Forestry Road & Access Information
Where can I ride my snowmobile in the BC Backcountry? Which roads are legal to travel on? Which are not? These are important questions asked by visitors and local alike.
In the Backcountry generally, if a road is not plowed, or not fit for car or truck travel, it is legal to ride on. It is illegal to operate your snowmobile on a plowed Forest Service Road. You can still travel the unplowed part of the road or in the ditch.
No snowmobile is allowed access to BC Highways, highway right of ways, or any road maintained by the BC Ministry of Highways. The one exception is that you may cross highways at a controlled intersection if your snowmobile registered with ICBC and carries a restricted license plate.
Snowmobiles are allowed on most public land in BC with some restrictions. Certain wildlife habitat restrictions apply to areas around BC but generally, all areas of the Okanagan Highlands are open to snowmobilers.
BC Parks has granted access to Okanagan snowmobilers in two of the parks in the Okanagan Highlands, the Graystokes Protected Area and Myra Bellevue Park. In the Graystokes area, the Trail
Management Agreement between the Kelowna Snowmobile Club and the Ministry of Forests lays out snowmobile use. In Myra Bellevue there is an agreement with BC Parks that snowmobiles will not operate below the KVR Rail Bed. The KVR Rail Bed and the areas above the KVR are open to travel by snowmobile. It should be noted that in Myra Bellevue Park trails are not marked and should only be travelled by someone with good local knowledge of the area.
Trans Canada Trail:
Snowmobiling is a core use of the Trans Canada Trail. We can ride the Trail from Beaverdell to just above Naramata. The same rule regarding access to plowed roads applies whether local residents or a resource company plows the trail; avoid that part of the route if at all possible.