The Making of the Myra Canyon Trail
In 1980 the CPR removed the rails from Midway to Penticton and turned over the right-of-way to the provincial government. The trail and the trestles soon fell into disrepair, neglect and vandalism. When several serious accidents occurred, the BC government contemplated closing the entire trail to the public.
In 1993 the Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society (MCTRS) was formed with the goal of making the trestles safer for the public. Over the next three years, its volunteers decked each of the trestles with a four-foot boardwalk and erected guard rails. Community groups and individuals came forward to sponsor the trestles with labour, funds, or both. Everything was done through volunteers and donations.
With the trestles now safe for visitors, in 1995 MCTRS turned its attention to repairing the trail, building cribbing for one of the tunnels, and arranging scaling on the rock cuts and in the two tunnels. Visitor numbers began to increase significantly. MCTRS installed toilets and built benches at view points and convenient rest areas. Interpretive signage followed as did electronic counters to tally the people passing through the canyon. In 2003, over 30,000 people visited Myra Canyon from all over the world as the canyon became a destination for adventure tourism. A major cycling magazine rated it as one of the 50 best bike rides in the world.
MCTRS also saw the need for protection of Myra Canyon long-term. After 5 years of lobbying the BC Government, Myra Canyon and its trestles were declared a part of the new Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park. Then, to recognize the history of the Kettle Valley Railway and in particular, Myra Canyon, MCTRS applied to the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada for designation of the canyon as a place of national historic significance. That designation occurred in January, 2003.