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