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Three Blind Mice - Naramata

July 9, 2013, 12:15 p.m.
Posts: 72
Joined: April 27, 2013

Thought I'd do a quick TR with some (hopefully) useful information about riding in the area.
Was looking for some good XC riding while in Penticton for the long weekend and all of my research pointed me to the Three Blind Mice (TBM) trail system above Naramata. First thing I did was go to the Bike Barn and picked up a copy of the Sweet Singletrack guide. Its a basic guide but has enough info to get you to the trailhead and has some parking directions. When you buy the guide, you'll also get access to additional hi-res e-maps through the site.
We parked at Poplar Grove winery vs. Poplar Grove rd as we intended to relax with a glass of wine post-ride.
The ride up to the road to the trailhead of TBM from the KVR Trail is a steep affair (think Mountain Highway to Fromme but shorter and steeper). We decided to take the Lookout Loop ride to keep it simple and the fact that its very well marked on the trail. There are quite a few trails in the area and while they're marked on the map, very few of them are marked on the trail and its very easy to get lost (look for yellow diamond markers). The Lookout Loop is long uphill oriented trail that traverses through open fields, forest and rock bed. The start of the loop is a bit of a grind but it eases off into gradual climbing. It flows quite nicely and fit riders will barely notice the elevation gain. But others (my partner) will silently hate the constant uphill barage.:flame:
After all the climbing, the ride back down through FANTASTIC singletrack was awesome!! The "loop" is not a true loop and you'll ride down some of the trail you've gone up but the majority is on different trails. Ambitious riders can easily continue grinding uphill for a more rewarding downhill experience.
It was about a 2.5 hour loop for us with constant stops but it could easily be ridden in under two hours. Again, I'd recommend a certain level of fitness for this ride but technically, a very easy ride. The views in the area are worth a stop or two and a glass of wine post-ride adds to the experience.
Be aware of the heat in the interior and ride with LOTS of liquid (not wine) and highly recommend a post-ride tick check as those little :censored: were out in force….

July 9, 2013, 1:20 p.m.
Posts: 5635
Joined: Oct. 28, 2008

Thought I'd do a quick TR with some (hopefully) useful information about riding in the area.
Was looking for some good XC riding while in Penticton for the long weekend and all of my research pointed me to the Three Blind Mice (TBM) trail system above Naramata. First thing I did was go to the Bike Barn and picked up a copy of the Sweet Singletrack guide. Its a basic guide but has enough info to get you to the trailhead and has some parking directions. When you buy the guide, you'll also get access to additional hi-res e-maps through the site.
We parked at Poplar Grove winery vs. Poplar Grove rd as we intended to relax with a glass of wine post-ride.
The ride up to the road to the trailhead of TBM from the KVR Trail is a steep affair (think Mountain Highway to Fromme but shorter and steeper). We decided to take the Lookout Loop ride to keep it simple and the fact that its very well marked on the trail. There are quite a few trails in the area and while they're marked on the map, very few of them are marked on the trail and its very easy to get lost (look for yellow diamond markers). The Lookout Loop is long uphill oriented trail that traverses through open fields, forest and rock bed. The start of the loop is a bit of a grind but it eases off into gradual climbing. It flows quite nicely and fit riders will barely notice the elevation gain. But others (my partner) will silently hate the constant uphill barage.:flame:
After all the climbing, the ride back down through FANTASTIC singletrack was awesome!! The "loop" is not a true loop and you'll ride down some of the trail you've gone up but the majority is on different trails. Ambitious riders can easily continue grinding uphill for a more rewarding downhill experience.
It was about a 2.5 hour loop for us with constant stops but it could easily be ridden in under two hours. Again, I'd recommend a certain level of fitness for this ride but technically, a very easy ride. The views in the area are worth a stop or two and a glass of wine post-ride adds to the experience.
Be aware of the heat in the interior and ride with LOTS of liquid (not wine) and highly recommend a post-ride tick check as those little :censored: were out in force….

I was up there a couple years ago and really enjoy the area. After spending some time in the 3 Blind Mice network I decided to just cruise/sight-see along the KVR. Much to my surprise some ass-hat in a car almost killed me. I thought cars weren't allowed on the KVR yet I saw at least 3. Strange.

Anyway, good review. I concur on all points. Especially liquids. It's insanely depleting up there for us coastal bunny-bears.

Wrong. Always.

