Monday, September 28, 2015

3 Steps to a Simple Fall Bucket List

September is one of my favorite months of the year, and it’s not because the kids go back to school (though that certainly gives one cause to celebrate as well.) For me, September is all about new chances, fresh starts, and opportunity for change. Call it a “second January” if you will, because a new school year calls for updated goals, resolutions, and plans for success.

We’ve already made some big modifications in our household with a change of schools to launch the new season, and my 6 year old is having to adjust to full-day school now that he’s in grade one. With more time in school, comes less time for playing outside, less time for friends, and less time spent with family. Fortunately, I’ve come up with an easy system to ensure we continue to spend quality time together as a family to protect our outdoor time, and to help us make the most of our weekends. I call it “the monthly bucket list.”

Simplify with Monthly Bucket Lists

Here’s how I create a monthly bucket list

First, grab a piece of paper or a piece of colorful construction paper and draw a bingo or tic-tac-toe grid. The number of lines in your grid is up to you, but I suggest starting small to begin with. After you get used to creating bucket lists (or perhaps if it’s a big month with lots of exciting things to do), you can expand your grid to include more boxes.

Second, connect all the lines so that you have a page full of boxes. A simple tic-tac-toe grid for example, would have nine boxes.

Third, fill each box with something you want to do together as a family this month. This is your bucket list. Don’t worry if you didn’t start right at the beginning of the month. You can always draw a bigger grid and cover all the Fall months in one big bucket list.

Bike rides are a must for autumn bucket lists

Create an autumn bucket list for October

Now, I know that September is almost finished, but you can create your own bucket list for October. To see some suggestions I have for autumn bucket lists and to read my full story, please follow this link to the original piece I wrote, 3 Steps to a Simple Fall Bucket List.

The story has recently been published and sponsored by BonBon Break during their September theme: "Simplify."

Bonbon Break

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to Spend all Winter in the Canadian Rockies for less than $200

How's this for a good deal - Spend the whole winter skiing, snowshoeing, or exploring in the Canadian Rockies with unlimited overnight stays at the Hostelling International wilderness properties for less than $200 per person! That's right - unlimited! You could spend every single night in the mountains this winter between November and May for less than the cost of one night at a fancy resort. All you have to do is buy a wilderness season's pass.

Stay here all winter?!  Yes Please! (Photo: HI-Rampart Creek)

HI Wilderness Season's Passes - how it works

Unlimited Stays at the HI Wilderness Hostels from November 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016!  (weekends included)

Stay at 9 different wilderness hostels in Kananaskis, Banff and Jasper National Parks (note that the Whiskey Jack Hostel in Yoho National Park is not open between November and May.)

Free stays at HI-Nordegg (Sunday to Thursday) with 20% discounts on weekend stays

20% discounts at HI-Jasper (any day) and 20% discounts at HI-Lake Louise, HI-Banff, and HI-Fernie (Sunday to Thursday)

The Fine Print:
"As part of its mission, Hostelling International provides safe, comfortable and affordable accommodation to travellers. The Wilderness Season's Pass is intended for outdoor enthusiasts who wish to explore and experience winter in the Alberta Parks to its fullest extent. This pass is not valid for accommodation of seasonal workers or individuals working in the area."
Get Lost this Winter at HI-Hilda Creek

How much does it cost?

Steps away from HI-Maligne Canyon, Jasper

EARLY BIRD HI-Member Rate: $189 (including tax)
Regular HI-Member Rate: $229 (including tax)

Early Bird rates are available from September 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015 and can be purchased through Central Reservations at 1-866-762-4122

The Fine Print:
"All Wilderness Season's Pass holders must be HI Members (HI-Membership is available for purchase at any hostel or via phone 1-866-762-4122)"




How this works for families

The pass is valid towards shared dorm room accommodation only. Technically this means kids must be 6+ years old to make use of a pass or to stay with you at a wilderness hostel.  Younger children are not allowed in shared dorm rooms and must stay in private rooms available at several hostels.

BUT, before you dismiss the idea of getting a pass because you have younger children, consider the following:

1.  The wilderness pass is great for moms and dads who plan to get out for some solo adults-only ski trips this winter.

Girls Ski Weekend at HI-Castle Mountain

2.  Many hostels have small co-ed dorm rooms that sleep as few as 6 people. Others are larger and sleep 12 people.  Either way, grab another family or two, book an entire dorm room, and it doesn't matter if your kids are under 6 years old.

