Trans Canada Trail ” Off HWY” Route
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 through the Artisan community of Crawford Bay.
Continuing south for 1 km, look for the directional signs indicating the Weasel Creek FSR. (Forest Service Road) The off-highway route begins under the power line. A trail head kiosk greets trail users with orientation, historical information, user sign in, and a map. This is also a cycling route although road bikes are not recommended.
The trail begins with occasional up’s and downs but for the most part meeting 10% sustainable grade trail requirements. The trail soon connects to the original hand built road and continues south with spectacular views of Kootenay Lake and the Selkirk mountains. The trail itself winds through varying old growth forest types, granite rock outcroppings, numerous viewpoints and occasional dynamited (from 1918) trouble spots similar to rail-trail routes in other parts of the interior.
Before the trail route reaches the first private property in Gray Creek, it slowly descends back to the highway to a number of inviting public beach accesses including Starbelly Beach for which the local music festival was named. From here it’s a short 2 km to the Gray Creek Store. It’s here that up to date information on the rest of the route over the Pass Rd and on to Kimberley can be acquired. This route provides an unique example of Canadian history and our determination to connect rural communities.