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
Our Trail History
Not that long ago, the railway connected the cities and towns of Canada. The communities of Boundary had three major railways to connect them to each other and the rest of the world. These rails are now decommissioned and provide an excellent way to explore our area. Hike, bike, ride or glide the trails of Boundary Country.
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail and the Columbia and Western Rail Trail now form part of The Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail). Another trail, the Dewdney Trail, is more rugged, and ventures east from Christina Lake.
Kettle Valley Rail Trail (KVR)
This rail corridor has inspiring scenery and impressive views. It’s an easy to ride trail with a grade that never exceeds 2.2%. The entire KVR is 600 km (373 mi) of travel routes make it challenging for the more adventuresome. The Boundary portion of the trail starts at Kilometre 0 in the small town of Midway, just west of Grand Forks. The trail makes its way west through the Kettle Valley and heads north at Rock Creek. It carries on through Zamora, Rhone, Taurus, Beaverdell, Carmi, Lois, Lakevale, Cooksen and McCulloch (named after the head engineer).
The Kettle Valley Railway corridor was purchased by the government of British Columbia. Several groups banded together to create this multi-use corridor; which is now a part of The Great Trail, formerly the Trans Canada Trail.
Columbia and Western Rail Trail (CWT)
The Columbia and Western Rail Trail runs 162 km (100 mi) from Castlegar to Midway, BC. The last train went through here in 1991. In 2000, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) donated the line to the Province of British Columbia for a recreational trail. It now forms part of the BC portion of The Great Trail.
The western end of the Dewdney Trail (between Christina Lake and Rossland/Trail) connects to The Great Trail at the intersection of the Columbia & Western railway and Santa Rosa Road. The Dewdney Trail was a major thoroughfare in mid-19th century British Columbia. Today it is gravel road mainly used by advanced mountain bikers and ATVers.
The Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail)
The KVR and the CWT make up portions of The Great Trail. You may hear people calling it the Kettle Valley Trail or the Columbia and Western Trail. Both are part of The Great Trail. Maintaining and updating the trails in this area is a labour of love. Recreation Sites and Trails BC works with the Columbia and Western Trail Society, the Grand Forks Community Trails Society, and the Trails to the Boundary Society.
For up to date information on The Great Trail conditions, visit the TrailsBC website.