Rail Trails

Rail Trails


A rail trail is the conversion of a disused railway into a multi-use path, typically for non-motorized use like walking, cycling and sometimes horse riding, snowshoeing and nordic skiing. The characteristics of former tracks — flat, long, low gradient, frequently running through historical areas, is perfect for families to discover scenic landscapes with amenities along the way.

Columbia & Western Railway Trail: The 85km (53mi) trail rides along the abandoned Canadian Pacific Railway from Castlegar to Fife. Cyclists can pursue their trip towards Midway, where the trail then joins the Famous Kettle Valley Railway line.

Great Northern Rail Trail
The trail covers approximately 48 km (30mi) between Salmo and Nelson. In the early days, the rail line formed an important connection for the West Kootenay mining towns, allowing efficient shipping of their rich ores to the US.  Passenger traffic also flowed between Nelson and Spokane from 1893 to 1941. All train traffic into the region ceased in 1989. In 1998, the rails and ties were removed. A part of the TransCanada Trail system, the Great Northern Rail Trail is a multi-use recreation trail suitable for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. The trail's gravel surface improves north of Ymir, where motor vehicles are prohibited.

Nakusp to Summit Lake Hill Trail
Formerly the railway for the NAKUSP Line, the 46km (29mi) trail climbs gently from Nakusp to Summit Lake hill and then descends to Rosebery, where it connects with the Galena TrailA 13km (8mi) section of old CPR (Nakusp & Slocan Railway) rail right-of-way trail between Rosebery and Three Forks. This trail includes an extraordinary cable-car ride over Carpenter Creek and is excellent for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

NorthStar Rails to Trail
The 28km (17mi) long NorthStar Rail Trail links the cities Kimberley and Cranbrook. The trail is nestled between the Purcell and Rocky Mountains. The area is naturally beautiful dotted with forests and grasslands.  The trail is paved and used for cycling, walking, strollers, skateboarding, inline skates and cross-country skiing.

Cranbrook to Wardner (The Great Trail) This section of the TransCanada Trail is approximately 40km (25mi) and links Cranbrook to Wardner via the Isadore Canyon.The trail is a packed gravel surface, which is half on old rail grade and half new trail. Trail highlights could include Cranbrook's Community Forest located just off the Isadore Canyon Trail. And the Wardner Provincial Park is a lovely day-use park on the river bank within Wardner.

Slocan Valley Rail Trail: The Slocan Valley Rail Trail covers approximately 50 km (31mi) between the Village of Slocan and Slocan Junction. It begins at the intersection of the beginning of Highway 3 and the end of the Slocan Subdivision. Winding gently through one of the most beautiful river valleys in BC, this trail offers easy access to breathtaking scenery while it follows the contours of the Slocan River. The trail makes its way from Slocan Lake in the north towards the Kootenay River in the south.

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