at access points from towns and highways?
Next time we'll try the REAl parts I think.....they seem to be mostly around the Kamloops area.
August 20, 1999
My wife and I are interested in a ride of two nights and up to three days anywhere in southern BC. We're from the lower mainland. We have a little off road experience. What would be a good section to take and how do we "close the loop". We appreciate any suggestions. Bruce.
August 11, 1999
TOUR OPERATORS FOR KETTLE CREEK RAILWAY BIKE TRIP
Do you happen to have the names of individuals/tour companies who organize 3-4 day+- bike trips out of Penticton? Any information you could provide would be appreciated. Thank you.
August 10, 1999
Dr. Theresa Cordoni Inc.
I am actually waiting to get your book from Chapters but in the meantime, could you give me some advice. How much mileage should we aim to do in a day? 100 K is not so bad on the highway but is that pushing it on this terrain? We basically will have 3 or 3 1/2 days and would like to plan a scenic section with appropriate stops for lodging and dinner - not planning to camp at all. What would you suggest? Thanks for your time Teresa
January 8, 2000
Adam K. firstname.lastname@example.org
Replying to "Dr. Theresa Cordoni Inc. - Cycle Trip"
There are many variables, such as which section of trail you are riding, the amount of gear you are carrying, the weather, your fitness and riding ability etc. But, all things considered, 100Km per day on the KVR would be very ambitious. From experience, I would say that you would enjoy the ride and scenery much more by perhaps planning for 50Km, maybe 70Km per day.
August 10, 1999
Wendy Methot Terry_Methot@bc.sympatico.ca
Squamish Crew at Coley Creek Lodge and Camping
Thankyou to all the lovely people from Squamish Crew bike enthusiasts who joined us at our place in Brookmere, Coley Creek Lodge in July. An absolutely excellent and positive experience. I hope every group we have stay with us is as amiable as you guys. (easy to please, too.) You'll be a tough act to follow, but 'm looking forward to welcoming our next group. Y'all come back now, y'here!
Thanks from Terry, Wendy, Marie and Daniel
COLEY CREEK LODGE
August 4, 1999
KVR Updates July '99
Castlegar-Midway-Penticton-Princeton-Brookemere-Merritt-Brodie-Hope(via Coquihalla Hwy)-Vancouver(via Hwy #7) I cycled this route starting July 17' 99 ending July 26'99. The Castlegar to Midway section of the C&W is in good shape, thanx to the work of Steve Rigby and his crew of maintenance workers. Loose ballast still exists for the first 8km or so. 10km(approx.) east of Grand Forks the railbed is overgrown with weeds. The weeds were over my head. Even walking the bike thru was difficult. I accessed Hwy #3, and rode into Grand Forks. (I did not check what the rest of the railbed was like going into Grand Forks.) I forded Wilkinson Creek at k81.2 of the Carmi Subdivision on July 17' 99. It was less than knee-deep in the deepest spot. The Trout Creek crossing at k37.7 of the Princeton Subdivision. I recommend not crossing on the fallen log, which "serves" as a foot bridge. The picture in Dan Langford's book shows a"rope" to help balance while crossing. There was no rope when I was there.(Altho this rope could've been strung across by the people in the picture.) I found the log bouncey, as well as very slippery in the rain. I felt it was unsafe to carry gear across it. The east bank is steep and slippery when wet.(There was a downpour happening while I was there.) I opted to ford the creek at the narrowest point, north-east of the log. Not a hard ford, but challenging in a downpour with bike and gear. The 3 Lakes Store at k66.7(Bankier) is now open under new management The washout at k123.0 is easily crossed, altho you"ll get your feet wet, and the washout at k126.7 is easily crossed as well, with little blue arrows to guide you thru. On the Merritt Subdivision, the bridge at k18.7(Coldwater Road-Voght Creek)in Kingsvale has now been removed. There will be road construction here later(next year!) to straighten Coldwater Road. This bridge is easily detoured. Coming from the south, the railbed and Coldwater Road run parallel. At the missing bridge access Coldwater road to the west. Follow Coldwater Road under the missing bridge, then up the hill. On the west side of the road is a rustic cabin with goats in the yard.