History Comes Alive on the Kettle Valley Railway

Summerland, in British Columbia’s south Okanagan, exudes history, from the summer homes of Canada’s first fathers to the orchards of the region’s first fruit growers–settlers here brought the first cultivated apple tree to the Okanagan.

The best way to step into Summerland’s past? Step aboard the Kettle Valley Railway.

The Kettle Valley Railway passes through idyllic scenes that are only accessible by train

(Start planning your own Summerland escape here!)

The Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) (https://www.kettlevalleyrail.org/) once connected the Kootenays to the BC Coast; today it connects visitors with the bygone days of rail travel.

The Kettle Valley Railway once connected the Kootenays to the BC Coast; today it connects visitors with the bygone days of rail travel

Completed in 1916 to shuttle silver from the Kootenays to the BC coast, the KVR provided daily passenger and freight service from Nelson to Vancouver until Highway 3 opened in 1949.

Today, Summerland boasts the only remaining section of track on which visitors can experience rail travel; it’s the region’s only steam train excursion.

The Kettle Valley Railway is the region’s only steam train excursion

At Prairie Valley Station just west of town, passengers climb aboard a restored steam engine, choose their seats among the closed passenger coaches and open-air cars, and settle in for a 90-minute guided excursion past rolling rows of orchards, canyon walls, and the iconic Giant’s Head. At the Trout Creek Trestles–a minor marvel of engineering about the tight canyon of Trout Creek–pose for photo opps and purchase fresh-picked produce from vendors while the steam engine switches ends for the return trip.

A hiker climbs the crown of the Giant’s Head, a prominent geological feature above Summerland and Okanagan Lake

It’s a scene that’s changed little in decades, and it’s only accessible from the Kettle Valley Railway.

Ready to step on the train and back in time in Summerland? Read the full story at Zenseekers.com!

If You Go

Check out the Summerland’s website to start exploring the area.

Learn even more about Summerland on the HelloBC website.

Uncover more about the Okanagan’s offers for adventure. Check out ZenSeekers #OkanaganExploring Expedition page to see how you can have an adventure like this.