Update for 2023:
We have now replaced this tour with the new Classic & Vines (under Classic Ride) available September only.
This tour is currently unavailable for 2023 as some of the accommodation suppliers have undergone ownership changes due to Covid-19. We are working to revise this tour and hope to bring it back in the near future.
Evolved from our Wilderness Journey Tour, our signature Origins – River/Forest Journey now features a more in-depth experience into the landscape of the KVR. With an incredible diversity of terrain, there is so much more to this cycle tour than just your passageway through the area.
From the banks of the Kettle and the West Kettle Rivers, you will begin to understand the flow of nature and how we impact upon it, the importance of conservation and the impact it now has on us.
- the significance of the First Nations and the “entwined trees’ in Midway – Mile 0 of the KVR
- the destructive forces of the Rock Creek in 2015, the regeneration of the 2003 forest fire at Myra Canyon, how and why wildfires are both natural and immense.
- how climate and insects have changed our forests – from the birds to the corridors of wildlife, from coyotes to moose, black bear to eagle
- the waterways – the rivers that flow through this region and the lakes that dot the alpine of the Okanagan Highlands at the “summit” of the ride and the valley lakes and canals of the Okanagan.
- the origins of the KVR itself – from the rich mineral deposits found throughout the region to the challenges of building the railway and keeping the rich rewards within Canada
This self-guided tour features a variety of resources to assist you along the way, and deepen your experience of the waterways and forests along the KVR – from ornithology to biodiversity and management of our forests, from incoming and invasive species and their effect on both land and water to the challenges of the origins of the building of the railway through this diverse landscape.
The KVR is unique as a rail trail in its incredible diversity of terrain.
This tour is for the cyclists with a passion for nature, for exploration on and off the beaten path. For a desire to learn more of the land, the inter-connected waterways and the forests and those that live in and depend upon them. For those who want to take a little more time, to stop and listen to the beat of the earth, the call of the wild.
Trip Rating Moderate: The KVR Trail is mostly a wilderness trail and offers up variable conditions – this tour includes a layover day at the “summit” of the trail in a relaxing alpine lakeside location.
Origins: River-Forest Journey Cancellation Policy:
Once your tour is confirmed, an invoice of 25% of the total tour cost will be issued along with other important information, details and tips for your tour.
Your deposit is refundable (less a $190/person administration charge) within 30 days of your tour departure.
The balance is due 30 days prior to your tour departure. After this time your tour is non-refundable. We always recommend you ensure you have trip/trip cancellation insurance either through your credit card provider, regular or travel insurance provider.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Start Midway, B.C., End point: Penticton B.C. Canada|
|DEPARTURE TIME||8:30 AM shuttle from Penticton to Midway start.|
Day 1: Midway’s “entwined trees”, Kettle and West Kettle Rivers
Our meeting point today is a very unique beginning – from the “entwined trees” in Midway, we will start with an introduction to the nature of this land and origins of the trail, just metres inside the Canadian border, the KVR was a significant part of the heritage of British Columbia. This area pays tribute to the First Nations people who lived and traded here long before and the significance of the “entwined trees”.
Then on with the ride! fitting your bikes and a safety briefing, and a run through of the entire route – you will have our custom maps and route notes …and you’re on your way!
The clear, cool water of the Kettle River swirls gently past, an eagle soars overhead, a deer flicks an ear as you pedal beneath towering ponderosa pines, past the rolling ranch lands of Rock Creek. Your journey has begun….
From Midway you will cycle through an active pulp mill – learn how this tiny community brought back their their own economy when the Pope & Talbot Mill closed.
Cycle on and silence ensues as you continue west following the Kettle River, watch for signs of black bear and deer seeking food, water and shelter along its banks – it is the life blood for the wildlife. In early summer its banks may still be overflowing from snow melt and run off, but as the heat of summer and the dry spell of this region ensue, its swift flow tempers and calms to glassy stillness by September.
Approaching Rock Creek, and the rolling ranch lands, you then drop into provincial forest and really begin to see close up the impact of a massive forest fire that swept through the valley in 2015.
From Westbridge, you veer north and west now along the banks of the smaller West Kettle River – the forest thickens, and as the sun shines brightly overhead you may scramble down the riverbank to glide into a shady pool, refreshing before continuing the slow gentle grade uphill.
A hand built log lodge awaits with your evening meal and tales of forests from those who are one with this nearly forgotten area before you lay your head down to rest in the lovely quiet, cool room – reflecting on your first day of this new wilderness experience.
Cycling distance: 42 km (flat to slight uphill grade) Meals included: Dinner Accommodation: log house B&B by the river Options! *For group bookings (6+) or by request, your Day 1 may be substituted with accommodation only in Penticton and a shuttle on Day 2: then cycle Rock Creek to Beaverdell for your first day cycling (distance 48 km)
Day 2: Rhone to Beaverdell: forests, birds and Taurus Canyon
Awakening to aromas of hot waffles you rise to watch the myriad of hummingbirds buzzing past at high speed igniting your spirit to venture off on the trail again. But it’s a short ride today and your host here has an abundance of knowledge and passion for the trees and wetlands of the area his family has lived and homesteaded here for generations – you will learn much of the land – from the birds and insects to the forestry industry and the ageing of trees.
Then on your bike! cycling through Taurus canyon when in early summer the meltwaters rage through in torrents, then into summer and autumn the pools here offer up still waters for a cool dip and a perfect picnic location.
Watch for deer and black bear as you near Beaverdell, a step into the past of BC’s rich silver and nickel mining history. A short day today rewards you with an afternoon relaxing by the river on a sandy shore, or an ice cream at the Beaverdell General Store.
