The Whiteway on Lake Windermere is the World’s Longest Skating Path, a 34-km (21 mile) groomed track that runs all the way around the lake and connects the towns of Invermere and Windermere. In addition to the cleared skating path, there are other “must see” attractions and winter experiences in the area.
Ice-skating on The Whiteway, photo by Zoya Lynch
Nordic Skiing (for both classic and skate-ski). Bring the whole family, including your dog, to cross-country ski and skate the tracks along The Whiteway.
It’s Canadian-eh… who doesn’t love a pick-up game of hockey! Located near the shore of Kinsmen Beach, there are hockey pond rinks to play a game of four on four.
Ice fishing for bass is a popular winter activity for the locals on Lake Windermere; if you’re out skating, you’ll see the ice fishing shelters on the south end of the lake closer to Windermere.
Did you know that Invermere is home to Arrowhead Brewing Company and the new Taynton Bay Spirits? The brewery has 8 craft beers on tap plus additional seasonal brews and the distillery offers vodka, gin and tequila spirits. Both have their own tasting rooms for sampling.
Just a 20-km drive up into the Purcell mountain range is Panorama Mountain Resort. Recently, they upped their in-bound terrain by 52 hectares (128 acres) and added four new runs: The Monster, Get Out!, Spectre and Ridgeback. And they added, the new ‘Monster-X’ snow-cat lift access to all of the amazing new terrain.
Photo courtesy of Panorama Mountain Resort
Want to explore the high alpine? Toby Creek Adventures (in the village of Panorama Mountain Resort) offers one, two, three and full day snowmobile adventures. Follow the leader through groomed scenic trails next to old growth forests, pass by a spectacular frozen waterfall to their alpine cabin and warm up by the roaring fire.
The Hoodoo hike (near Fairmont Hot Springs) offers stunning views of the Columbia River Valley south towards Canal Flats, plus the Canadian Rocky and Purcell mountains. The easy 2-km trek is open year-round, access via the Westside Road that offers great views of Lake Windermere (from above).
The Hoodoos near Fairmont Hot Springs, photo by Kari Medig
Invermere offers fine contemporary and traditional crafts in pottery, glass, fiber, metal, photography and fine art. With over 20 artisans, be sure to visit the local shops.
There’s always something yummy to savour near The Whiteway in Invermere. Enjoy a freshly brewed coffee (Kick Ass is a local favourite) with a delicious Quinoa cupcake at the Kicking Horse Café; is it the stacked home-made sandwiches with cauliflower cheddar soup from the Blue Dog Café, or relax with fine dining at the Birchwood restaurant. There are lots of options and choices!
The Whiteway from above near Windermere, photo by RipTide Studio
~ Take extra time to research and plan your trip in advance. Many of our tourism businesses and services have adopted new COVID-19 protocols and changes to their schedules or policies to ensure your safety. You’ll want to become familiar with them ahead of time.
~ If you normally travel with extended family or with several friends, consider travelling in a smaller group this summer. Travelling with fewer people makes it easier for you to practise physical distancing in public, and may have less of an impact on the destination.
~ Consider a slower travel pace this winter to help curb the spread. Instead of checking in and out of multiple destinations during one trip, choose one or two destinations and one/two accommodation properties for your entire trip (and explore all the things to do & see nearby).
~ A Kootenay Coffee Road Trip: Meet the Locals
~ Funky Finds on the Powder Highway
~ Getting into Hot Water: Kootenay Hot Springs
~ Human Powered: The Westside Legacy Trail
~ Powder Highway 101
~ Top 6 Things To Do with the White Stuff
Story by KootRocks Staffer (Shannon Harrison). Top photo/cover by Zoya Lynch (on The Whiteway).
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(Original published date 2018/19 season.)