Exploring the Okanagan Rail Trail: A Must-Do in Kelowna

A wooden bridge with railings surrounded by trees and hills under a blue sky with white clouds in Kelowna.


The Okanagan Rail Trail is renowned for its mix of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and a variety of recreational activities. This scenic trail is an exciting attraction for both locals and tourists due to its scenic views, pristine lakes, and lush vineyards.

The Trail's History

The Okanagan Rail Trail has a rich history rooted in Canada's early development. It was initially built as a section of the Canadian Northern Railway. After its completion in 1925, it served as a crucial transportation link for many years. When the railway ceased operation in 2013, the community saw an opportunity to transform this decommissioned railbed into a scenic recreational trail. Today, the 50-kilometer linear pathway invites visitors to enjoy the serenity and natural beauty of the Okanagan region while indulging in various outdoor activities.

The Journey Along the Trail

The trail starts north in Coldstream and stretches south to Kelowna, encapsulating views of Kalamalka Lake, Wood Lake, and Duck Lake along the way. As you journey along the trail, you'll find the landscapes changing around you, offering ever-changing scenery. From volcanic hills to verdant orchards, from wetlands teeming with wildlife to blanketing pine forests, there's a different scene at every turn.

Activities to Enjoy on the Trail

Cycling, hiking, jogging, or even a leisurely walk can be equally enjoyed due to the trail's gentle gradient and wide pathway, a feature that results from its railway heritage. In the northern sections around Kalamalka and Wood Lakes, water activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming are among the popular pastimes. During winter, the trail converts into a trail for fat biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Experience Local Culture & Cuisine

One of the unique aspects of the Okanagan Rail Trail is the opportunity to get a taste of local culture and cuisine. Along the trail, there are numerous wineries and vineyards that offer tours and tastings. These spots provide an unparalleled chance to savour the world-class wines of the Okanagan Valley. Additionally, there are quaint eateries and local farms offering fresh, farm-to-table fare.

Wildlife Viewing Opportunities

Meandering through a diverse range of habitats, the Okanagan Rail Trail makes it possible for explorers to indulge in wildlife spotting. From birds such as osprey, eagles, and herons to mammals like black bears, deer, and marmots, the trail is perfect for wildlife enthusiasts.

Contributing to Conservation

The Okanagan Rail Trail is more than just a recreational spot - it also serves as a significant conservation area. The Okanagan region is an ecosystem under pressure, and the trail helps in highlighting these conservation issues while preserving the natural, cultural, and agricultural heritage of the region.


The Okanagan Rail Trail provides a unique way to experience the charm of the Okanagan region. With its perfect blend of leisure and recreational activities amid unrivalled scenic beauty, it's a must-do when visiting Kelowna. So, strap on your hiking shoes, get your bike ready, or grab your paddleboard - an exciting adventure awaits on the Okanagan Rail Trail.