Good to Know Before You Go
- When biking the Rail Trails, 2.4 tires are recommended on a mountain bike, or 29″ on a cross-country bike.
- Be prepared for some sandy and/or rocky areas along the trails that may make biking difficult. Wear gloves and helmets when biking.
- You will encounter gates. Please close them. They keep livestock in and unauthorized motorized users out.
- Check with local Visitor Centres for information on trail conditions.
- There are two great Facebook pages that are updated regularly: Columbia and Western Trail page and the Trails to the Boundary page. They also post events and things to do in the communities and areas that are near the trails.
Bike throughout, to, and from Boundary Country for an adventure of a lifetime. Whether your plans include bringing your bikes and cycling the area, or arriving or leaving from here on a longer journey, there are dozens of great trails for you to choose from.
Get off the roads, hop on your bike and take a ride back in history on our Rail Trails. The Columbia and Western Railway (C&W) and the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) once connected our communities to the rest of the country. Now you can cycle where powerful steam engines once chugged as they transported people, produce and dreams across Boundary Country.
Take your time, and spend a few days or an entire week exploring the KVR and C&W rail trails.
Designated non-motorized trails give cyclists the opportunity to explore off the main highways and byways.
There’s a great section of rail trail between Grand Forks and Cascade West that is designated non-motorized. The first part of the trail through Grand Forks, and for the next 5 km (3 mi) to Whitehall Road is paved. This C&W section is approximately 18 km (11 mi) section in total and mirrors the path of the Kettle River. It’s a newly surfaced, high quality rail trail that almost any bike can ride on.
Have your swimsuit handy as there are several beaches along the way, stop at the Priede and Nursery Trestles and watch brave souls jump the bridge. Pavement affords use by enthusiasts of all sorts, elderly, families pushing strollers and wheelchair friendly.
Connect to the Ferry County Rail Trail in WA from the Carson/Danville border crossing just west of Grand Forks. This trail is also non-motorized and follows the former corridor of the Great Northern Railway. Take your time as you travel this picturesque landscape across paved and rough trail along Kettle River and Curlew Lake. There’s a tunnel cut into the rocky hillside and you’ll pass over two former railroad bridges.
This is a 41 km (25.7 mi) rail trail that runs north to south from the Carson/Danville border crossing to the town of Republic, WA. The Curlew Lake segment (9 km / 5.5 mi) and a 3 km (2 mi) section north of the town of Curlew is wheelchair accessible.
Take a Tour
Check out KVR Cycle Tours Classic Ride and Wilderness Journey Tours. They all begin in Boundary Country and you’ll ride from the ranch lands of the Kettle River valley to the alpine lakes of the Okanagan Highlands and back down through orchards and vineyards. It’s one of the most diverse ranges of terrain to cycle. These self-guided tours, include bike rentals, accommodation, meals, maps and route directions.
There are some great rides that should not be missed in Boundary Country. We’ve highlighted a few of them for your cycling adventure.
Short Bike Trips
Drive your car up to the McCulloch Recreation Site and park it for the day. From there take the trail west for an easy, flat ride to the beautiful Myra Canyon Trestles. Explore the trestles and then return after a day of fresh air and fantastic views.
Park the car at Arlington Lakes and take your time enjoying the easy downhill ride from Arlington Lakes to Beaverdell. It’s a less than 2% grade, so if you want to bike back, it’s an option. The round trip will take you about four hours for the round trip, not including your rest stop. Make sure you bring your water!
Midway to Christina Lake – 2 days – Moderate Ride
Ride the C&W Rail Trail from Midway through Greenwood, and Grand Forks, with Christina Lake as your destination. Each of these communities can offer you the basics, including accommodation and eateries. There are several paved sections along the way and Grand Forks and Christina Lake also have bike shops.
The rail trail follows Hwy 3 East until Eholt where it continues east and then heads south towards Grand Forks. From there it continues along between Hwy 3 East and the Kettle River, crossing the river at Cascade Falls. It crosses the river again after the golf course and takes you north to Christina Lake.
There is large elevation change between the business section of Christina Lake and the Lake itself. If you’re dropping off your bike for a tune up, know there is a decent hike between the lake and the repair shop.
Enjoy the journey and stop along the way. Explore our communities and take part in some of their events and celebrations.
It is 15 km (9 mi) from Midway (km 0) to Greenwood. Eholt is at km 28 (17 mi), Grand Forks at km 49 (30 mi) and Christina Lake at the end of the trail.
Midway to Big White – 2 to 3 days – Expert Ride
This is not a trip we recommend for novice riders, or those who don’t have a few days to complete the journey. You’ll be challenged and exhilarated by this bike to or from Big White. Those who love outdoor adventure and exploring the KVR and C&W Trails will love this ride. Make sure you pack enough food and water for a two to three day trip.
For your first day start in Midway. It should take you one to two hours to get to Rock Creek on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Rest for a bit, or stay the night. There is food and accommodation in Rock Creek. One of the more popular stops for cyclists is the Trading Post located on Hwy 3 where it intersects with Hwy. 33.
Then it’s off to Beaverdell for a nice day ride with some beautiful country side. You’ll find some services in Beaverdell, including B&B accommodations.
From Beaverdell, take the KVR Trail up to Okanagan Falls Road, which connects to McCullouch Road. This part of the trip should take you anywhere from four to five hours. These are not flat rail trails, it is a 2% uphill ride on user maintained trails. Roughly translated, that means uneven surfaces and natural obstructions like potholes and felled trees on the path.
Once you reach McCulloch Road – take Okanagan Falls Service Road east towards Big White. You’ll connect to Big White Road after about a 60 to 75-minute ride. From there it’s another 75 to 90 minutes to the Big White Ski Resort. Take longer if you like and stop to enjoy the scenery.
Big White has done some amazing things for those who love summer biking. Hop on the lift and head up the alpine and let gravity lead you down a trail of your choice back to the village. Should you decide to drive up instead of riding your bike, no worries, they have a full fleet of downhill bike rentals available.
Enjoy some of the great biking events at Big White in the summer. The 2018 BC Cup and the Big White Invitational Slope Style are two great events hosted by Big White. In addition, they also host and organize the L’alpe de Grand Blanc road cycling event.
Big White is open in the summer, Thursday through Monday from June 28 to September 3, 2018.
There’s nothing like spending a night under the stars after a day of cycling the ever-changing landscapes of Boundary Country. Camping for cyclists is especially popular here and there are several great campgrounds where you can rest for the night.
You’ll find camping at Midway, Grand Forks, Christina Lake, and at the Kettle River Recreation Area, Boundary Creek, Arlington and McCulloch Recreation Areas. There are also private campgrounds at Greenwood, Rock Creek, Westbridge, Blythe Rhone Road as well as in Beaverdell.