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The Kettle Valley Rail Trail is something you just can’t miss when you’re in Penticton. You can follow this trail along the lake and among mountains and vineyards from Penticton to Naramata (or the other way around). It used to be a railway, but now it serves as an amazing trail for hikers and bikers and will offer you spectacular views!

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Penticton to Naramata
From Penticton to Naramata – first stop, Penticton!

The Kettle Valley Railway

The original Kettle Valley Railway opened over 100 years ago and was in operation for about 70 years before it closed down. Finally, it converted into the Kettle Valley Rail Trail that we know today and will let you explore a bunch of amazing places in British Columbia!

Explore the Kettle Valley Rail Trail

So far, I’ve only explored the trail from Penticton to Naramata, but you can actually go all the way from Hope to Grand Forks where the trail connects with the Columbia and Western Rail Trail that will take you even further. The trail is excellent for bikers but will also be the perfect place to go for a walk or a hike. Even horse riding is permitted on certain sections of the trail!

The Kettle Valley Rail Trail
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail goes all the way from Hope to Grand Forks. Here’s the beginning of the trail in Penticton!

Penticton to Naramata

Penticton to Naramata is an absolutely beautiful section of the trail, just like so many of the other ones. But there’s something special with this part of the trail, something that really makes it stand out – the landscape and all the stops you can make! We went on our bikes and made so many stops that I finally stopped counting them. A beautiful bridge, several Okanagan wineries, a cheese store, an ice cream shop… There is just so much to explore!

Without all the stops, you’ll probably go from Penticton to Naramata in about an hour. With the stops? Well, I guess it depends on how much you like wine, cheese, ice cream and beautiful views, but it will probably take more like 3-4 hours. The trail offers so many amazing views and if you enjoy taking pictures, it’s likely you’ll make quite many stops along the way.

Biking on Kettle Valley Rail Trail
A quick stop to have a look at the winery along the trail. This is one of many stops!

Another reason I really fell in love with this part of the trail, more than the amazing views and the variety of stops you can make along the way, is that it never felt too hard to continue biking. If you’re not used to it, this 15 kilometre ride might not sound like something you’d normally say yes to – but give it a try! Even if you decide to not go all the way and turn around before Naramata, you’ve still seen lots. Although, Naramata has a lot to offer – like these wineries!

Not into biking? If you decide to walk from Penticton to Naramata instead, be prepared for a long day, especially if you’re doing a return trip!

When to visit

Have in mind that this trail goes up and down, along the lake and up on the hills – if you’re visiting during the winter months, there’s a big risk for snow. If you want to go by bike, aim for the warmer months. Between Penticton to Naramata, you’ll most likely be fine from April or May, but if you’re going further along the trail you might still find snow – make sure to check the conditions before you go!

Remember, the later you go, the more things will be in bloom – but try to go before October or winter might sneak up on you!

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