Welcome. Here you’ll find information and maps to guide you through some of the province’s most stunning landscapes as you explore BC’s Trans Canada Trail.
The following portions of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) are under the stewardship of the Vermillion Trails Society (VTS), based in Princeton. The VTS has been instrumental in working with the community, trail supporters and various levels of government to restore and upgrade this portion of the TCT.
(19 km one way/38 km return)
Trail Condition and Grade: generally flat grades, surface mixed between hard packed and some un-compacted surface materials; watch for potential rockfall along portions of this corridor.
Begin your day trip from downtown Princeton (one possible starting point is the former Princeton train station, which now houses Subway and a real estate office located on Highway 3). Head west through the 324 meter-long tunnel as you leave Princeton, taking you under the highway and then across the Tulameen River bridge. The trail then begins a very a scenic trip along the Tulameen River, taking you through two tunnels and along three trestles.
Please note that portions of this route cross private agricultural land, so please stay on the trail corridor. Respect any gates, fencing and signs you encounter along this route. This area is also bear and cougar country; read up on encountering wildlife in our Safety section.
Your turn-around point for a day trip is Coalmont, a former coal mining area which offers a glimpse into the area’s rich mining heritage of the past. Look for the recently restored Coalmont Hotel which offers sleeping units, dining and a pub.
Camping in Coalmont can be found 1.6 kilometers from the hotel at the Granite Creek Forest Recreation site (for details, contact the Ministry of Forests, Merritt District Office, (250) 378-8400, or the Ministry of Forests, Princeton Field Office, 1-800-665-1511). Located across the Tulameen River and 2 km from Coalmont, Granite City (named after Granite Creek) was once a bustling town of 2,000 people after the discovery of these gold-laden waters in 1885.
After your stop in Coalmont and Granite Creek, head back to Princeton.
(26 km one way/52 km return)
Continuing on past Coalmont you will find the community of Tulameen, which was known as Otter Flats during the Gold Rush. The area was also a base camp for local First Nations people. The settlement was officially named Tulameen in 1901. A few services are available here, including the Tulameen Trading Post.
Just north of Tulameen is Otter Lake, a popular summer spot for vacationing out-of-towners. Otter Lake Provincial Park is located here. The park has two locations, a main picnic/day-use area in Tulameen and a lakeside campground a few kilometers north along the road.
Return to Princeton the following day.
(50 km one way/100km return)
Trail Condition and Grade: The first 15 – 20 kilometers of this trip are a steady uphill grade. The trail surface is mixed between consolidated gravel and some loose, un-compacted surface materials. Watch for potential rockfall along portions of this corridor. Please be advised that this first uphill section can be very hot and dry; there is little or no drinking water available along this route, so be prepared with sufficient sun protection and water supplies for all travelers, including pets.
Starting from Princeton, head east on the trail for a long day ride to Osprey Lake. This route is a gradual climb taking you through grasslands and forests, and past ranches and farms. Again, make sure you have water and food before you start this trip as there are no washroom facilities or supplies available along most of this route, until you reach Bankeir, 47 km east of Princeton. Also, please be aware that much of this section of the trail runs through private agricultural lands, so please stay on the trail.
Respect gates, fencing and signs you encounter along this route. If you must travel with a dog, please keep it on a leash as adjacent landowners have experienced some stock harassment from unleashed dogs.
Just 4 km east of Princeton, you will pass by Princeton Castle Resort and the historic stone ruins of the Portland Cement Plant finished in 1908. Apparently it took four years to build the plant and yet it was only in operation for 9 months. Today, the 110-acre resort offers an RV park, camping, cabins, log chalets, dining and a number of other services. Contact the Princeton Castle Resort by phone at (250) 295-7988 or 1-888-228-8881; email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.castleresort.com
As you leave Princeton, you’ll start your climb riding along three huge switchbacks carved into the hillside, known as the Jura Loops. This stretch offers scenic views of the Hayes Creek Valley below. Again, please note that there are private land holdings on this section so please respect signage and stay on the trail.
Approximately 25 km east of the Jura Loops is the Chain Lake Campground on the shore of Chain Lake. For information on this forest recreation site, contact the Ministry of Forests, Merritt District Office, (250) 378-8400. A few kilometers further is Bankeir and the 3 Lakes General Store, the only store, coffee and snack bar on the route. (Note: the 3 Lakes Store is CLOSED until further notice) Keep your eyes open for Link Lake Road which takes you to a few more forest recreation sites on Link Lake. Osprey Lake is close by and also has a forest recreation site with rustic camping available (contact the Merritt Forest District for details at (250) 378-8400). This is the end point of this suggested trip.Community Information