July 10, 2013, 9:57 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

funny, I was up there on the long weekend as well and spent 3 days riding there. we rode up the arawana side first day, then I accepted the offer of the GF's sister and took a shuttle assist a couple of days. Still got some really long rides in regardless. It's an interesting area, off the top high pony is pretty fun, some great views and fun singletrack….I did a lot of down then up then down then up, etc, to eek out some more distance. The map helps a bit, but the signage is a bit lacking since the text is so small on them…definitely some exposed sections too and it was smart to scope things and keep speed in check. A rating system on the trails would be good. We definitely spent a lot of time looking at the map trying to figure out where we were. Fun riding overall, definitely intermediate riding for the most part, good xc'ing!

July 10, 2013, 1:55 p.m.
Posts: 72
Joined: April 27, 2013

We're going to head back up on the August long weekend and have already enlisted a shuttle (mother-in-law) up the road on one of our riding days. Looking forward to seeing the upper trails. Will probaby go for a solo ride on another day and ride to the top and explore more of the trails.
Will also check out Rock Ovens trail at Skaha Bluffs and Test of Humanity trail (full loop) in Summerland. :dizzy:

Aug. 8, 2013, 12:10 p.m.
Posts: 72
Joined: April 27, 2013

August long weekend update bump.

Back at the outlaws in Penticton and was itchin' ride higher in the TBM area. Unfortunately, I was beaten into submission by a brutal fever on Fri-Sat which pretty much left me gasping for air when I walked to the fridge…sooooo not too much chance of a big climb to explore. But, was offered a shuttle up Arawana Rd so off we went on Sunday. We only went as high as the entrance Corral but based on the riding, I'm psyched to try High Pony all the way down next time…
Our route down was as follows, Corral to Fred, back to Yellow Brick Road (quick sprint to the end) and then back on the same trail to White Rabbit, Narnia, White Tail and finished off on Tsweet Tsue (fast and fun switchbacks but dusty as hell).
The Corral to Fred trail was easy to follow as long as you were looking for the yellow signs and once on YBR it was easy to follow the "Lookout Loop Trail" (blue) signs. Couple of trails crossed over but it was pretty clear which direction to continue. Scoped out Drops a Lot and I'll be adding this to my list for sure. Looks mega-fun!! The entire ride was my wife's summer favourite as the flow of the trails was never-ending (although Tsweet Tsue will give some riders pause due to the steep entrance)! Works for me because she's more interested in exploring the mid/upper section of TBD now. :clap:
Would highly recommend this ride (including the shuttle) to strong beginner/ intermediate riders. The trails are singletrack with the occasional rocky step/small drop. The views along the way are pretty stunning as well!
….and as always…buy the Sweet Singletrack guidebook from a LBS.

Aug. 8, 2013, 12:51 p.m.
Posts: 13930
Joined: March 15, 2003

The B-Team was just up there this weekend, we raced down a few of the trails. Of course, said race wasn't finished until you chugged a beer.

There was a group of Harleys coming down the access road past the tunnel.

Aug. 8, 2013, 1:21 p.m.
Posts: 72
Joined: April 27, 2013

There was a group of Harleys coming down the access road past the tunnel.

:|

Aug. 8, 2013, 1:31 p.m.
Posts: 17885
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

KVR is motorized access allowed in some sections…

Oct. 12, 2013, 12:28 p.m.
Posts: 8
Joined: May 7, 2008

Hi guys

I'm Andrew Drouin, the guy who posted up the Lookout Loop signs and created the SweetSingletrack.ca guidebook. I've read your posts above and am glad that you are keen on the new Loop' signage and the guidebook.

Regarding the SweetSingletrack companion website; it was written with iPhones in mind (as BlackBerry and Android devices seem to have a hella' time loading / displaying Google Earth and raw data GPS tracks in real-time off a website - and its what I own).

I hope that you folks return and check out the massive variety of riding that we have in the valley. I recommend that you check out the G-Spot, Mt.Keogan, Campbell Mt. and Mt.Conkle for a buzz the next time that you are in the valley. Just getting set to publish another section off / of G-Spot in this month's newsletter: "6-Stitches" (the website is updated with one new trail (almost) every month)

I'm off and running this fine Saturday to replace a bridge in the Mice - using your SweetSingletrack.ca book and website access fees!

