About the Trail
The Test of Humanity Trail is a beautiful 10 km hiking and mountain biking loop that weaves amongst the rolling hills of Cartwright Mountain. Sharing a name with the annual race and fundraiser that supports the Canadian Humanitarian Aid and the Okanagan Food Bank, this is the most popular trail in Summerland. The trail itself was hand built by thousands of volunteer hours that resulted in a fun, flowy, and scenic track. Popular for both hikers and mountain bikers, it’s an ideal way to spend a beautiful day in the Okanagan.
Don’t be fooled by the intimidating name. For mountain bikers and hikers, the trail is considered to be moderately challenging, or a “Blue Trail” in mountain biking lingo. Although most riders and hikers will have no problem on the trail, we do recommend some level of experience before riding or hiking this one. It is also important to remember that this is a one way trail. Be cautious of other trail users to ensure everyone’s safety.
You can access this trail at any time of year, however it is in best condition during the spring and fall. During the summer months, the lack of rain and ample sunshine will create dry, dusty conditions, albeit still very enjoyable. In the cooler months, there can be a lot of snow on the trail, so snowshoes or ice spikes are always a good idea. The spring and fall bring the best conditions where tacky dirt and moderate temperatures are frequent. It’s also a lot more enjoyable than hiking or biking in 35 degree heat! Dogs are permitted on the trail, however they must be on a leash. Please bring bags, and leave the trails how you found them.
There’s no shortage of flowy & cruisey sections on this well maintained trail. Considered to be a cross country trail, there is a mixture of ascents and descents along the way. With an elevation gain of 288 meters, it doesn’t require a significant amount of pedaling. Unsurprisingly, our favourite sections are the descending pumpable rollers, well-built berms, and high speed sections where you don’t need to touch the brakes. At times, the trail does get slightly narrow and parallels the edge of a steep canyon below – these sections of the descent give you a little thrill and are very welcomed after a climb. For the average rider, the trail takes about 1 hour to complete.
The biggest draw to this hike is the gorgeous views you get to experience. Winding through a variety of landscapes, the areas consist of open sage brush, blooming bushes (in the spring), and sparse pine trees. There are many switchbacks throughout the trail, none of which are particularly steep or challenging. On average, the loop takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. There are exceptions to this of course, but we always recommend soaking in viewpoints. The 10km trail has 288 meters of elevation, allowing you to crack a sweat without being too difficult. Hikers should be extra cautious of the mountain bikers that are frequently ripping down the trails. We prefer hiking early in the morning when it’s quieter!
Location & Getting There
The Test of Humanity Trailhead is located on Morrow Road in Summerland. Turn south off Highway 97 onto Rosedale Avenue and continue straight. This road turns into Prairie View Road, which you will follow for about 5 minutes (3km) until you reach Morrow Road. Turn right on Morrow Road, follow it for 400 meters, then you will see the trailhead on your right. Parking is roadside, where you will begin your journey!