Route 3B: Bridging Communities
Route 3B is big on excitement, adventure and cultural activities. Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale are a collection of scenic communities located in the Selkirk Mountain range that thrive on the regions’ history, arts, community, sports and recreation.
As you drive along Route 3B, you can’t help but notice the towering, picturesque mountains like Old Glory (2376m). The mountain range is home to hundreds of kilometres of well maintained and labeled single-track hiking & biking trails that cater to all skill levels. These trails include connections to the Western Rail Trail (an extension of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail).
Winter along Route 3B is a skier’s paradise. Black Jack Nordic Centre hosts some of the best cross-country skiing in the region and Red Mountain Resort is the #1 undiscovered ski resort in North America. During the summer, Black Jack Nordic Centre transforms into an 18-hole disc golf course, Thin Air Disc Golf Club while RED Mountain Resort is converted to a biker and hikers’ paradise.
The Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre, at the junction of Hwy 3B & 22, is filled with the region’s rich history. The City of Rossland has 25 Heritage Buildings in its downtown and a variety of boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. Further along Hwy 3B is Redstone Golf Course, an 18-hole Les Furber.
Next is the Village of Warfield, known for its unique style of homes that earned it the nickname “Mickey Mouse Town”. During the summer months, the Warfield Centennial Pool is a perfect spot to cool down with a 25 metre outdoor pool and waterpark complete with splash pad and water slides.
In the river valley below Warfield, you find yourself in Trail, known as the Silver City. A rich history in metallurgic innovations, strong Italian culture and the arts, Trail is a remarkable place to visit. Relax on the beach at Gyro Park or one of the other 53 parks and green spaces.
Visit West Trail for a taste of ‘Little Italy’. Take a walking tour of Trail’s historic rock walls (some 25 feet high and many carved by hand) and meander your way through the many covered staircases (over 28,000 steps in total) connecting the community.
Visit quaint shops in Downtown Trail including an Artisan store full of locally-crafted goods, coffee shops, restaurants, a beer refinery and most major banks.
The mighty Columbia River, a mecca for fishing in the area, weaves its way through the City of Trail. Launch your boat at Gyro Park or the Kiwanis Club’s Beaver Creek Provincial Park and experience some of the best fishing in BC. Shore fishing is also accessible and anglers have much success on a boat or casting from the riverbanks.
Cross the Columbia River on the Columbia River Skywalk or the Victoria Street Bridge. Completed in late 2016, the Columbia River Skywalk one of the longest pedestrian suspension bridges of its kind in North America, measuring 1,000 feet from landing to landing! Biking and hiking trails are plentiful within the community and offer stunning views of the river valley.
Continuing through Trail, take a minor detour on Hwy 22A to visit Columbia Gardens, a hidden gem with wineries offering award winning wines and vineyard tours. Also located on Hwy 22A is the Trail Regional Airport, which is the gateway to the West Kootenay, with flights twice daily to Vancouver.
Back on Hwy 3B and gaining elevation as you wind along the Columbia River, you enter the Village of Montrose. Montrose is home of the popular Antenna Trail, an easy to moderate hike with stunning views of the Columbia River and nearby communities.
Located 15km east of Trail is the Village of Fruitvale, nestled in the mountains with spectacular natural scenery and a community driven lifestyle. Historically, Fruitvale was a stop for the Great Northern Railroad. The community was originally known as Beaver Siding and was renamed Fruitvale in 1906. A land corporation called the Fruitvale Limited, purchased a great deal of land on both sides of the stop and boasted the village as the best fruit growing location in the West Kootenay.
Just outside of Fruitvale you will find an abundance of outdoor activities. Champion Lakes Provincial Park offers excellent swimming, golfing, hiking and camping. Beaver Valley Family Park is host to an 18-hole disk golf course, a 1km interpretive trail, horseshoe pits, volleyball and basketball courts and trailer and tent camping sites.
Dozens more activities and recreational possibilities lie hidden along Route 3B in the Lower Columbia Region. Stop into the Visitor Information Centres in Trail and Rossland and find out what it is really like to live and play here!