The Okanagan Valley is a haven for cyclists with multiple events and races taking place throughout the year; you can even do a wine tour by bicycle! In a region that is well-known for its excellent cycling opportunities, it was only a matter of time before improvements were made to the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, a popular multi-use pathway that offers a great ride for cyclists.
Constructed between 1910 and 1915, the Coast-to-Kootenay portion of the Kettle Valley Railroad connected the Kootenays and Okanagan region to the West Coast. Originally constructed as a means to maintain Canadian sovereignty during a silver mining rush, this new transportation line also allowed the Okanagan fruit industry to flourish and gave a connection that would allow families to vacation in different regions of the province.
In 1961, the first portion of the Kettle Valley Railway was abandoned and by 1989, a series of developments and downturns in area industries forced the final segment into disuse. Of course, a convenient transportation route in impossibly scenic locations couldn’t stay down for long and volunteers began developing the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, a multi-use recreation trail, in the 1990s.
Today, the trail is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. As a dedicated railway trail, the KVR is a largely flat path with grades that never exceed 2.2%, making it a relaxing walk or bike ride for people of all ages and fitness levels. Recent funding announcements from the provincial and federal governments will also allow for improvements to the trail between Osoyoos and Oliver, making it a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone. Construction on the Osoyoos-Oliver section of the trail is expected to begin in 2016 and is slated to be complete in 2017.
Cyclists in the South Okanagan love to stay at Watermark Beach Resort, a lakefront resort in downtown Osoyoos with secure bike storage on site. Our luxurious suites have everything you need to make your cycling trip great, including full kitchens with blenders, hot tubs, and big comfy beds to get a good night’s sleep at the end of a long day on the road. Throughout the year, Watermark hosts many cyclists who are training for road cycling events and races, as well as those who are taking part in training camps. We also partner with Heat Stroke Cycle to offer our guests great bicycling tours in the South Okanagan, including the Golden Mile Wine Tour. Call us at 1-888-755-3480 for more information and to book your stay with us!