I love exploring new running routes, especially trails. Yesterday while visiting the in-laws, I ran along an old rail bed turned into a trail.
This section was on the west side of the city on the old Kettle Valley Railway running toward Summerland. The rail got ripped out maybe 20 years ago and it is now a favorite trail for locals. It is wide enough to run in groups and remote enough that you rarely meet anyone else. The are definitely cougars, rattlesnakes, cacti, poison ivy and deer in the area. But I didn’t see anything of concern on my run.
This section had quite loose sand for much of it so it made my calves really work for it.
Usually you can see the lake, sail boats and beach from this vantage point but this last week has been very smoky from the nearby wild fires.
There is a lot of rock in the area and I imagine how much work it must have been to cut the rail road through here 150 years ago. I would love to have been one of the chief engineers building a railroad way back when. Hard work but very rewarding, I imagine.
One of the nice things about this type of trail is that the slope is very predictable. Exactly 2% slope for many kilometres. I ran 11km, so it is easy to figure out my elevation gain.
The old railway continues on the other side of the valley too. On the other side, the trail is better maintained for bikes. There are trail markers and many more tourists. You can bike for 100’s of kms. The first 30 km have been graveled and are quite pleasant for biking or running, as y pass the many vineyards. The more remote parts aren’t quite as good though.
For the west trail that I went on, you can access the rail trail from near Docs Driving Range and go up the hill about 1 km to the first bridge. The road goes over the trail at this point for easy access.
For the east trail that I have biked on previously, you can access that from near downtown by the marina.
My week here isn’t over yet so you might hear more of my adventures of exploration. Stay tuned.