Just make sure if you are doing this that you explain yourself very clearly to Central Booking!  You'll want to make sure they understand there are children under 6, and that you want to reserve a full dorm room (that is not shared.)  Also, plan to have one person call in to book all of the 6-12  beds.  Don't call in individually - which would be super confusing!!

Also, don't be afraid to ask for the direct phone number for the hostel you want to stay at and contact that manager directly to explain your family or group's needs.

Family Weekend at HI-Mosquito Creek

3.   HI-Hilda Creek only sleeps 6 people total (in the whole hostel!!)  Book all 6 beds and you have just booked an entire hostel for your family or group - and thus it won't matter how old the kids are. Just know that Hilda Creek is the equivalent to staying at a backcountry wilderness cabin and that winter camping skills are required.  Read more here at Raising Tough Kids - Hilda Creek Wilderness Trip

Can I just move in here for the winter?? (Photo:  HI-Hilda Creek)

Inspiration and Extra Reading

Rampart Creek:  Our New Favourite Wilderness Hostel

Playing in snow caves outside HI-Rampart Creek

Winter Paradise at Mosquito Creek

Five Reasons to Take your Family to Mosquito Creek this Winter

This could be you this winter at HI Mosquito Creek

Winter Camping in Style

Beyond Lake Louise Where the Real Magic Begins

A ten minute walk from HI-Mosquito Creek

Winter Camping in Kananaskis 

Christmas in Kananaskis 

Winter camping at HI-Kananaskis

Raising Tough Kids - Hilda Creek Wilderness Trip

Easter at the BEST Wilderness Hostel in the Canadian Rockies

Playing around at HI-Hilda Creek

Winter Escape to Jasper National Park

Winter Road Trip to Jasper National Park

Hiking doesn't get much better than this near HI-Maligne Canyon in Jasper

For more information on purchasing a wilderness season's pass with Hostelling International, please visit their website.

Disclaimer:  I will be partnering with Hostelling International for another winter to help them promote their great accommodations. We have stayed at their wilderness hostels close to 15 times now as a family in the winter season over the past few years. Needless to say, we love these properties and know them well. As always, all words in this story are my own unless otherwise quoted from Hostelling International's website and I wasn't paid to write this piece.


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Summer Highlights 2015 in Photos

September is here and I'm a little bit sad that our summer vacation is over already. While I like the fresh new start that another school year brings, I will miss my little adventure buddy while he spends his days in the classroom instead of playing with me all day long. 

I've written about most of our "big" adventures this summer but many of the highlights come from the smaller outings, from our two week camping trip across BC, and from the simple little trips we did close to home. 

Most of our summer highlights involved water

The Summer we all fell in love with Jumping

I have a crazy child and I'd definitely say his BIG summer highlight was jumping off of every "safe" platform he could find. This was the summer where he discovered how fun diving boards could be (he probably did at least 50 jumps in various pools) and where we realized that a beach was only fun if there was a raft, dock, or some kind of platform for launching oneself off of.  Noah also jumped off his first bridge (a dozen times) and will be begging for more next summer.

Noah's first bridge jump in the Okanagan this August

Fortunately, our whole family thinks jumping into water is a pretty fun pastime and we made it a weekly priority to find something to jump off of.

I'd never jumped off of a diving board until this summer

Splash parks are for the whole family

This is one of my favourite summer photos below because it shows how much fun we really did have playing together as a family.

The best way to cool off after a hot bike ride

One Word - Wibit!!!!

What's a wibit?  Only the best water park ever!  And the Okanagan has two of them (one in Penticton and one in Kelowna.)
Climbing up the inflatable Wibit tower to jump or slide off
Full upper body workout trying to climb this wall

Noah has fallen in love with these Wibit Aqua Parks and  I'm impressed with the workout you get from playing on one! (I was sore for three days after one hour on the park in Penticton.) Seriously, if you could get a membership to use a Wibit park a few days a week, I don't think you'd need to go to a gym.

Big Daddy jumps on bouncy pillow.  Small child goes flying.  Great fun for all!
He almost did a flip this time!

Skateparks are Rad!

Noah discovered just how awesome skateparks can be this summer. Forget bike parks made of dirt because this summer it was all about concrete ramps and bowls.

Every day trip involved a visit to at least one skatepark

Mini Golf could be played daily

Thank God for our annual passes to Winsport's Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.  Our passes included as much mini golf as we could ever play and we certainly took advantage of this perk.  I haven't actually found a way to tell Noah yet that the golf course has now closed for the season.

