TCT route between Summerland & Princeton, B.C. via Horseback

Horseback ride on the Trans Canada Trail between Summerland and Princeton. Mid September, 2009

Written By Clayton Kessler

On October 20, 2009

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This is basically for the purpose of anyone interested in info regarding a horseback ride on the Trans Canada Trail between Summerland & Princeton, B.C. Canada. The details of our adventure may be of particular interest to horseback/trailriding enthusiasts (on a budget?).

Being adventurous riders, last year (2008) a friend and I decided we wanted to ride somewhere new so commenced research of the TCT. We knew we wanted to depart Summerland and arrive in Princeton (specifically the rodeo grounds for cheap/safe equine accomodation) and guessed the ‘net’ would be a great place for obtaining info. NOT! All info found was about hiking/biking & motorized trans. Literally months of intermittent research disclosed only some answers to a few simple questions we needed answering. Below is Q & A from our experience of the ride in hope of assisting future riders.

1)  Q: Is there adequate water sources for the horses available on route?   A: Yes & No. From S’land to Banquir there is water,  but from Banquir to the Princeton Rodeo Grounds there is none, so you must pack it especially if it is warm weather. *The TCT portion that has no water has virtually 100% no shade as well.

2) Q: How long is the ride?   A: In total, 12 hours. We rode S’land to Link Lake camp site in 8 hours. (We hit Thirsk Dam in 6 hrs) We had considered camping at Osprey Lake camp but a friend suggested Link is better for horses and would be less busy. They were right. * There is no water at Link Lake for horse/human consumption. The lake water is green & gross.  Thank goodness we had our men meet us at the lake with the campers/supplies  & plenty of water. Link Lake is a stones throw from Banquir which has a little store (seasonal?) if a few supplies are needed. Banquir to the PRG’s took 4 hours  BUT;  if you wish to go the the RG you must stay on the road at the point where the TCT crosses it (the RG are a short distance from here) If you continue on the TCT across the road, you will bypass the RG and end up in the town of Princeton. Note: Our loping was moderate, obviously you could shorten or lengthen your trip depending on your gait.

3) Q: What is the distance?   A: Total is (approx) 99km.  Our first stretch was about 66km and the second was about 33km.

A few points to note:

– Don’t bring the dog.      – Make sure your horses have good shoes .     – Carry bug spray.     – Wear a hat (helmut?) .    – Pack a  slicker.      – Camping at the PRG (Princeton Rodeo Grounds) is welcome. They have lot’s of paddocks for $15 a night. They also have running, fresh water! Having BCHorseCouncil  or an equivalent insurance is required.   (Bring your BCHC member card)      -Remember to carry your camera!        

The route:  This portion of the TCT is well managed and groomed for the most part & is VERY easily negotiated by horses. The grade is about 2% consistently. There are many bridges in good shape/well maintained and there is a tunnel which was VERY COOL to ride through. The scenery is amazing & well worth the trip! In fact, we are planning it as an annual long weekender!

Cheers!  the OKMtngrl                      …with thanks to Carolynn

1 Comment


    i’ve done kelowna to summerland on my bike. next summer i want to add some more km to the parts of the trails i’ve done, and this is some good info. did you ride on the part where the old style train runs?


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