Kettle Valley Rail Trail
Looking for big views and smiles? Check out this iconic Okanagan landmark – the Kettle Valley Rail Trail!
One of the best things to do in Kelowna is to explore the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. It is a reclaimed railroad in the mountains converted to a walkway or for bicycles. Sorry no motorized vehicles allowed anymore! The trail is easy to moderate perfectly almost flat and is a great for families and pets.
Perched high above the neighbourhood of South East Kelowna you can follow the meandering mountain trail some 3000ft above the Okanagan Lake. Only 35 minutes from downtown Kelowna to the trail head parking makes it a an easy morning round trip or make a day of it with a picnic. The walking / biking trail offers spectacular lake views from the steep canyons winding back and forth overlooking the valley below. Truly an engineering marvel that has stood the test of time with 18 trestle bridges and 2 tunnels that link the landscape.
HISTORY AT A GLANCE
Here are a few fun facts about the Kettle Valley Railroad:
- Completed in 1914
- Took 5 years to build
- Originally used to transport copper, silver and gold
- Last train ran on it in 1972
- The 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Forest Fire (64,030 acres) nearly destroyed the trail system.
- Post-fire funding from both the Public and Private sector restored the trail system
Scores of volunteers throughout the years have made the Kettle Valley Railroad the huge success it is today. Today tourists and locals alike share the trail with wildlife while taking in inspirational lake views and a chance to interact with the local landscape with ease.