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Trail: Kettle Valley Railway, Little Tunnel
Trail Length: 3.8 km one way
Trail Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Located in Naramata. Follow Naramata Road for roughly 15 km. Turn right onto North Naramata Road and take your first right on Smethurst Road. Follow until you reach the parking lot.
Continue on North Naramata Road past Smethhurst until you reach Chute Lake Road. Follow Chute Lake up just past Glenfir Road. The gravel parking lot is on the right.
The Kettle Valley Railway Trail in Naramata to the little tunnel is a great place to spend the afternoon. With a couple of different options, this location is perfect for all abilities!
Once used to service the booming mining industry, it has been turned into the perfect multi-use recreational trail!
From the Smithhurst parking lot, it is a 3.8 km trail to get to the Little Tunnel. The trail has a 2 per cent grade going from the south to the north end. Whether you are biking or hiking, you can definitely start to feel the slight incline.
A great historical stop along the way to the tunnel is the #7 Rock Oven. Located 3.3 km from the parking lot, you will see a sign for the oven. Turn off the main path and walk about 300 metres until you arrive at the easily found Rock Oven. The rock ovens were built by workers while they were building the railway.
Once arriving at the Little Tunnel, you can quickly tell it really isn't that little! You get treated to a stunning 180-degree view overlooking Naramata, Penticton and Summerland! With a few perfectly positioned benches, it's a great place to have a water break, snack and enjoy the view!
During the hotter months, make sure to bring enough water since there's no water source available. With little to no shade along the trail, it can get very hot!
There is a shorter route that is available for families with younger children; it's also wheelchair accessible. Entering from the north side, there is a gravel parking lot off Chute Lake Road. From here you can actually drive along the KVR. Use extreme caution driving along the narrow gravel road, though. There is a very small paved parking lot just before the tunnel. The pavement continues on to and through the Little Tunnel, making it easily accessible for everybody.
A great side trail from just before the paved parking lot is The LadyBug Trail. Following the ladybug signs, this 10-minute trail offers a spectacular view and also giving a different perspective of the Little Tunnel.
With so many options of parking lots or the never ending trail along the KVR, you really can go for as long or short as you want! No matter what way you go and for as long as you go, the views will all be fantastic.
Things to bring:
Dogs on leash welcome
Bear spray (always a good thing to carry)
Born and raised in the Okanagan, Kristy Draginda has always had a strong passion for the outdoors. Whether it be hiking to the top of a mountain or standing below a waterfall, she says there is no better feeling than being inspired by nature. Follow along as Kristy shares different hiking locations in and around the Okanagan. For more adventure photos, check out Hiking the Okanagan on Instagram or Facebook.