Ride Your Bike Through the Kettle Valley...
The Kettle Valley Railroad, a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway that operated in the Thompson-Okanagan region, opened in 1915 and was abandoned in portions beginning in 1961, with the final segment falling into disuse in 1989. Interestingly enough, it was built to prevent the Americans from annexing BC.
Once silver was discovered in the spring of 1887, thousands of Americans flooded into the B.C.'s Southern Interior, and essentially took control of the region. These miners found it much quicker and cheaper to get their supplies from the recently completed, American owned, Northern Pacific Railroad. British Columbia's Southern Interior essentially became a commercial annex of the United States spurring Provincial and Federal officials to build a second railroad dubbed the "Coast-to-Kootenay" railroad to help preserve Canadian sovereignty over British Columbia, and to retain the valuable mining revenues.
The core portion of the Kettle Valley Railroad started in Hope, transited through Brookmere, Tulameen, Princeton, Summerland, Penticton, Beaverdell and terminated in Midway. An additional branch line connected to Spences Bridge, and Merritt. Additional spur lines connected Copper Mountain with Princeton, Osoyoos, , and Oliver, with Penticton. In addition, the Columbia & Western Railway from Midway, through Grand Forks, continuing though to Cranbrook, was also periodically referred to as portions of the KVR as well. Much of the railroad's original route has been converted to a multi-use recreational trail, known as the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, which carries the Trans-Canada Trail through this part of British Columbia.
The Trans Canada Trail is a proposed 18,078-kilometre (11,233 mi) corridor in Canada. The creation of the trail was announced as part of Canada's 125th anniversary celebrations in 1992. It is expected that, when complete, it will be the longest recreational trail in the world.
One of the major landmarks on the former line is the Othello-Quintette Tunnels, which cut through the Coquihalla River's gorge near Hope and are open in summer for sightseeing. Andrew McCulloch, who engineered the complex series of bridges and tunnels through Coquihalla Canyon, loved Shakespeare. As a result, many of the areas in the Coquihalla Region are named after Shakespearean characters, such as Iago, Romeo, Juliet, Lear, Jessica, Shylock and Portia.
HOW TO GET THERE...
For More information and trail maps visit http://www.kettlevalleyrailway.ca/