Thursday, September 13, 2012

Naramata Lake Day Trip

The following blog is compliments of our guest writer Travelin' Pat

I had a brainstorm the other day. Hike to Naramata Lake with a couple of friends. Rightio. Logistics’ … borrow truck, pack lunch, take lots of water, co-ordinate times with friends, bring dog for bear bait and get going.

Our route… drive out along the road to Naramata, turn right up Smethurst Road, cross over the cattle guard at the Kettle Valley Railway then bounce up the excruciatingly rough road to the Adra Tunnel. There is not much signage but I remember it from before.

Work on the KVR railway started in 1910 and construction took six years. It spanned the way from Midway to Hope and in it’s hey day was a thriving service both for passenger travel and transport of goods. Long since abandoned it is now a wonderful venue for biking and hiking, partly because of its forgiving 2.2 degree grade but mostly for chance to be in the wilderness without having to go too far. The KVR zig zags between Penticton and Chute Lake and the Adra tunnel curves through the
mountain at a cut back changing the direction from South to North. (Or North to south depending)

Entrance to tunnel on 1st level of tracks
The tunnel is blocked off at both ends because it has over the years become rather dangerous. (Rocks falling from the ceiling, possible cave ins… that sort of thing) I just found out that my kids used to go inside it just for fun…. Oh the things a parent never knows until years later! So we skirted by it on a nicely marked trail and then started walking north for approximately 2 miles. We avoided slithering things and turned east to trundle up the Elinor Lake Service Road. It is hilly and rough but once you get up to the Summit it is a lovely forest road far from the Maddening Crowd. We didn’t see a soul up there. It took us about 4 hours round trip and is eminently do-able if you have a reasonable level of fitness. What’s reasonable? I know, I know…

Just inside the tunnel before the barricade on the second level of tracks

View from little tunnel on 1st level of tracks
Naramata Lake
Rest stop on 3rd level of tracks
Thankyou Travelin' Pat for sharing your adventure with us.  It seems like it would be worthwhile going just for that spectacular view, not to mention the great workout!!!!


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