Cycling Distance: 26 km (slight to steady uphill grade – 1-1.5%) Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner hamper Accommodation: Cottage/Heritage Cabin Options! Combine cycling days 1 & 2 for a longer ride today of 48 km
Day 3: Forest & Alpine Lakes
Dawn beckons and with your longest uphill day ahead its time for an early start – with your cycle legs now accustomed to the trail, it’s a steady ride up, up up – the stillness nearly overwhelming as you hear only your breathe, the river, birds, the breeze in the trees.
With your new found knowledge of some of the nature of the land, forest and wildlife you make your way steadily uphill through the trees. Watch for wildflowers, rare and more common birdlife, signs of black bear, elk, moose, coyote and deer.
You are well rewarded at the summit today – your lakeside accommodation offering refreshing swimming, a stocked kitchen full of food to enjoy over the next two days as you rest from the uphill journey – relax on the dock, paddle a canoe, hike the trails, listen to the call of the loons….watch for a moose in the reeds and lily pads.
Cycling distance: 56 km (1.5-1.9% steady uphill grade) Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner hamper Accommodation: Lakeside Resort
Day 4: Layover day! canoes, rowboats, moose, beaver, loons
No cycling today – hiking/canoeing Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner hampers Accommodation: Lakeside Resort
Day 5: Myra Canyon and Chute Lake - trestle bridges, tunnels and a step back in time
Time to return to the bike today and cycle the giant trestles of Myra Canyon – 18 massive structures and two tunnels take you around this horseshoe shaped canyon, now descending. It’s an extraordinary but easy ride so you can take your time as you cycle through this remarkable engineering feat of the early 1900’s.
The Myra Canyon Restoration Society was formed after the massive wildfires of 2003 – most of the original wooden trestle bridges succumbed to the fire, but were rebuilt from steel – read up at the information kiosk near the first of the bridges about the original construction in the 1900’s and nearly a century on, the rebuilding from 2003-2006.
Then back into the changing forest – you are beginning to head slightly downhill from Myra Canyon – watch around you and you will see the regenerating forest.
All senses alert as you watch for moose tracks near the historic Chute Lake Lodge – a real step back in time! The new owners have kept the style and much of the character of the old lodge, rooms and cabins. Explore the old “museum” and relics of the railway from the original owner and relax with an inspired meal this evening from Italian chef “Frankie”.
Cycling distance: 58 km (initial short climb, then flat/downhill) Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner Accommodation: Lodge
Day 6: Chute Lake to Naramata - Ponderosa Pines, rock ovens, Okanagan Lake
Returning to the trail it is a downhill ride – stop to view the giant Ponderosa pines along the way and the rock ovens built in the forest by the railway workers.
Gradually the descent picks up pace and as you leave the forest you have views out over the Okanagan valley and its spectacular waterway system of lakes and channels that funnel all the way down to Osoyoos with the Okanagan Lake a sparkling gem beneath you. Lunch is included along the way today, then stop in along the last few kilometres at some of the Naramata Bench wineries and taste the bounty of this region or head straight to Manitou Park or Wharf Park for a swim.
This evening enjoy the small village charm from your Inn or Resort stay.
Cycling distance: 34 km (downhill .5 – 2.2% trail grade) Meals included: Breakfast, cafe lunch (dinner on own with options in Naramata) Accommodation: Heritage Inn or Beach Resort
Day 7: Penticton - Wineries, orchards & beaches
Cycling distance: 16-21 km (uphill 5 km optional challenge, or downhill 2% grade) Meals included: Breakfast
Add a layover day in Naramata gives you opportunities to enjoy the wineries of the famous “Naramata Bench”. An uphill morning start takes you up to the Bench to visit the wineries on our recommended loop walk – or pedal out along Naramata Bench Road and visit a winery for lunch, then head to the beach – you may want to try stand up paddleboards with or without lessons, kayak rentals or just relax in the sun. This is a fabulous way to celebrate your ride and relax.
Congratulations! You have cycled your way, traveled under your own pedal power over 230 kilometres from the Kettle River and its valleys to the alpine lakes of the highlands, through forest and farm land – and back down to the Okanagan Valley, famous for it’s lakes and channels and glacial silt and soil and lake beds that offer such rich nutrients for farming and wineries.
We hope you have experienced and learned something of this unique and diverse landscape all the while traveling the distance by bicycle – bringing you up close to the waterways and forests of this region.
Included in your Origins – Water & Forest Journey:
- 6 days cycling along the KVR from Midway to Penticton plus
- 1 layover day to explore Idabel Lake – by canoe, rowboat or hiking trails
- 6 nights accommodation ranging from comfortable cabins to B&B’s, heritage Inns and lodges
- 16 meals including 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
- bicycle rental – 21 speed Giant Trail Bikes – equipped with rear rack and panniers – our bikes are chosen specifically for travel on the KVR and are superb for the terrain
- route notes and maps plus tips on cycling the trail
- Emergency support – we are never far away should you need assistance however please note! this tour is self-guided and you should be confident in changing a flat tire. We can provide you with instruction should you need.
- 4 daily cycle bag transfers (note: we include pannier transfers on the uphill and final days and may be able to provide full transfers on request – there is currently no direct road access from Idabel to Chute Lake for vehicles – please feel free to inquire for more information/clarification)
- shuttle to or from the trail to your start/finish point (usually Penticton to Midway)
- optional shuttle from Naramata back to the trail (5 km off the main trail)
- Origins – River/Forest extra – this tour takes you through very diverse landscapes that change significantly throughout the season. Each departure will have a unique “extra” highlighting a feature of the landscape
Sorry! this tour is currently unavailable for 2022. We have combined some of the best features of this tour into our Classic Ride.
You can now book directly online or contact us with any questions for these tours. Custom dates may be available – please email us with any inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org . We hope to see you this summer on the KVR!