Chosen by our Facebook fans, here are your top 5 picks for the best "Family Picnic Spots" in the Kootenays!
#5 - East Shore of Kootenay Lake
Located 40-km north of Creston on Highway 3A (near Boswell), adjacent to Lockhart Creek Provincial Park this small park provides the only easy access to public camping along the south arm of Kootenay Lake. The day use area is located near a sand/fine gravel beach, where visitors can relax and enjoy the clear waters of Kootenay Lake.
#4 - Columbia Lake
Columbia Lake Park (between Fairmont and Canal Flats) is used in
summer by windsurfers, paddlers and motorized watercraft. The 2,758-hectare
lake is the largest warm water lake (18C in July) on the east side of the
Kootenays. Approximately 3-km of undeveloped beach area allows for
non-consumptive recreational opportunities (wildlife viewing, paddling, nature
appreciation). Hiking and mountain biking are also available on the upper
grasslands (or along the park access road).
#3 - Premier Lake
60 kilometres (36 mi) northest of Kimberley, south of Fairmont Hot Springs is
Premier Lake Provincial Park. Premier Lake is one of the key recreational
fishing lakes in the Kootenays. The emerald green lakes of Premier and
four smaller lakes, Canuck, Yankee, Cats Eye and Quartz offer a unique and
varied fishing experiences. The day use area at Premier Lake has 6 lakeside
picnic tables. You can enjoy a picnic at any of the other four smaller lakes in
the park but there are no picnic facilities.
#2 - Radium Hot Springs
The village of Radium Hot Springs lies at the southern entrance to Kootenay National Park. The hot pool facilities are located in Sinclair Canyon, just a couple of minutes inside the park boundary. People come here not only for the hot springs but also for the excellent golf courses in the area. Radium Hot Springs also offers many hiking opportunities, whitewater rafting adventures and scenic floats. An ideal picnic spot is on route to the Redstreak Campground in Kootenay National Park, half way up the road is a pull out with a couple of picnic tables that look out over Radium Hot Springs and the Columbia Valley.
#1 - Kokanee Creek
Creek Provincial Park is situated in the Slocan range of the Selkirk Mountains
and borders the West Arm of Kootenay Lake 19 kms (12 mi) from Nelson on Highway
3A. With 257-hectares, this park has over a kilometre of sandy beaches and a
large delta area. It protects the active alluvial creek fan with its marshes
and extensive sandspit. Kokanee Creek bisects the landscape to form a steep
canyon that can be viewed from an observation platform.
Story shared by Kootenay Rockies. Photos: cover shot by Herve Durand, east shore of Kootenay Lake; top photo by Dave Heath, Columbia Lake; middle photo by Shannon Harrison, Premier Lake and bottom photo by Chris Dadson, Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.