Good to Know Before You Go
Here are some things that are good to know before you head out on our trails. Above all else, give yourself ample time to enjoy nature in Boundary Country. We’re glad you came.
- Expect a variety of surfaces when hiking trails. This includes the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, the Columbia Western Rail Trail and The Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail). Expect loose gravel, pavement and unconsolidated railway ballast.
- Some sections are not suitable for road bikes. We recommend a 2.4 tire.
- Detailed information on the Boundary Country portion of the KVR and The Great Trail is at Trails BC
- Explore on your own or get advice from the locals. Contact Wildways, Chain Reaction, Greenwood Museum, Kettle River Museum, and/or KVR Cycle Tours.
- The Kettle River Museum now offers overnight stays in their historic bunkhouse in Midway, right on the KVR.
- Several area businesses offer trail maps, rental bikes and shuttle service. Our local Visitor Centres can direct you to the right people!
- Several of the properties and beaches along the rail trails are private property. Please be considerate and prevent invasive weeds from spreading from the trail. Many private beaches are along the KVR Trail. Please respect trespassing signs or check with owners before using
- Bike helmets are mandatory in British Columbia
- Be sure to check with the local Visitor Centres to find out about parking near the trails
- Many of the most beautiful trails run through sensitive eco-systems — please stay on marked trails to avoid damaging the environment and pack out what you pack in
- Most trails are multi-use and mixed use. Trail etiquette is ATVs/ORVs yield to all, horses yield to hikers, cyclists yield to horses and hikers
- ATVs and ORV need to follow guidelines for exploring in our area
Get The Kinks Out
There are dozens of hikes and rides you can take on the trails systems in Boundary. Take a guided day trip, or spend a week on a self-guided tour from Christina Lake up to Big White. Whatever you choose, it will be a journey filled with stunning vistas, wildlife, quaint small towns and hundreds of photo opportunities.
Christina Lake to Grand Forks
You’ll love the beautiful vistas that surround Christina Lake. From here Grand Forks is one of the easiest portions of the trail. It is approximately 25 km (16 mi) on a hard packed trail. Take your time and enjoy lakes views, wild life along the way and immerse yourself in authentic nature ranging from sage brush to mountain views. Spend the night in Grand Forks at one of their many hotels, motels, campgrounds or B&Bs. Check out the Train Station Pub, once a functioning train station.
Grand Forks to Greenwood
From Grand Forks, it’s an easy three hour ride to Greenwood, approximately 40 km (25 mi) away. Plan to spend the day exploring Canada’s smallest incorporated city. The Greenwood Museum tells the story of the Internment camps that were once in this area. Once a dying town of 200 people, with an influx of 1200 Japanese in WWII it became a bustling community. The movie Snow Falling on Cedar was filmed here. Hungry? Then be sure to stop for a bite to eat at Deadwood Junction – people come for miles to eat at this charming bistro. Greenwood’s downtown is filled with funky shops and heritage buildings. Accommodations include motels, a campground and B&Bs.
Greenwood to Midway
From Greenwood it’s a short 40-minute ride downhill (15 km/9 mi) to Midway. This is Mile 0 of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Capture your journey with a photo at the Mile 0 signpost. The town of Midway is protected by two mountain ranges: The Kootenays and the Okanagan Mountains. Spend some time at the Kettle River Museum, built in the 1900s. Here you’ll find exhibits on the steam railway era and you can even climb aboard a Canadian Pacific Railway caboose. Stay the night at the Hotel Midway which has a great pub with great food. The hotel was recently refurbished to how it would have been back in the day. There’s also the Mile Zero motel with an on-site restaurant.
Midway to Rock Creek
In the morning, saddle up and head over to Rock Creek, approximately 20 km (12 mi) away. This is where you depart from Mile 0 and head up the Columbia Northern Trail. This trail is not for those out for an easy ride. There is an elevation change from 527 to 626 m (1729 to 2054 ft.) as you climb. Not to worry though, there’s never more than a 3% grade on this trail. Test your biking skills on sandy areas, rutted trails, and stony sections with a few rewarding smooth packed areas. At Rock Creek, Hwy 3 joins up to Hwy 33 on the way to Myra Canyon.
Rock Creek is most well known as a gold rush town. There’s quaint coffee shops and you can spend the night at the Historic Ranch Bunk house or stay in the Kettle River Recreation area campground. There are plenty of festivals in the area in the summer, or you can just kick back and relax and some time floating down the Kettle River on an inner tube or just relax by the water’s edge.
Rock Creek to Westbridge
After a refreshing stay in Rock Creek it’s time to hop on your bike and take a short 15 km (9 mi) ride on mostly flat terrain to Westbridge. You won’t find any coffee shops, or shops of any kind in Westbridge, so be sure to pack snacks and beverages before you head out.
What you will find here is gorgeous ranchland and the Old Cowboy Ranch. There’s plenty of room to stay here for those with RVs or who want to camp.
Westbridge to Beaverdell
It’s a bit of an uphill grind on this part of the trail with a rise of 176 m (577 ft.). Prepare to spend at least two hours on this part of the trail. It’s not just the rise in elevations – parts of this trail are rugged and challenging. It’s all worth it though as the scenery as you go from a highway deep into the arms of mother nature is well worth it.
Overnighting is part of the adventure and you can dry camp behind the Red Rock Garage or check into their air B&B, the Red Rock Retreat. There are also the Last Resort and Zack’s tenting in Beaverdell. Take yourself on a self-guided one-hour tour here where you can see the efforts that were made to restore the local Rainbow Trout population. You can stock up on supplies at the Beaverdell General Store and have a bite to eat and a beverage at the fully licensed lounge and restaurant at the Tamarack Lodge.
Beaverdell to Idabell Lake Resort
Beaverdell to Idabell Lake Resort is a three-and-a-half-hour (56 km/35 mi) uphill cycle. With a rise of 526 m (1726 ft.) and some rough trails, you had best rest up before you decide to conquer this part of the trail. This highland lakes area is home to an abundance of wildlife including moose, black bear, deer, coyotes, otters, beavers and loons. You can rent cottages in the area and there is camping. Most require a stay of two nights during peak season. To get to the resort, turn left at Okanagan Falls Road.
Idabell Lake Resort to the Myra Canyon Trestles
This is one part of the journey you don’t want to miss. A fairly short one-hour ride from Idabell Lake Resort will get you to some of the most stunning vistas you have ever seen. This trail has a small 52 m (170 ft) rise followed by 30 m (98 ft) downhill slope for the last three-quarters of the way.
The trestles take you close to Kelowna in the central Okanagan, where this lovingly restored section of the Kettle Valley Railway delights locals and visitors alike year round. This 24 km (15 mi) round trip has no steep climbs or single tracks. It’s perfect for casual riding, with dozens of places to stop along the way and take photos. There are 18 trestles and two tunnels that you’ll pass over and through. Once you’re done exploring the trestles, head back to Idabel Lake Resort and settle down for the night in one of their lodge suites or a cozy cottage, where every room has a view.
Idabell Lake Resort to Big White
Still have some energy left? Then head back up Okanagan Falls Road and keep going to Big White. It’s a 30 km (19 mi) ride with an 817 m (2680 ft) rise. This part of the trip could figuratively and literally take your breath away! Stunning mountain vistas, wildlife following your every move, and a challenging ride make this the perfect trail to end on. Big White is beautiful at any time of year and has plenty of accommodation and more trails for you to enjoy.