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Hiking

Hiking

There are many opportunities for hiking on the East Shore. The East Shore Trail and Bike Association has an extensive downloadable hiking and mountain biking trail map that will get you up into the mountains where you will get a real taste of Kootenay wilderness.
Below are some hikes suitable for families and accessible by any vehicle.  The other source of more difficult hikes outlined in detail is “Where Locals Hike in the West Kootenay” available at local stores including the Gray Creek Store. The Trans Canada Trail is also located here.

Easy Trails

Riondel Heritage Trail – Delightful walking tour of the historic mining town includes old growth cedar forests, orchards and green spaces, views of mining areas as well as lake and mountain views. https://estba.ca/riondel-trails/

Crawford Creek Regional Park and Wetlands Trails – A popular and accessible trail network features a series of ponds, beaver dams, two gorgeous beaches, a boardwalk and a creek side route. The wetland is an important nesting area for migrating birds. Please keep your dogs on a leash to avoid disturbing nesting birds and their young. https://estba.ca/wetlands-beach/

Pilot Bay Lighthouse Trail – Near Kootenay Bay. This short trail leads to an historic lighthouse, built in 1904 and activated in 1905. To get there, turn south on Pilot Bay Road from the Kootenay Bay ferry landing. At 4.5 km. there’s a small blue and white trail sign on the right, just before the road ends. It’s an short but somewhat steep 10-15 minute walk on a broad, well-maintained trail that meanders through a cool, mossy forest, leading to expansive views of the lake from the lighthouse. There is also a picnic table and outhouse for your convenience. There are no fires allowed here and no water or other amenities. Maintained by Friends of West Kootenay Parks. https://estba.ca/light-house-2/

Trans Canada Trail “off HWY” Segment                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The East Shore segment of the Trans Canada Trail begins in Kootenay Bay. The traveler, after enjoying the free Kootenay Lake Ferry will follow HWY 3A to the Artisan community of Crawford Bay. Continuing south for 1km the authorized off-highway route begins. A trail head kiosk greets trail users with orientation, historical information, user sign in, and a map. https://estba.ca/tct-track/

Moderate Trails

Pebble Beach Trail
This moderately steep trail is located about 7 km. north of Riondel on the Kootenay Lake East Forest Service Road. Watch carefully for the trail sign on your left. It leads to a pebbled beach which offers fine picnicking, fishing, swimming and, at low water, opportunities to hike and beach comb further along the lake shore. Remember, it is a steep climb back to the road. https://estba.ca/pebble-beach/

Pilot Bay Provincial Marine Park                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Near Kootenay Bay. This popular trail offers land access to Pilot Bay Marine Park, with campsites, picnic tables, fire pits and toilets. Drive south on Pilot Bay Road from the Kootenay Bay Ferry Landing. At 3 km., watch for the small Pilot Bay Park sign; turn left and park. The trail climbs in the first ten minutes by granite cliffs and huge scented pines, then descends through cool forests. Take the fork to the right about five minutes past the second wooden bridge to reach the campsite. Keep left to find a pebbled beach with a huge view south down the lake, and the Lake shore Trail, if you wish to continue towards the end of the peninsula (a full day’s hike). https://estba.ca/pilot-bay-provincial-park-trail/

Fraser Hill VP Trail                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
One of the East Shores newest trails offers multiple viewpoints and a summit in under 90 minutes. This non-motorized multi-use trail can be hiked from the bottom at Peters Rd. It is also accessed from the rest of the peninsula trail network from the top. The trail is an exciting option for mountain bikers who want to skip the hardest parts of the Woodlot Trail. Hike or ride up from the second corner of Peters Rd. where the Woodlot Trail begins. After ascending half an hour the trail splits. Left will take you along the original Woodlot Trail. Right is the new VP Trail. Trails are well signed.

Lockhart Creek

Lockhart Creek Trail
Lockhart Creek is located near Boswell. This trail departs from Highway 3A on the north side of the creek at Lockhart Provincial Park. It follows the creek, climbing through a magnificent grove of old growth forest and on 15 km. through a wilderness valley up to the ridge line at 7000′ before dropping down to Baker Lake on the eastern slope of the Purcells. The lower 7 km. of the trail is well maintained, though some windfall may be encountered. Baker Lake offers good fishing but mosquitoes can be ferocious there! Non-hikers can also have a great time, spending the day at the Provincial Park on the highway. It offers forested campsites, picnic tables, toilets, a sandy beach, and fishing at the creek mouth.

More difficult

Plaid Lake Trail & Mount CrawfordHiker on Mount Crawford
Plaid Lake is located near Crawford Bay. To reach this Ministry of Forests trail you’ll need a high ground clearance vehicle, preferably a 4×4. In Crawford Bay, turn off Hwy 3A at the School onto Wadds Road and keep left, proceeding past the refuse site and up the gravel Forest Service Road. Keep left at the first major junction at about 8 km. and then left again on to Spring Creek Road. From here the road climbs steeply for about five km. to the trail-head parking area. Stay on the most used road and follow the Plaid Lake Trail signs. It’s about a 4.5 km. hike to Plaid Lake. The trail climbs along a razorback ridge and presents spectacular views of Crawford Bay and Kootenay Lake. From the ridge summit you can scramble up to the top of Mount Crawford, from where Golden Eagles can often be spotted. The trail dips down from the ridge into a lovely alpine meadow and then on to Plaid Lake, which teems with small and hungry Eastern Brook Trout. Snow stays late and comes early to Plaid Lake, so enquire locally about conditions before starting out. https://estba.ca/mt-crawford-plaid-lake/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sphinx Mountain

Sphinx Mountain is a prominent double peak south-east of Crawford Bay, looking rather like an enormous single-person pup tent when viewed from the Kootenay Lake ferry, and usually covered in snow until July. From the top of either of the Sphinxes you can see many named peaks, including Loki, Snowcrest, Akokli, Bluebell, Crawford, Brennan, Hooker, and Old Tom; also visible are the west arm of Kootenay Lake and the Crawford Peninsula. Do be aware of safety hazards, including loose rocks and snow cornices, and give yourself plenty of time to get back down to your vehicle before dusk. https://estba.ca/sphinx-mountain-hike/

For a complete listing of East Shore Trails go to: https://estba.ca/trails/

Please carefully pack out anything that you bring with you.

Peninsula Shoreline Trail

 

 

 

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