Andrew Drouin
www.sweetsingletrack.ca
www.SouthOkanaganTrailAlliance.com

:fro:

Oct. 12, 2013, 5:38 p.m.
Posts: 72
Joined: April 27, 2013

Thanks for the post Andrew! We're back in Penticton this weekend and have spent the past two days doing hot laps on the Test of Humanity trail. Will be getting a shuttle up Three Blind Mice tomorrow and will spend a couple of hours racing down!
Your guide and website have been a great resource for us and I'm glad to hear that you're putting the proceeds to good use. I work on climbing access in the province and appreciate the time and effort it takes to upgrade trails. Keep up the great work and am looking forward to sampling some more of the Okanagan goods in the near future!

Oct. 14, 2013, 11:20 a.m.
Posts: 72
Joined: April 27, 2013

I'm off and running this fine Saturday to replace a bridge in the Mice - using your SweetSingletrack.ca book and website access fees!

:fro:

Rode a new bridge on White Tail on the way out yesterday. Was that your recent handiwork? The old bridge always gave my wife a bit of a panic attack….
Amazing conditions in the area this weekend!!! Still need to get up to the top trails…

Oct. 14, 2013, 12:51 p.m.
Posts: 8
Joined: May 7, 2008

Yup', that lil' bridge is one of four that we've put in this year. The Three Blind Mice is an excellent riding area, a favorite for hundreds of local riders.

If you've ridden the "Lookout Loop" trail already, and loved it, you are ready for the balance of what the riding area has to offer.

Get a shuttle up to the Reservoir, then descend Rainbow Trail/Bronco/Mosquito/Southern Dancer/roller-coaster, through TsweetTsu etc. The trail is fairly technical in places - enough that you should bring light armor, and the views / look-offs - are amazing!

Andrew
www.sweetsingletrack.ca
www.SouthOkanaganTrailAlliance.com

Oct. 15, 2013, 8:42 a.m.
Posts: 948
Joined: Feb. 8, 2008

Was up in Penticton in '08. Riding alone and didn't know the area, Andrew was kind enough to show a stranger all the beautiful trails. For a flatlander I found the trails amazing. Couldn't imagine how much better they'd be now.

All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

Oct. 17, 2013, 2:38 a.m.
Posts: 8
Joined: May 7, 2008

Hey "Winnipeg" - its been a while man!

Ya, we've put crazy amounts of work and materials into the trails since you've been out this way. Ya' gotta' make the trip back to BC man! Some of the new trails that have opened since your visit, as well as those currently being built - will blow your mind!

Bring armor; the first place that I'm taking you the next time I see you is called G-Spot/Six-Stitches :-)

Remember these nuggets of wisdom; "Work Sucks! The Trails Await…"

Andrew

June 9, 2014, 3:24 p.m.
Posts: 72
Joined: April 27, 2013

After another weekend in Penticton and an afternoon pedaling Three Blind Mice, another TR was definitely in order.
I had the entire Saturday to kill by myself as the better half was off to a baby shower. Luckily, she was kind enough to shuttle me up Arawana to the Corral entrance. As I was solo and didn't have to worry about getting people in over their heads (except for myself), I was FINALLY free to hit Drops-a-Lot. W-O-W! That trail was uber-fun and a great way to start the ride! Took this until I reached the double-track trail (Turnbull?) going up. I had committed myself to checking out the reservoir at the top so up I began….There were a couple of punchy climbs but nothing obscene but the trails were pretty dry and sandy in places making for some spinny-wheel action. Continued up the old Riddle Rd trail which was a complete chunder-fest (I later learned the best way to pedal up is via Sidewinder). The reservoir at the top was quite the reward! Nice a cool breeze and beautiful area all to myself!
After a bit of a break, I hit up a set of trails which Digital (Andrew) referenced in an earlier post…Rainbow Trail/High Pony/Bronco/Mosquito/Southern Dancer/roller-coaster, through TsweetTsu and out. If anyone is up there and looking for a FAST ride, those trails definitely fit the bill. Rainbow and High Pony have some great pedally "flat" sections leading into steep descents (love the Rainbow feature). All of the trails after Pony go DOWN!! Fast singletrack led me to check my speed more than once through some of the tight rocky sections! Had a too close encounter with a bear on Roller-Coaster but I got lucky and he ran the other way right as I came around the corner.
Overall, I LOVE THIS PLACE!! I know there are soooo many other options in the Okanagan but it's hard to beat 3+hrs of singletrack followed by a stop for a great glass of wine (Poplar Grove) on a perfect sunny weekend.

FYI - Lots of rattlers out including babies so keep your eyes peeled….

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