Kettle Valley Railway, Myra Canyon
Holy Smokes. I cannot believe I've missed out on the opportunity to ride the Kettle Valley Railway for so long. We finally made the trip up yesterday and the experience exceeded all expectations. We rode the trail at Myra Canyon near Kelowna. Temperatures were perfect in the mid twenties and we rode the 24 kms with a group of good friends so what more can you ask for. A quick word of warning if you are to make this trip. Watch your step on the trestles. When I first stopped to take a snapshot of the valley my leg disappeared from underneath me. I simply did not see the space between the trestles as being that wide or perhaps I was in awe over the scenery. A few scrapes and I will survive but this could have gone worse.
A quote from the Trails BC web site:
A Brief History
The Myra Canyon section of the Kettle Valley Railway was built between 1912 and 1914. It was part of a "Coast to Kootenay" railway line that linked Midway, in British Columbia's Boundary District, with the Canadian Pacific Railway main line at Hope. The railway carried freight and passengers through the Myra Canyon until passenger service ended in 1964 and the last scheduled train went through in 1973. See the Myra Canyon History for a little more information on the Kettle Valley Railway.
In June 1973 the Kettle Valley Railway section in the Myra Canyon, with its wood-frame trestles, tunnels, rock cuts, and awe-inspiring mountainous terrain, was used by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as a location for filming a segment of Pierre Berton's "National Dream" television film on the construction of the CPR through the mountains of British Columbia.
The province purchased the rail corridor from Canadian Pacific Railway in 1990. The Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society, established in 1992, has been instrumental in leading the restoration and maintenance of the corridor and trestles. Hundreds of volunteers have worked to cover the open trestle ties and timbers with boardwalks and to install railings to make the route safe and accessible for all ages and abilities. As a result, the trestles became a cornerstone of the Provincial Rails to Trails network, a vital link along the Trans Canada Trail, as well as a significant tourism asset attracting as many as 50,000 visitors a year.
In January 2003, the Myra Canyon section (from Mile 84.5 to Mile 90.5) of the Kettle Valley Railway was designated a National Historic Site.
At 2 A.M. on Saturday morning, August 16, 2003, a bolt of lightning struck a tree near Squally Point in Okanagan Mountain Park. An extremely dry summer and plenty of fuel, coupled with high winds, quickly spread the fire into the city of Kelowna. It destroyed over 200 homes before spreading up the mountainside to the former kettle Valley Railway right-of-way. On September 3, the Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire entered the Myra Canyon area and, despite heroic efforts by firefighters, destroyed 12 wooden trestles and damaged two steel trestles.
Read further at Trails BC
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