Such a simple activity but so much fun!!!

We got to feed Kangaroos this summer

We payed a visit to the Kangaroo Creek Farm while in the Okanagan in August. This was an incredible experience for us to feed and pet kangaroos, hold babies, and interact with a bunch of fun animals we'd normally look at through bars at the zoo.

Eating right out of my hand!
Baby Kangaroo!  It doesn't get cuter than that!

A Summer of First Scrambles

On the more adventurous side of things, we introduced Noah to scrambling this summer and took him up a few peaks that required a helmet and a short length of rope.  He did his first exposed down climb on Polar Peak in Fernie and he almost tagged the summit of Mt. Yamnuska in the Bow Valley near Calgary. He also made it pretty far towards reaching the South Summit on Nihahi Ridge in Kananaskis.  (links to the three stories are in the titles above.)

Down climbing on Polar Peak, Fernie

Through these adventures we discovered that Noah definitely loves scrambling and rock climbing.  Now if we could just find more chair lifts to get us to tree line without having to do the boring hike up...

Scrambling on Mt. Yamnuska

The Big Bike Ride - up to 30 km!

I'm always curious to see what Noah's new "limit" will be by the end of another bike season. This year I was thrilled to see him bike all the way from our house on the outskirts of the city to downtown for ice-cream in a big 30 km ride (motivated heavily by the promise of a c-train ride home.)

The big bike ride and the train ride home

Graduating to Downhill Biking

Noah took mountain bike lessons at Winsport's Canada Olympic Park and by the end of the summer he was able to ride some of the intermediate runs at the park.

We learned that downhill riding is quite a bit different from cross country riding and Noah likes it better because he doesn't have to ride uphill at all!  Meanwhile, I myself am sticking to easier terrain and am leaving the downhill riding to my boys.


Noah's First Solo River Run

This highlight may not go under the category of "smartest parenting moves" but never the less, we are extremely proud of Noah for running his first river in a small sit on top kayak through class I rapids on the Elk River in Fernie. He did exceptionally well at steering and only toppled over on the last set of rapids (moments before I fell off my board and injured my knee for a good month.)

Noah and I paddling the Elk River in Fernie together

Noah has since decided he will return to the bow of our tandem kayak for the rest of the summer but he did try out his boat on a few lakes afterwards.

Lake Paddling in August in the Columbia Valley

Other Summer Paddling Highlights

Overnight Paddling and Camping Trip on the Columbia River (story here)

Camping on the Columbia River

My first kayak run down the Bow River

Girls Night Out - on the river

First time Paddling the Bow River from Banff to Canmore

Banff to Canmore on the Bow River

It was an adventure-filled summer and we managed to get out camping for 33 nights.  Not as many nights as last year but we still have one more trip planned for the end of September. Now it's on to winter planning and another great season of outdoor family fun.

And it's a Wrap!  Summer 2015 was Awesome

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Biking the Kettle Valley Railway from Kelowna to Osoyoos

Whenever I'm sad or feeling gloomy, I only have to think about biking on the KVR (Kettle Valley Railway) and I'm instantly happy.  The hot sunny Okanagan region of British Columbia has won my heart and there is no place I'd rather spend my summer in search of new rail trails to ride with my family.

Desert riding on the KVR from Penticton to Okanagan Falls

We go to the Okanagan every summer and we've been slowly pedaling our way from Kelowna down to Osoyoos on the KVR, breaking up the trail into small manageable pieces for our now 6 year old son. When we started biking these converted railway trails, he was only 4 and we stuck to the easiest section through Myra Canyon.  Now that he's a couple years older, we are tackling harder sections and lengthening our rides.

Our first ride on the KVR in Myra Canyon, Kelowna

This summer, we rode over 60 km on the KVR Rail Trails and summaries are provided below on each ride we have completed so far.

For maps, consult the Trail Forks website or app.

Sections on Trai Forks are below:

Map for Myra Canyon section of the KVR

Map for Penticton to Chute Lake 

Map for Penticton to Summerland 

Map for Penticton to Osoyoos 

Easy biking through orchards between Naramata and Penticton 

Myra Canyon, Kelowna (8.5 km one way to Ruth Station)

Most families will start with this section of the KVR and then quickly fall in love with the trail as I did.  It is by far the busiest section of the trail and the most touristy - for good reason.  Cyclists will bike over 18 trestle bridges and through 2 tunnels (yes, real trail tunnels) in a 8.5 km ride.  The trail is shared with hikers too and is very very crowded up to the first tunnel.  After that the crowds thin out a bit but you will never have this trail to yourself unless you start very early in the morning (not a bad idea.)

