Interesting stories and experiences from the Crowsnest Highway region
Top 10 Things to Do this Spring
Spring is here, which means it’s the perfect time for a road trip along BC’s Crowsnest Highway 3. Be awestruck as you enjoy the stunning and varied landscapes, from mountain rivers and lakes, rocky backdrops and trails to sweeping valleys of vineyards and blossoming fruit trees. Take a dip, catch a fish, ride a trail – with so many options to choose from, you can tailor your trip to your own interests and preferences. Along the way stop at a fruit stand for in season produce, indulge in local cuisine or enjoy award winning wines, ciders and spirits.
Experience the outdoors
When the temperature begins to warm, the snowcapped mountains begin to melt, landscapes turn lush and green, flowers bloom, and the air is filled with their sweet fragrance reminding us of the enjoyment of spending time outdoors. In Hope,BC, spring is an exciting time of renewal.
Thacker Regional Park is a must-visit protected wetland area that is ideal for nature lovers and those who find interest in wildlife and birding due to the vast range of species that visit the area. The trails are well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it a great spot for families and beginners alike. Envelop yourself amongst the serene surroundings with lush vegetation creating a comfortable place for picnics and relaxing in nature’s lap.
For those interested in walking and cycling trails, Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park, located near Ruby Creek, halfway between Agassiz and Hope, offers those a chance to continue exploring the natural beauty of the area while getting a little adventurous. Designed for families in mind, dust off the bikes and test your mountain side shredding skills on the relatively smooth terrain. The park also features several viewpoint platforms that offer stunning sights of the surrounding landscape. But it’s not just about the scenery – the park also boasts several art installations that add an extra level of interest and creativity to the experience. From painted bridges to wooden carvings this outdoor experience provides an educational component while respecting the land it was built on.
West of Hope venture into the Similkameen Valley from Manning park to Cawston, where the great outdoors continue. If you’re looking for an exciting and innovative way to explore Princeton, then the Self Walk Sculpture Tour and App is the perfect option for you.
This tour will take you on a journey through the rich history and culture of this charming town, allowing you to discover its many hidden gems and iconic landmarks. With the help of the app, you can easily navigate your way through the streets of Princeton, visiting the many different sculptures and art installations that are scattered throughout the town. Whether you’re interested in exploring the local museum, taking a stroll through the historic district, or simply enjoying the beautiful scenery, this tour will get you around town.
For those looking to hit the trails, there’s a chance you’ll find one suited to your skill level in the Similkameen Valley. Along the highway or the trails you will have plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing, and springtime is primetime for spotting migratory birds throughout the valley. The region provides unique habitat for species such as songbirds, flycatchers, and many birds of prey such as hawks and eagles. There’s also a good chance you will catch a glimpse of black bears, California Bighorn Sheep and Mountain goats!
Enjoy farm fresh food and award winning wines, ciders and spirits
The Similkameen Valley is one of Canada’s top wine regions. Nestled in the southern part of the valley is idyllic and tranquil wine and cider country. With a hot, dry climate and soil conditions that are ideal for grape growing, the region produces some of the finest wines, and great-tasting ciders in BC, and Canada. With over 15 tasting rooms and patios with stunning views, this is a paradise for wine lovers who are looking for a full range of terroir-driven wines. From the rocky backdrops of Keremeos to the hills and valleys of Cawston, the Similkameen offers a variety of breathtaking scenery and a relaxed atmosphere perfect for a tour.
For the foodlovers BC Crowsnest Highway 3 boasts ample opportunities for farm-to-table experiences. Check out places like Klippers Marketplace & Cafe for an array of fresh produce and preserves from their farm, fresh flowers, and sustainably-sourced snacks. Or experience farm to fork fare at Row 14. Continue on to Crowsnest Vineyards where you can indulge in local cuisine or woodfired pizzas at their on-site patio and restaurant or the Bistro & Market at Tree-To-Me for a ranchers breakfast and to shop the plentiful farm produce, breads and take-away meals.
Enjoy cider, wine and take away goodies at Harkers Barn Door Bistro, and for coffee or a smoothy, check out The Farm Store and pick up organic produce to take home. The producers in the region work hard to ensure that their products are of the highest quality and are always striving to create a positive impact in the local communities they serve with sustainability and ethical farming practices. As the farm to table movement continues to gain popularity,this region, known as the organic capital of Canada, is a must stop on your cruise along the Crowsnest Highway.
Culture and nature
Further along the Crowsnest in the South Okanagan Valley in Osoyoos, the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre (pronounced in-ka-meep) is a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor interpretive center that is sustainably constructed on a 1,600-acre desert conservation area.
The centre features exhibits and displays focused on the living culture, history, and traditions of the Syilx people of the Okanagan Nation, who have lived in the area for thousands of years. Open yourself to learning and experiencing local Indigenous culture through story, language, and the rich history of the unique desert ecosystem including Canada’s first Indigenous owned and operated winery.
Get out on the water
When you travel along BC’s Crowsnest scenic Highway 3 there is no shortage of river and lake views making it tempting to stop and take a dip! With the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to get out and enjoy some of the warmest lakes in the region. From stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) rentals to kayaking and electric e-foil, there are so many sustainable water sports activities to choose from. SUP rentals offer a great way to enjoy the lake, as it is a low-impact activity and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Kayaking is another great choice, as you can explore the lake or river at your own pace. For those seeking more adventure, electric e-foiling is an adrenaline-pumping way to get out on the open waters as you fly above the surface of the lake with the power of the wind. All of these water sports activities provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy the lake while being mindful of the environment.
Get back to nature
Continuing east along your journey along the Crowsnest Highway to Boundary Country, where you’ll find great early-season camping. With the passing of winter, Boundary Country’s warm waters, fertile fields, and spring blooms are waking up. If you’ve got an itch to venture, consider a mini escape with one of the plentiful awesome accommodators who can provide a temporary ‘home base’ to help you revitalize before the summer rush. Or visit some blooming provincial parks like the Kettle River Recreation Area in Rock Creek (open to public access April 27, 2023) or the spectacular Christina Lake Park open year-round.
Explore the art scene
Are you ready to be inspired? Go on an art tour! Inside and out, Boundary Country has hidden art for you to explore, ranging across our communities, from murals big and small. Whether you prefer the historic colours in Greenwood, the unique characters in Grand Forks, or want to pose for the perfect angle at the Christina Lake 3D floor mural, there is an outdoor art adventure for everyone! Our galleries are also filled with passionate local work like the Grand Forks’ Gallery 2 and their “Eros in the Landscape” or Work in Progress Collection presenting a selection of previously un-exhibited works from the permanent collection. Or visit Arts on 3 at the Christina Lake Welcome Centre and the Rock Creek Visitor Centre where collections of local artists showcase their perspectives of spring themes, perfect for a little souvenir.
Explore Our Communities
Experiencing the wonders of spring along the Crowsnest Highway from the stunning mountain vistas to the crystal blue lakes, orchards and vineyards,and vibrant wildflowers to the abundance of wildlife, this is the perfect place to enjoy all the beauty of the season. Don’t forget to take time to explore the quaint communities that make up the Crowsnest Highway – each one offering its own unique offering for spring.