In the heart of the Kootenays lies one of British Columbia’s largest lakes: home to Nelson, Balfour, Kaslo, Meadow Creek and Ainsworth Hot Springs. Kootenay Lake’s communities provide a historical and cultural addition to the region’s mosaic.
The lake originally drew people here from the first settlers to the miners and loggers and the Sinixt (Lakes) and Ktunaxa (Kootenay) people who still call the region home.
Modern times have seen an influx of artists and adventurers shaping our region into an arts and culture haven, helping us garner the accolade: “Number One Small Arts Town in Canada.”
Year Round Activities for the Whole Family
The entire family can join in our newest offering: Kokanee Mountain Zipline. Soar above Kokanee Creek, leaving you breathless without breaking a sweat!
To work up a sweat, however, the Kootenay Lake region provides ample outlets. Biking trails range from beginner to technical downhill while the road riding offers scenic routes with breathtaking backdrops.
If you prefer to stay closer to the ground, hiking in our region offers everything from short nature walks to multi-day backpacking adventures.
Golfing at Balfour, Kaslo, or Granite Pointe in Nelson means enjoying awe inspiring views, incredible courses, and fabulous food. The newly renovated Kootenay Lake View Resort adjacent to the Balfour Golf Course adds to the serenity you’ll experience when walking the links.
Speaking of spas, take advantage of the region’s many facilities from Mountain Waters Spa and Wellness, to Aura Spa & Salon, to Mountain Trek, and many more.
Ainsworth Hot Springs overlooking Kootenay Lake offers expansive views and rich heritage. New ownership by the Lower Kootenay Band of Creston means that the hot springs have come back to their roots. Relax in the healing hot mineral water (nupika wu-u) and experience the thousands of years of spirit these waters offer.
Nearby Cody Caves gives you the chance to dig deep, literally. Experienced guides take you on a journey that is both family-friendly and a unique adventure.
Enjoy paddling? Head out on Kootenay Lake for an hour or a whole day. You’ll find rental outlets all along the lake, from Nelson to Kaslo, offering SUPs, canoes and kayaks.
If the mood strikes you, fishing on Kootenay Lake is renowned. Centred around Balfour and Kaslo, experienced guides take you to hidden spots where fish like the Gerrard Rainbow Trout, the world’s largest freshwater trout, hide in deep fiords. The record is 35 lbs.: Do you think you might beat that?
When back on land try a day at the beach. Kootenay Lake offers private boat access beaches or easy access sandy beaches such as Lakeside Park in Nelson, Kokanee Creek, or Vimy Park in Kaslo. Relax in the sun with a picnic followed by a dip in the lake.
Unique Culture and Bountiful Heritage
Thousands of years of people drawn to Nelson Kootenay Lake creates a rich cultural heritage.
Tour our museums and galleries including the world’s oldest intact stern wheeler, the SS Moyie in Kaslo, and the historic Street Car #23 in Nelson. Theatres throughout the region offer live and filmed presentations. Steeped in this rich history, you’ll love boutique shopping, unique dining and taking part in the festivals and events happening all year round.
We welcome you to Nelson Kootenay Lake and can’t wait for you to explore it all!