Spring is such a great time to be outdoors and enjoy seeing the earth come to life again. It’s March and we’re in the south Okanagan and I want to share another spring hike in the south Okanagan – KVR Trail – Naramata section that we’ve done this month. Spring in the South Okanagan is beautiful and this is an easy hike that offers beautiful views of Okanagan Lake and the Naramata bench. The Naramata bench is a plateau of land that lies along the southeast corner of Lake Okanagan.
For all you international visitors to my blog who are wondering where or what is the Okanagan -it’s in Canada. It’s an area in the southern interior part of the province of British Columbia, which is the first province on the west side of Canada. The south Okanagan is an area surrounding the communities on or near Highway 97, which runs from Osoyoos (near the Canadian/USA border) through Vernon to Kamloops and on into the Cariboo.
The KVR (Kettle Valley Rail) is a railway bed that is now home to an extensive trail that provides almost 650 km of connected pathways from Hope to Castlegar. You can experience the KVR trail by walking/hiking, biking, or horseback riding. The Naramata section we walked today is just one small part of the KVR trail, and just one small part of the Naramata section of the KVR trail.
This is a popular hike if you want to check it out if you’re in the area or in the area at this time of year. This hike looks much different in the spring as compared to the summer, but new growth and the singing of birds was all around. It was a great hike to spend on a lovely spring day.
We started our hike at the parking lot by Naramata creek and hiked toward the Little Tunnel. (See map in above photo). To get to the “Naramata parking lot” as the locals call it, from Penticton you take Naramata road for about 10 km. Naramata road is on the east side of Okanagan Lake. From Naramata road, you take a slight right onto North Naramata road and then turn right onto Smethurst road. Stay on Smethurst road until you come to a parking lot on your right. Park your vehicle there and then take the KVR trail leading towards Kelowna, heading west across Smethurst road from the parking lot.
Signs of spring along the hike – leaves budding, spring wild flowers, green moss and water trickling.
The south Okanagan is known for its milder climate year round and hot summers. It is a fruit growing area with many varieties of orchards and vineyards.
The little tunnel is a tunnel that the train went through that now many people enjoy walking through.
This hike took us almost three hours, but we took out time. If one wanted a shorter hike, you could hike to a quicker landmark, such as Robinson Creek and then return. There are beautiful creeks along the way and we stopped to explore one. There is an outhouse if needed and benches to rest on to take in the beautiful views.
If you’re looking to travel off season, when the cost of accommodation and travel is cheaper than during the high summer season and the weather is not too bad (12-15 C) this is a nice spring getaway – hiking in the south Okanagan.
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