Starting from Myra Station you will come first to Trestle #18 and then work your way down to Trestle #1 at Ruth Station in a 17 km return ride.   (I know it's in reverse order, but most people start their ride at Myra.) While possible to bike the full return distance, most of the trestle bridges are clustered closely together until you reach the third one.  From there to Trestle #2, there is a long gap and families with young kids will want to turn around rather than continue on.  It is also possible to just go as far as the first tunnel (you'll still get to ride over 7 trestle bridges) or continue on to the second tunnel located before trestle #10.

Biking over historic trestle bridges on the KVR

However far you choose to ride, this is an incredible bike ride, and kids will love the bridges and tunnels.  On our first visit, we rode as far as the #3 trestle bridge (again, counting down from #18) before turning around.  On our second visit we did the full distance to Ruth and had a second car waiting for us.  This was extremely enjoyable because the trail goes slightly downhill from Myra to Ruth. The return ride is never steep enough that you'd need gears so don't worry if you choose to do the ride as an out and back.  Most people do not set up as second vehicle at Ruth because the two trailheads are located on different roads and it's a bit tricky to set up the shuttle.

Biking through train tunnels in Myra Canyon

For more information on this section of the KVR please read my previous story:  Biking the Kettle Valley Rail Trail or consult the website for Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park. For a map and driving instructions, it is easiest to pop in at a visitor centre in Penticton or Kelowna.  They will give you a full package of printed maps for the KVR.

Tunnels on the KVR in Myra Canyon

Naramata to Penticton (10 km one way)

This has become one of my favourite sections of the trail and is definitely easy!  You'll be riding downhill at a 2.2% rail grade for most of the ride and will wonder if you were even pedaling for much of it.  Stop at Hillside Estate Winery en route and enjoy riding through orchards as you make your way down to Penticton.

Easy riding on the KVR from Naramata to Penticton

To access the KVR in Naramata (where you will want to start for downhill riding,) drive up the road towards Naramata and look for Arawana Road or Smethurst Road.  We started from Arawana which is one kilometre closer to Penticton.  Other than that, they are both good.  From the trailhead, it's easy to see the trail and you can choose to stop at Hillside Estate Winery if you want for lunch and drinks on their patio.  There's a sign and menu board located right on the trail with a path leading down to the winery.  (tempting?  Yep!!)

Trail Stop at the Hillside Estate Winery

And, UPDATE for 2018 - there is now a concrete pump track right across the road from the Hillside Estate Winery, right beside the KVR!!

Poplar Grove Bike Park on the Naramata Bench 

The ride from Arawana Road down to Penticton is just under 10 km one way.  We finished our ride at the Bench Market while my husband biked back up for the vehicle this year but last year we had a family member drive us back up for the truck.

For more information on this ride, please stop at the Penticton Visitor Centre where you can pick up a map and directions.  It really is your best resource to finding every trailhead.

Scenic Rest Stop above Okanagan Lake on the KVR

There is also one trestle bridge on this ride, the McCulloch Trestle, located between Hillside Estate Winery and Penticton.

McCulloch Trestle Bridge, Penticton

The Little Tunnel to Naramata (12 km to Naramata or 22 km to Penticton)

This is an extension to the ride above from Naramata to Penticton and makes for a lovely 22 km bike ride from above the Little Tunnel down to Penticton.  Alternately, it would be approximately 12 km if just riding from above the Little Tunnel to Smethurst Road.

Biking through the Little Tunnel on the KVR 

Many people start at Smethurst Road and bike up to the Little Tunnel.  They then turn around and bike back down to the parking lot.  And yes, you can do that.  It would be 9 km round trip and you would not have to set up a shuttle.  However, it is not a lot of fun for children to bike uphill from Smethurst to the Little Tunnel.  Most kids I saw were walking and did not appear to be happy!

Biking through the Little Tunnel 

We drove up the Chute Lake Road past Naramata until we got to a parking lot on the Glenfir Loop (it is marked on the map you will get from the Tourist Info. Centre.)  From this parking lot we biked downhill to the Little Tunnel (an approximate distance of 5 km.)  The trail was a bit rough and sandy until we reached the Little Tunnel but was easy going from there down to the Smethurst Parking lot and beyond to Penticton.