(Cool goats!) It is the only structure on that part of the road(west side). Past the goats is a dirt road with a gate. This is a private road that hooks up with the railbed. Follow it downhill, then north(right).A woman gave me these directions. She lives in the big house with the green schoolbus in Kingsvale. She likes cyclists, and said "I'm watchin' out for you people." The washout at k25.9 was impassable, due to the steep slope of the washout and high water levels. Also the bridges at k40.4 and k42.3 both appeared to be impassable, also due to high water and structural damage. I met a guy at Brodie station who had talked to a Trans Mountain Pipeline worker. The worker had informed him that the Pipeline road was off limits to cyclists and hikers, as well as vehicle traffic. (There is a large gate to restrict vehicles, and has been there for some time.) The worker also said any cyclists or hikers found on the Transmountain Road would be escorted off the property. This info was given to me on July 23' 99. Due to this information, as well as washouts and the general deterioration of the Coquihalla Subdivision, I decided to take the Coquihalla Hwy down to Hope I found the KVR, on the whole, to be in worse shape than when I rode it in '95-'96. Nature is taking the railbed back, kids. Nature was there first, and it'll be there long after the railbed is gone. I found the railbed to be rougher, more potholed, washboarded, washed-out than before. Also there were more bridges removed and signs posted for private land. Now, so far I've pointed out the negative, cautionary aspects of my trip. Over all, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and certainly the scenery and the possibility of accessing the backcountry is what I love about the KVR. Much has changed in the last 4-5 years, some for the better thru preservation. The KVR still offers a scenic and challenging getaway for the individual cyclist or group. Cheers.
August 4, 1999
Information request on ride from Midway to Osoyoos.
Can this section of trail be ridden on other then a mountain bike? There are approx. 8 of us going on this trip next summer (2000) and the questions are, is there accom. for us if we ride approx. 60 ks a day, or do we tent some of the way? Is Hwy 3 a friendly hwy. to bike back to Midway? Any comments would be very helpfull.
August 30, 1999
Replying to "Information request on ride from Midway to Osoyoos" from Aug. 4
I just did the Midway to Princeton section. Thought you'd like to know that a good itinerary (not 60 km, though) for Midway to Pentiction with places to stay would be:
Day 1 - Midway to Rock Creek
Day 2 - Rock Creek to Beaverdell
Day 3 - Beaverdell to McCulloch Lake
Day 4 - McCulloch Lake to Chute Lake
Day 5 - Chute Lake to Penticton
I believe that the places to stay are listed in the book and/or in the updates on this web site.
I don't know a lot about anything other than mountain bikes, but I wouldn't attempt it with anything else. There are some very jagged rocks and bumpy sections. As far as doing 60 km, you'll have to be in very good shape before hand, and won't have as much time to explore and relax.
As for biking the highway from Osoyoos to Midway, the climb out of Osoyoos would be totally wicked. I didn't really pay any attention to the rest of the drive.
Hope this helps.
August 4, 1999
Andrea Pont email@example.com
Just wanted to let anyone doing the Midway to Penticton ride know that Jack Parkin at the Midway Motor Inn will drive your vehicle to Penticton for you for $50. He can be reached at 250-449-2231. It sure was handy not to have to worry about getting back to Midway. Jack is a wonderful guy and did a great job. Is a great place to stay in Midway too.
July 25, 1999
Ron Graham Linda_Graham@bc.sympatico.ca
Fording Wilkinson Creek
We just returned from our trip on the Carmi Subdivision. My Family (2 adults and 1 five year old Child) cycled from Kettle river Provincial park to Osoyoos with a trail-a-bike We were able to ford Wilkinson creek without any problems on July 15, 99. The water is cold but only knee deep at the deepest point. According to others that we met on the trail the by-pass of this creek is hard to follow and very steep.
July 25, 1999
Bill Spittle firstname.lastname@example.org
Camping Spots on the C&W
I'm leading a group of Venturer Scouts on a 4 night trip from Castlegar to Rock Creek along the C&W railbed. Does anyone have a suggestion for a "WILDERNESS/RUSTIC" camp site at CHRISTINA LAKE and GRAND FORKS. GLADSTONE (Texas Creek) seems like a good bet at Christina Lake if we can get in, however, Grand Forks doesn't seem to have much. THIMBLE MOUNTAIN seems like a good spot, but from what I've been told doesn't have any camp sites.
