Kettle Valley Rails-to-Trails


The Kettle Valley Railroad was an answer to aggressive USA railroad tycoons, like James Hill. He wanted to take raw materials recently discovered in central British Columbia, like gold, silver and copper, down along valleys to the newly erected transcontintental railroad in the USA, which he controlled. British Columbians wanted it transported through Bristish Columbia to Vancouver.

The railbed was laid between 1910 and 1920, and carried raw materials for about 50 years, despite unbelievable engineering difficulties, avalanches and 50' snow drifts. Now the whole route is mostly great "rails-to-trails".


To get you located,
here is the Kettle Valley Railroad;
numbers indicate where we biked.
It's a totally magical place and ride.

#1 is Myra Canyon. The top photo is from the book at right;
the bottom Liz surveys the current trail, minus tracks
plus new railings on the tressles,
showing the ravages of a 2001 forest fire.
# 2 is above Penticton & Okanagan Lake. The "LittleTunnel" is a well-known lover's trysting place.
#3 is northwest of Princeton, where rain stopped us from a longer ride.

#4 is by Hope, and since the Chief Engineer was a Shakespeare buff, the stations are all named for Shakespearian characters: Othello, Lear, Jessica, Portia, Iago, Romeo and, of course, Juliet.
The four tunnels and two bridges through the Coquilhalla Gorge are engineering marvels.

  They said it couldn't be done, but the Engineeer suspended himself in a wicker basket from the cliff to make the sightings, and lo & behold...  
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