The highlight of this ride is of course the Little Tunnel which should be a MUST visit spot on the KVR.

For more information on this ride, again please stop in at the Penticton Visitor Centre and pick up the package of maps for the KVR that they give out for free.  It is your best resource guide.

Biking towards the Little Tunnel 

Summerland to Penticton (12-15 km one way)

I had a hard time finding any information on this section of the KVR.  The Visitor Centre didn't really know much about it, and some websites even suggested it might not be open.  I did therefore what every explorer would do and set out to discover for myself what the ride was like.

We drove to the town of Summerland (north of Penticton) and followed directions I found for the Trout Creek Trestle Bridge. We were originally searching for the Fenwick Trailhead but when we got there, were told we would be biking uphill to Trout Creek.  I don't know for sure if this is true or not but it scared us off, so we just drove straight to the trestle bridge and started our ride from there.  It was easy to find and the trail started as soon as we crossed the bridge.

Biking over the Trout Creek Trestle Bridge

We crossed the trestle bridge and followed the wide easy to follow trail all the way down to the outskirts of Penticton.  We continued on the trail until we came upon a gate (where we wondered if we were supposed to pass through or not) and kept going until we came across a second gate.  We passed through it as well and ended up on the river channel in Penticton that people float down in tubes.  From the channel, we were about 5 minutes upstream from the Silver Grizzly snack bar, across the channel from the Tim Hortons on the main Hwy 97.

Scenic riding from Summerland to Penticton

For the best map of this route, open Google Maps and follow the KVR trail as visible all the way from Trout Creek to Penticton. I was surprised but quite happy to see the whole trail show up as a gray line, clearly labeled with "Kettle Valley Rail Trail."  (note, it does not show up in the map app on an iPhone.)

Easy riding on the KVR from Summerland to Penticton

I loved this section of the KVR because we were riding high up on a bench overlooking Okanagan Lake and it was very scenic.  My son however did NOT like this section and probably won't do it with me again anytime soon.  He found it to be very loose, sandy and rough.  It is recommended that if you do this section that you have bigger tires (not skinny road tires) and perhaps a larger bike (my son's 20" wheels were maybe too small for the sand.)

The ride started with a bit of uphill biking (perhaps another reason my son didn't like it) but then turned flat and downhill as we got closer to Penticton.  It's the first ride on the KVR that we have done where I felt I actually had to pedal a fair bit and didn't just get to coast.

As with most of our other rides, we did the ride one way (approximately 12-15 km) and sent my husband back for the vehicle at the halfway mark.  He met us in Penticton at the Silver Grizzly snack bar on the Channel beside the Super Save Gas Station on Green Mountain Road (which shows up on the Google Map link above.)

More information on the bike trails in Summerland can be found on this link to the Summerland Trans Canada Trails System.

Downhill riding from Summerland to Penticton

Penticton to Okanagan Falls (13 km one way or shorter from Kaleden)

This might be my favourite section of the KVR that we have ridden so far.  I feel as if I'm biking through the desert on this part of the trail and it's always gloriously hot.

The trail starts at the far end of the Wrights Beach Camp Campground at lake level. (There is no parking here for visitors so you'll have to park nearby and bike down into the campground.) The first part of the trail from Penticton is a bit overgrown and sandy so we actually skipped it this year and started further along in the Town of Kaleden.

Biking the KVR between Kaleden and Okanagan Falls

Starting in Kaleden actually has several advantages.  1.  You will not have to bike through Wrights Beach Camp in Penticton.  2.  You will skip the first overgrown part.  3.  You will not have to bike through the Banbury Green Campground en route to Kaleden (which I think is really frowned upon.) And 4.  You will not have to pick your way through Kaleden on town roads where the KVR disappears.

Scenic riding at lakeshore level near Kaleden on the KVR

If you start in Kaleden, park near the Ponderosa Point Resort  and if you look on Google Maps, you will see the KVR start from there.

Crossing the trestle bridge in Okanagan Falls

From Kaleden, the trail is easy and scenic as it follows the lakeshore right at lake level for most of the ride.  You will end your ride in Okanagan Falls at Kenyon Beach Park after crossing a fabulous trestle bridge (which you can jump off of!!!)

Jumping off the trestle beach before Okanagan Falls 

The full bike ride to Okanagan Falls is approximately 13 km (much shorter if you start in Kaleden) and we always head to Kenyon Park to cool off after.  There's a lovely splash park that feels good after the hot ride!!

