The International Hike and Bike Trail connects Oliver to Osoyoos. The trail meanders along the Okanagan River between the two communities and is paved for a portion of the distance.
We originally had planned to park at the very start of the trail on the Oliver end. Information on the trail is limited so we missed the trail head parking, and didn’t see it until we were heading back to Kelowna after the ride. If you want to do the entire trail, watch for the parking area just before the McAlpine Bridge. Because we missed that area we parked at the Oliver Visitor Centre instead. This reduced the ride by a few kilometres (maybe 5?).
From the Oliver Visitor Centre, start the ride on the paved section of the trail, watch for pedestrians and follow traffic rules when crossing the roads through Oliver. This trail is not as well used as the Rail Trail in the Kelowna region which a nice change, we saw a handful of people so could ride side by side and have a nice chat as we rode.
Just outside of Oliver the paved section ends and the trail is a hard packed gravel. Because there are not many users the pathway is not as compact as the unpaved sections of the Kelowna Rail trail so if you go, keep your eyes open for larger rocks in the path.
We hardly saw anyone on this section, at one section we met up with some horses (and their riders) but other than that it was just us.
When we were almost in Osoyoos we did opt to head up along Black Sage Road instead of carrying on in to Osoyoos. We arrived at the Osoyoos Oxbow Trail head and discovered that the trail is pretty over grown – there looked to be essentially a single track path and since there were also several families walking this section we opted not to navigate the over growth and the people and hit the road instead (one of the great advantages of eBikes).
From the Oxbow Trail head Black Sage Road heads uphill and winds past several wineries. We stopped in at Platinum Bench because they had signage announcing Artistan Bread on the side of the road. We are so glad we stopped! We picked up a few of their small loaves to snack on at the end of the ride (hands down winner for us was the Brie and Pear one).
We enjoyed this ride and hope that the International Hike and Bike trail gets some of the same love that the Kelowna Area Rail Trail has in the past years. This ride (minus the Black Sage Road detour) can easily be done on a regular bike and by cyclists of all ages/abilities. Go early in the day, this is Canada’s desert and the temperature rises quickly. The entire length of the trail (if you park before the McAlpine Bridge and ride all the way to Road 22 in Osoyoos) is just over 18km. The Black Sage road potion had a lot of up and down, and the road is narrow, I would not go this on a regular bike but we did see a few cyclists on the road so it is doable.