July 14, 1999
Pete Dixon email@example.com
Midway to Osoyoos with bike trailer, traila bike and kids
We're planning on doing the ride from Midway to Osoyoos in late July-early August, camping along the way. We have 6 adults and 3 children (ages 3-6) for which we use a Burley trailer and Picollos (trailabikes). In turn, we have a few questions. How is the terrain for pulling a trailer? Has anyone out there been on this trail with a traila-bike? How much bear activity have you had on this stretch? (We've camped a lot in bear country, but that was before kids, and our question is related to how food free we have to keep our kids, as usually when we're camping, the little ones have as much food smeared on them as they consume). Any info. you could provide us would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!
July 10, 1999
Brian Yates firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Old Farts
My buddies, Ralph Bennettsen and Peter Stout, wanted me to pass this on to you (actually it is boasting).
We cycled from Petiction to the Kettle River Prov Campground last week.
We left Penticton at about 4:30PM and arrived at Chute Lake at 8:30PM. It was not necessarily a steep climb, but the fact that it was about a 37km without letup made it gruelling.
We stayed overnight at the Chute Lake Lodge. Interesting place with all the anitiques etc. The owner must have had the contract to dismantle the KVR because most of the lodge seems to be built with materials from the railway. It badly needs some upgrading. Also, why won't they scramble the eggs in the morning? We woke up in the morning to see 4" icicles hanging from the roof and new snow just above us on the mountain. This was on July 2!.
After breakfast, we took off and enjoyed immensely the Myra Canyon area. Unfortunately, it rained almost all day, so we never dried out that day. We had lunch at McCullough Lake Lodge (real nice place). Lodging is reasonable there, so that is where we'll stay the next time.
We decided to try to push on to the provincial campground that day. What a stupid decision. We never got there until 9:00PM.
We covered about 150km in 12 hours. Don't ever try that. The only thing that felt good at the end of that day was our egos. We are all around 50 yrs old. So we felt good about that. Next time, we would leave Penticton in the morning and aim for McCullough Lake first day and the balance the next day. 95km/day is plenty. Or even less.
BTW, I have fallen in love with this route. I would like to do the entire stretch later, if my wife will let me.
July 5, 1999
Andrea Pont email@example.com
midway to Penticton
We are doing the Midway to Penticton ride. We were wondering where we could leave our vehicle in Midway? Is Greyhound the only way to return to Midway to pickup the vehicle?
July 5, 1999
We are planning on cycling the KVR from Rock Creek to Osoyoos, starting July 14.Has anyone done this portion recently to be able to advise us how the trail is?
July 5, 1999
Glenn Hay firstname.lastname@example.org
Re:Conditions Rock Creek - Penticton
We finished on June 24 and found trail in good condition. The water levels are high because of snowpack, so take detour at Wilkinson Cr. forestry road.
PS- if anyone finds a cannister of 35mm print film at Chute Lk campground (lakeside) please e-mail me. Thanks!
July 5, 1999
kim north email@example.com
Castlegar to Spencers Bridge
Hi. I am planning a trip with a group of youth aged 10 - 15 and want to spend two weeks cycling from Castlegar - Midway - Penticton - Brookmere - Merrit - and then onto Spencers Bridge. Any information on the condition of the trail as compared to the 2nd Edition info would be appreciated. We are going the 2nd week of August and was wondering about the weeds on the trail .... we cycled across a lot of Canada last summer and in some places hit the Canada Trail and the weeds (higher then our bikes) presented a challenge to ride through)
July 1, 1999
Rozalyn Parsons RozalynParsons@aec.ca
Osoyoos - where to stay and how to get back to Midway?
Hi - A group of us are doing the Midway to Osoyoos loop in September. We've got B&B's booked along the way, up to our last night in Osoyoos. Can anyone recommend a comfy place in Osoyoos for a group of about 10 - that's not too expensive (doesn't have to be fancy!) but comfortable would be nice, so we can relax at the end of the ride!
Also, we are leaving our vehicles in Midway. Any suggestions how to get back with our bikes? Is it easier to drive a couple of vehicles up to Osoyoos ahead of time? Some people have mentioned a bus - can 10 of us take our bikes on the bus?