Cooling off at Kenyon Park after biking the KVR to Okanagan Falls

Finally, if you're going to bike to Okanagan Falls, you MUST stop at Tickleberry's for Ice Cream.

And as with all of our rides, we rode one way from Penticton (or Kaleden the second time) and had my husband take care of the shuttle for us.  Sometimes he starts out with us and then turns around half way, other times he drives to the end and bikes back to meet us, and occasionally he will ride the full distance with us and ride back while we are enjoying beach time or heading for ice-cream. (In an ideal world, we'd set up shuttles with friends but it's usually just us camping in the Okanagan.)

For more information on this section of the trail, stop at the Penticton Visitor Centre but be warned that this part of the KVR doesn't show up on the maps they will give you.  It's easiest to just follow the KVR line on Google Maps.

The Best Ice-Cream in the Okanagan

Oliver to Osoyoos (18.4 km one way)

I'm sure there are sections of the KVR that exist between Okanagan Falls and Oliver but we haven't explored them yet and I know that there is at least one missing link.  We chose to just drive to Oliver and continue the trail south from here.

The biking on the KVR from Oliver to Road 22 north of Osoyoos is probably the easiest biking we've done on the Kettle Valley Rail Trails.  Most of this section was paved (which is not common for the KVR,) and the trail was very straight (with barely a bend in sight.)

Starting out on the KVR trail in Oliver

The trail starts at McAlpine Bridge on the outskirts of Oliver and passes through town.  (You'll find the trail where the Highway 97 crosses the river near the EZ-Fuel Gas Station north of town.  Look for Tucelnuit Drive on this Google Maps link and you'll see the International Hike and Bike Trail shown as a gray line. (This is the name for this section of the KVR)

The first part of the ride through Oliver was the best part of the ride because we went past the town skate park in Lion's Park and biked past the Kinsmen spray park.  There was also a huge playground beside the spray park.  All in all, the town portion was awesome for kids and a lot of fun!

Biking on the Oliver Skatepark

As we left Oliver, we rode through the country side, past farms and fields, and eventually came to the end of the pavement roughly 8 km from the end.  The final part of the trail to Road 22 was on an old gravel road that paralleled the river channel.

Easy flat riding on the KVR from Oliver to Osoyoos

For more information on this section of trail continue to this link for the Oliver Hike and Bike Path.
The Visitor Centres will also give you a map for this section of the KVR in your package of info. on the trails.

Note that you will not reach the town of Osoyoos on this section of the KVR but will end at Road 22, approximately 12km north of Osoyoos.

We didn't work with anybody in the Okanagan to assist with bike rentals or shuttles but should you wish to do so, there are many options.  The Tourist Info. Centres will give you all of the information you need to do so.

Paved riding on the KVR from Oliver to Osoyoos

The Big Ride: Chute Lake to Penticton (44 km one way)

We finally did this big ride in the summer of 2016, riding all the way from Chute Lake down to Penticton, a distance of 44 km. To be transparent though, we actually skipped the first 4 km and started just below the lake. When we got to the lake we discovered that you had to pay to park there, and we got the impression that visitors were perhaps not welcome (overnight guests much preferred.) Fortunately, there was a nice parking lot just down from the lake and it was free. It was also a great starting point because I suspect we missed nothing in the first 4 km through the trees.

Standing in the entrance to the Adra Tunnel

What to expect on this section:

  • Lots of loose sand on the section from Chute Lake to the Little Tunnel that is quite challenging for children on 20 inch bikes. I can't even imagine doing the ride on a smaller bike.

  • It was not nearly as downhill as we'd been hoping for. Honestly, it felt flat. For a very loooooong time. It's much more downhill once you reach Naramata.

  • It wasn't very exciting until we reached the Little Tunnel. Yes, we passed by the Adra Tunnel (currently closed to biking and in need of restoration,) and yes, we passed through Rock Ovens Regional Park where you can see rock ovens that the rail workers would have used for making fresh bread each day.

    Other than that though, we like the lower section of this ride a lot more (from the Little Tunnel back to Penticton.) - and fortunately you can start that ride from a parking lot above the Little Tunnel without having to ride all the way from Chute Lake. (That route is described above in this story.)
Exploring Rock Ovens Regional Park
Next we hope to do the full ride from Myra Canyon to Penticton (roughly 76 km in length) with an overnight stay at Chute Lake.  Just waiting until our son is on a 24 inch bike for this one.