Exploring & Camping in our Kootenay Provincial Parks

Exploring & Camping in our Kootenay Provincial Parks

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Toes curled around the edge of the dock, I braced myself for immersion in the brisk turquoise waters of Peckham’s Lake.  I’d ditched work in favour of nature therapy, but was hesitant to take the plunge.

I knew the lake would wash away the emotional dirt and grime of modern life, but it took a shove from my daughter to put me over the edge.

I squealed like a child and came back to the surface clean and new.

Renewal is a side effect of spending time in BC Provincial Parks, and an important aspect of maintaining infrastructure and public engagement in these valuable public places.

“We’ve completed a lot of upgrades in our parks and have numerous projects underway this year,” says Rob MacDonald, BC Parks Section Head for the Kootenays.

BC Parks can change your thinking with their beauty alone or help you see the outdoors more clearly through one of their interpretive programs.

Batty about Bats, A Bear’s Life, and Talkin’ about Turtles, are topics being explored this summer at Kikomun Creek, Moyie and Wasa.  A schedule of events is available here.

Other parks, you might not know about include:
* Champion Lakes (near Rossland/Trail) - offers three beautiful lakes, a kid-friendly beach & great trails

* Earl Grey Trail (located between Invermere & Argenta) - is an epic wilderness multi-day backcountry hike, wilderness travel & experience required

* Pilot Bay (near Kootenay Bay) - offers great hiking & camping, and it's a beautiful sheltered marine park

* Rosebery (near New Denver) - offers great mountain biking trails

* Top of the World (northeast of Kimberley) - offers excellent facilities (trails, cabin, campsite), easy hike access to facilities, plus great day-hiking from the Fish Lake area/facility

* Yahk (south of Cranbrook) - offers a peaceful campsite along the Moyie River

For true renewal my friend Sandy Hughes says head to the backcountry, where inspiration and strength are waiting to be claimed.  

With her smooth skating and impressive hockey smarts Sandy regularly puts the 20-somethings to shame on the ice, but it wasn’t always so.  “At one point I realized I spent too much time caring for my family and not enough time looking after myself,” she says.

Sandy signed up for boot camp in July and promised herself she would hike to the top of a mountain to celebrate her 50th birthday.  That same fall she hiked to Gimli Peak and Mulvey Basin in Valhalla Provincial Park.

“I huffed and puffed all the way up that mountain but standing at the top reminded me how much I love the outdoors and how important it is to look after myself,” she recalls.

No matter what your age, fitness level or interests, BC’s Provincial Parks have something for you. 

~ Story and photos by J
ulie Brannigan's. Julie's daughters would love to throw her Canon in the river!  If she isn't taking photos for local businesses in the Cranbrook area, she's busy at her full time job as a legal assistant. Julie spends her downtime rafting the St. Mary's River, playing hockey and enjoying her multi-generational family.

Please tag your images with #KootRocks on Instagram to be featured in future stories.

Tags: Canadian Rockies Columbia Mountains Explore Canada ExploreBC The Kootenays

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