June 30, 1999
Dean Fortin firstname.lastname@example.org
Osprey Lake to Princeton
Interested in finding out if there is a Bed and Breakfast stop between Osprey Lake and Princeton, preferably around Jura. Has anyone cycled the Princeton Subdivision Yet this year, if so please let me know what condition it's in, challenges, etc..Thanks...
June 30, 1999
cycling the kettle valley from Rock Creek to Princton and wondering if anyone has tips or info re state of trail right now with all the rain, etc. we are going lst to 8th of July.
June 30, 1999
Doing the trail on July 2nd from Rock Creek to Princton...any surprises, tips and condition of trail with recent wet weather????
June 24, 1999
Parking at Osoyoos
I was just reading through some of the messages from last Fall, and I notice that no one had any suggestions for parking in Osoyoos. We have just returned from doing the Midway to Osoyoos portion of the trail, and had the good fortune to leave our car at Lake Osoyoos Guest House B&B. Sofia Grasso is the owner, and she was very happy to have us leave our car at her place for a week. She has a large parking area, and we knew she would keep an eye on our car while we were gone. Staying at her beautiful B&B was a real treat at the end of our trip. The rates are not cheap($95-$150) but her place is right on the lake, and she made a great breakfast. She even had her boyfriend drive my husband to the bus depot while I waited for him with our bikes at Midway.
June 22, 1999
Joe Barry email@example.com
N,K & S Railway Bed - Petit Creek Road to Coquihalla Hwy #5
Earlier today, I rode the NK&S Railway bed from Petit Creek Road (km 30.4) eastward to the Coquihalla Highway Access ramps (km 10.2).
This ride took about 2 hours due to frequent stops to check out various points of interest and take photographs. The condition of the railbed ranges from great to a few short sections of very large and rough gravel. However, the ride was fun and enjoyable. Be careful opening the various barbed wire gates along this section. Make sure you bring some band-aids like I wish I had when my hand slipped closing a gate and became intimate with the barbed wire. Some observations;
Purity Feeds has built across the old
railbed but one can easily skirt around the north side of the new building and
pass an old KVR warehouse building. This is where the former Merritt railway
station was located until it was moved out to Canford. The railbed can be picked
up on the east side of Purity Feeds and followed to the new Railyard Mall. This
shopping centre recognizes the former glory days of railroading in Merritt and
is situated at Km 11.3 where the former Kettle Valley Railway junction was located.
Heading northeast past the Liquor Store, one can easily pickup the old railbed to Quilchena Avenue. The rails are still visible in the road where the railbed crosses Quilchena just west of Blair Street. These are the only rails I have seen anywhere on the old NK&S line. Aspen Planers have swallowed up the railbed but one can cycle around the north side of their site and behind an autobody shop and pick up the railbed where it used to cross Nicola Avenue (Highway 8 and 5A).It is easy to see where the former rails were removed.
A Mobile Home dealer has purchased the former railbed running northeast from this point. Cycle east through the commercial gas cardlocks and behind the SuperSave gas station and the railbed can be picked up at the extreme end of the Mobile Home dealer's fenced-in property.
This section of the railbed is chewed up but rideable to the north of the various industrial sites. The railbed can then be followed through a small hollow and through a fence with a gate. From here, the railbed is in superb condition.
I previously rode this section all the way to Km 0 at Nicola and posted my thoughts on this page. I left the railbed at Km 10.2 Coquihalla Highway #5, rode up the access ramp and north along the highway to the nearby interchange.
My next ride update will be the Brookmere to Merritt section.
June 22, 1999
McCulloch Lake Resort
Jim and Hannu Saura (Saura & Sons Excavating) have been working on filling in the giant water holes between the lodge and the causeway. It is still pretty wet and muddy at this time but should improve as it drys out. Hopefully this will be the end of the big holes on that section of the trail. By the way this is being done as a community service by Mr. Saura as his contribution to the Trans Canada Trail.
They are also running dog sled rides at the lodge all summer long using a golf cart . Jim and Nancy rented their second house, up the road from the lodge, to the dog sled people and now have 48 dogs in their back yard. Too noisy for me, but it's a hoot to see them racing along pulling the cart.
