Day 1 - Slocan Valley rail-trails - CycleBlaze

September 17, 2023

Day 1

Nakusp to Summit Lake


We drove from Kamloops down to our intended start point - Edgewood, but we didn’t like the hills. We continued on to Nakusp on Arrow Lake. It is a beautiful and friendly alpine town with lots of interesting shops. 

We left our car at the KBR private campsite about 2 km N of the town - after disconnecting the battery cable. Shoutout to KBR - $25 storage fee with no time limit, friendly owners, safe, secure and well-lit parking area, and even a jump start if you need it.

Leave your car here.
Heart 0 Comment 0

It was getting late by this point, but we packed up our bikes and started anyway. Our first rail-trail began here. Rail-trails are something like the gravel roads around Kamloops, except these ones are enjoyable. Rail-trails are:

  • Smooth - no potholes or washboard
  • Wide enough for two bikes, side by side (usually)
  • Low angle 1 to 2% grade typically.
  • Accompanied by picnic and camping sites every few kilometers
  • Features numerous signs explaining history and wildlife.
  • Most are non-motorized users only. 
First rail-trail begins.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Most of the rail-trails we followed were built in the late 1800s, and abandoned by about 1950. The original railways were built mainly to carry ore down to the smelters, so the loads were very heavy. And in the 1800s, and early 1900s, locomotives were coal and steam powered, so they weren’t very powerful. To keep the grades low enough, the builders filled in huge gulleys, built very long bridges, and blasted tunnels. All of which is much appreciated by modern cyclists. 

We arrived at Summit Lake in the evening and rented a site at a provincial campground site ($13 with Senior discount). Dinner was a sandwich, washed down with 12 year Macallan. We went to bed in fine spirits.

Today's ride: 20 km (12 miles)
Total: 20 km (12 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
Comment on this entry Comment 0