Kelowna, B.C.’s New Okanagan Rail Trail

The newly-opened 50k Okanagan Rail Trail runs from the center of Okanagan Lake in Kelowna, British Columbia, the largest city in the Okanagan region, north to Kalamalka Lake near Vernon. The trail repurposes the old Kelowna branch of the Canadian Northern Railway, which once connected that community and its produce to the transit hub of Kamloops to the north. Quiet for over 50 years, today the old CN Line connects communities up and down the Okanagan Valley as it passes along city parks and hidden shoreline beaches on a scenic non-motorized trail. From the bustling Waterfront Park in downtown Kelowna, the route heads along leaf-lined avenues before leaving the urban and commercial districts behind for wineries and waterfront pedaling through Okanagan’s Lake Country and its half dozen sun-drenched lakes. Although the route proceeds at a steam-engine-friendly maximum grade of 1.3%, cyclists should take advantage of the plentiful opportunities to stop on this nearly level lakeside ride, from winery tasting rooms to roadside fruit markets. After all, the railroads allowed this region to flourish; the rail trail allows visitors to take advantage of Kelowna’s claims to fame. More info at //

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