Whether you’re wowed by the Alpine landscapes that surround you, or charmed by the restored Victorian style homes that dot the residential areas and main streets, you are sure to be enamoured with the Kootenay region and the small city of Nelson, in beautiful British Columbia.
Mountain Trek’s Alpine Lodge is nestled away in arguably one of the most picturesque locations in British Columbia. The nearby town of Nelson boasts spectacular scenery; at the foot of pristine Kootenay Lake and seemingly sprinkled along the hillside. But not only is it the place, but the people and our lifestyle and values, that make our area such a unique and wonderful place to be. Perhaps made most famous by Steve Martin in the 80’s classic film ‘Roxanne’, the world found itself wondering; “where is that absolutely gorgeous little mountain town?!”
Nelson and area History
Settled in the late 1800s for the purpose of silver mining, the Nelson area became an attractive option for fortune seeking pioneers. Two railroads were built to support the mining community, as well as a fleet of stern wheelers for easy access to and from all the mining communities along Kootenay Lake. By 1897, the town of Nelson became incorporated with 3,000 inhabitants, and today the population hovers around 10,000 residents.
People & Culture
Nelson has a very unique demographic, beginning with pioneers, miners, orchardists, and forestry workers. In the 60s and 70s, Nelson became home to many ‘draft dodgers’; Americans seeking to avoid military service for the Vietnam war. In the 80s, 90s, and into today, those who are fleeing the big city life and stress come to Nelson. This combination explains Nelson’s eclectic population, generally speaking of liberal mindset and well-educated, and sharing a common thread of lifestyle over work. Coined as the number one ‘Small Town Arts Community’ in Canada, Nelson has a disproportionately high number of artists, writers, as well as spa and health facilities, and markets. Those who embrace an active, outdoor life thrive here. People who live here don’t just talk the talk – we walk the walk, literally! This mindset of health, vitality, and joy in every day pursuits is palpable when you set foot in the beauty of the area.
If you enjoy the great outdoors, there is no better place than the Kootenays to get out and enjoy some fresh air, no matter what the time of year.
Summer pleases hikers, mountain bikers, kayakers, climbers, sailors, any kind of water craft-ers, and even those who just love to soak up some sun at the beach! There are many venues for the rental of any equipment you may need, as well as guides at the ready to take you for a kayak on stunning Kootenay Lake, or a horseback ride on one of the umpteen green trails. A true Hikers’ paradise, there are many trails and maps available for those who want to get out there and explore.
Winter continues the trend for great outdoor time, with the Nelson and area boasting a magnificent snow fall making it a winter play land for cross country, downhill, and heli skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tobogganing, skating and more.
But the fun in Nelson doesn’t just start and stop with the outdoors. Here is just an idea of what else awaits you in Nelson and area:
- Nelson Artwalk: During the summer months, local artists are showcased in various locations all over town. Displayed in restaurants and shops, the exhibits rotate each month.
- Road Kings Classic Car Show: Are you a fan of classic, mint condition cars? If so, then plan for a fantastic weekend in Nelson Friday night kicking things off with an around the town cruise of all these beauties and burnout competition at the airport, while Saturday main street is used to showcase hundreds of beautifully maintained and refurbished classic cars, ending everything off with a rooftop dance. This summer’s Road Kings weekend TBA.
- Numerous triathlons and fundraiser walks including and not limited to: the AIDS walk for life, Scotiabank MS walk, Cyswog’n Triathlon, and many more, take place in the beautiful parks, recreational facilities, and even just the charm of the residential streets that Nelson has to offer.
- As was mentioned above, there is a disproportionately high number of spas and wellness centres in the area, so treat yourself to a massage, facial, acupuncture, pedicure, etc…
- The world’s longest free ferry ride is located on Kootenay Lake, from Balfour to Crawford Bay. With stunning views of Kootenay Lake and alpine vistas all around, it may be a scenic alternate route, or it may just be enjoyable to take the ride!
- Farmers Markets’ are a huge part of the community of the Kootenays, and can be found most weekends and many weekdays in the small villages and towns of the area. Homemade preserves, fresh and local organic produce, and so much more are readily available.
- History buff? The S.S. Moyie, located in quaint Kaslo (just up Kootenay Lake from Nelson), is the world’s oldest intact passenger sternwheeler. This National Historical site allows you to step back in time with an on-board museum.
No matter what you’re into, there’s no doubt you’ll find some of what you’re looking for in Nelson and the Kootenays. But don’t take our word for it – come and check out this gem for yourself! We’re sure you’ll love it as much as we do.