The tressle society have also hired a student for the summer as a host for the Myra Canyon. He was busy refinishing the benches along the trail when I was there. I think he patrols back and forth about three times a day on his bike looking for problems and giving info.
June 12, 1999
Ian Staines firstname.lastname@example.org
GPS Waypoints for Kettle Valley Railway route
Has anyone who has travelled the Kettle Valley Railway route have a list of GPS waypoints for the various ponits along the way?
I am surprised that the KVR books do not include lat/long information.
June 10 1999
Jasper Smith email@example.com
Cycling in August
A group of us are planning a trip from Hope to the interior around Kelowna. I am wondering about the snow at that time of year. Normally this wouldn't be a problem. I also would be interested in any potential difficulties re: slides etc..
Any advice about the terrain from previous riders would be of interest.
June 9, 1999
Roger Truman firstname.lastname@example.org
We are going from McCulloch Station near Kelowna via Penticton to Osoyoos later in June. What would it be like pulling a trailer for this 150km stretch and should we book camp sites say at Chute lake and Penticton or take pot luck.
June 3, 1999
Hi, I'm planning a trip from Hope to Brookmere for mid June and I'm wondering if anyone has any info on current weather or trail conditions. Is this a good 3 day round trip? I"m concerned about hitting snow as I've only got an old pup tent (plus I don't dig plowing through snow). Any replies (to my e-mail address preferably) would be geatly appreciated!
June 3, 1999
Doug & Irene email@example.com
Hybrid bikes suitable for KVR ?
We would like to cycle the Carmi subdivision in July. We are riding hybrid bikes and not mountain bikes with fat tires and are wondering whether the KVR could be to rough for our bikes. Can anyone comment? Thank you.
June 3, 1999
Eek! We're doing it!
ok, guys...i am a completely novice rider, and have foolishly agreed to tag along with a friend from houston, texas who has NO idea what off-road biking entails...but, we're looking forward to the trip(from castlegar to hope)and we would appreciate any and all advice...thanks loads! BTW...he is 58 and i am 43...no spring chickens, but in not too bad of shape...and,we're planning on going july 17th, 1999...
May 18, 1999
Robin & Colleen firstname.lastname@example.org
KVR Pentiction to Merritt
We are cyling from Pentiction to Princeton, Coalmont, Tulameem, Brookmere, Coquihalla Lodge, back to Merritt to Spences Bridge on the 3rd week of June 99'. If anyone has recent info, ie washouts, snow? etc. please let us know. Thank you
May 6, 1999
I am just in the beginnings of planning a family bike ride with my family, 3 kids 7, 10, and 12. Very vague, but can anyone offer ideas?? I am wanting to end in Penticton and would like to bike for probably 4 days, maybe Beaverdell to Penticton?? Would most likely want to camp..but tours seem very expensive and we would like to do this on a reasonable budget. Any ideas, tips or advice would be very much appreciated
May 2, 1999
I hear there's a nice "loop" route somewhere along the KVR, about 200 K or so. Would that be Midway-north-to-Myra-south to-Osoyoos? If so, how is this ride? (scenery/history/features etc.)
April 19, 1999
Sean O'Byrne email@example.com
I'm planning a solo ride of the KVR from Hope to Kelowna in late May/early June '99. Does anyone know of inexpensive accommodation between the toll booth and Brookmere? My needs are few-a spare bedroom for a night would be quite sufficient.
April 7, 1999
Riding with kids - 9 and 11
We are contemplating a family trip down some sections of the KVR, any suggestions from the experienced? How many families have you seen out there? We all have good bikes and ride often in the mountains. Has anyone pulled a trailer, it would be an easy way to carry gear.
March 27, 1999
Wendy Methot Terry_Methot@bc.sympatico.ca
Coley Creek Lodge - New Recreational Site in Brookmere
On the hillside in Brookmere, we have just finished building our guest cabin, sleeps eight, c/w modern conveniences, tent sites available with washroom and laundry facilities. A lovely pool to cool off in the hot summer months is being installed this spring. This is our first official year of operation. Make reservations to stay; 1-888-724-7799. Please visit our website;
March 18, 1999
Bernice Willoughby firstname.lastname@example.org
Does anyone have info about a place to stay after leaving Summerland and the bwefore the Coalmont Hotel. We would like to overnight near Chain Lake but are staying in B & B's and lodges on way and will not have camping gear. +Someone has said there are private cabins at Chain Lake but I have no contact. Any ideas? We are a group of four that will do Midway to Penticton in July, any tips. We are doing it on our own and staying in lodges on route.
March 15, 1999
Joe Barry email@example.com
N,K & S Railway Bed - Merritt to Nicola
I recently moved to Merritt and, having ridden the Kelowna to Penticton segment of the KVR three years ago and enjoying it tremendously, I am now looking forward to riding the various sections of the KVR frequently and providing updates to this page.
Armed with Dan's book, I rode the Merritt to Nicola portion of the N,K & S railbed earlier today. Contrary to the book, I was able to ride the whole way northeast to Nicola (about 10k). A friend and I cycled down a dirt road from Nicola Avenue (Hwy 8-97c) just east of the City Limits. Quickly accessing the old railbed, we flew through the culvert tunnel under Highway 5 thanks to a strong tailwind.
Contrary to the book, there is access from the highway down to the culvert. There is a paved access road that is blocked by concrete no-posts. The access road is not visible unless a person is cycling along Hwy 5. I frequently commute home from work along this route and can easily lift my bike over the concrete barricades. The barricades are there to keep the freeway traffic from leaving the highway. The railbed was in fantastic condition. About halfway there is a fence separating two farms. A quick lift over the fence and we continued towards Nicola. Passing a half eaten cow carcass and also a former coyote we marvelled at the good shape the railbed was in. It is used by the farm to access the ginseng fields. We rode the railbed right up to the Nicola Dam. The bridge over the railbed is gone but a dirt road swings up over a small hill and joins Hwy 5A.
I was surprised to discover that the railbed was totally rideable from Merritt to Nicola. We returned along Hwy 5A to Merritt against a challenging headwind. I don't know who is the owner of the railbed in this area but I'm assuming it is the provincial government. The fences on either side of the railbed are still there and the railbed is clearly defined.
In the coming weeks, I'll be riding various sections south to Brookmere and west to Spence's Bridge and will post my observations.
March 12, 1999
Hilde de Ruiter firstname.lastname@example.org
Dutch 'Bent'bikers on the KVR?
Dear Dan and Sandra,
We found your book in a specialized bookshop in Holland and got so enthousiastic that we think of spending our holidays cycling the KVR. We intend to spend 3 weeks and cycle as much of the trail as possible. Me and my husband both have (Recum)Bent bikes (since we did'nt know the proper English translation we used to call them 'sofa' bikes) and we wonder if there any other Bent bikers that have cycled the trail and if there are specific problems for Bent bikers (the bikes are quite heavy, appr.17 kg without luggage)
As it is now time for us for booking the flight we wonder if you can advice us what the best period is for cycling the KVR; july, august or september. We don't like too hot weather ( we call plus 25 degrees Celsius hot), but having to stop because of snow is the other extreme. Can you give us some information on temperatures in those months plus when the rivers are less likely to be swollen to a dangerous degree (wash outs??), bugs and other dangerous fluctuations...
We would appreciate an answer (or that you place us at the KVR news site with questions and answers)
Thanks a lot!
March 12, 1999
Craig Hunt email@example.com
Christina Lake to Spences Bridge via VV&E, September '99
After riding from Castlegar to Grand Forks on our abbreviated trip during the heat wave of July '98 (see trip report dated Aug. 12, 98 below), we are planning to complete our trip this fall. The plan;
Christina Lake 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 500 km of riding. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions about the VV&E route through the U.S.? Is this section more difficult or easier than the regular KVR sections? Thanks for any and all information.
I have also posted a detailed packing list for others that are doing multi day unsupported rides at;
If you have any additions, suggestions, or corrections I'd like to hear them. Thanks for such a useful site Dan!
March 4, 1999
Coalmont to Merritt
A group of friends (all 40+) is planning a ride along the KVR from Penticton to Merritt in June. Our third day will take us from Coalmont to Merritt, a considerable distance. Can anyone who's ridden it comment on the difficulty of that section? Might it be too much of a day's ride for this group of a dozen who are of mixed conditioning and abilities? Thanks for your input.
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