Your Guide to Winter Hiking in the Shuswap | January Edition

By Sarah Tokarek

www.shuswapadventuregirl.ca

Instagram

 

Welcome to Secwepemcúl’ecw Territory.

The Shuswap is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Secwépemc Peoples.

As the new year rolls out and long winter days are upon us, we turn to welcome new routines, fresh goals, and activities that we can enjoy peacefully and safely.

Keeping up with cold-weather activities comes with challenges, especially when gearing up for outdoor adventures or knowing exactly where to go.

We’ve rounded up the best information for getting you and your family outdoors, enjoying our trails, all while keeping safety in mind. With a few extra pieces of gear, you can comfortably venture to some of the same trail destinations as you can in the summertime.

Get ready to hike the trails of the Shuswap this winter season!

Photo 1 _Shuswapadventuregirl

Where to Go

The Shuswap is commonly known as a summer destination, and hiking is often considered a fair-weather activity. But with some preparation, know-how, and a helpful guide, winter months are often the perfect time to hike and enjoy nature. The trails are quiet, the views are large, beautiful sunsets welcome you early in the day, and the need for outdoor connection is strong.

Here are our favorite winter trails across the Shuswap.

In Sicamous, The North Fork Wild and The Eagle River Nature Park are easy and oh-so scenic. On the Sicamous side of the acclaimed Larch Hills Traverse, the Hyde Mountain Lookout is a challenging route for experienced hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers. Top of the Sic and the Sicamous Switchbacks trails lead you high up Hyde Mountain to epic snow-covered views.

The infamous waterfront Raven Trail in Salmon Arm is excellent for all levels and provides the perfect family outing. For an epic nighttime hike, try the Little Mountain Trail System. And for a pretty forested trail, the Shuswap Memorial Cemetery Trails are great for kids and dogs.

If you are in the South Shuswap, plan winter hikes at Mount Baldy Lookout and the White Lake to Balmoral Traverse trail. The traverse is best done as a two-car system at each trailhead and takes you from White Lake to Blind Bay. Mount Baldy provides one of the best views in the Shuswap and is about an 8 km return hike, making it a challenging yet rewarding route.

Nothing beats walking along a scenic river, and Tsútswecw Provincial Park has the best of all worlds in the North Shuswap. Here you will find several flat, short trails along the river or more challenging historic routes that lead you along Bear Creek.

How about a frozen waterfall? Here at Shuswap Tourism, we have the perfect winter waterfall itinerary, complete with a map. Check it out here: Winter Waterfall Tour

Photo 2 _Shuswapadventuregirl
Photo 3_Shuswapadventuregirl
Photo 4 _Shuswapadventuregirl

Gear Guide


We love to shop locally, and here in Salmon Arm, our local shops offer everything from technical outdoor gear to fashionable hiking accessories and even gear for your furry friend.

We recommend three pieces of equipment for winter hiking to make the experience safe and enjoyable.

Ice & Snow Grips

Hiking in winter usually requires extra foot traction to prevent slips on ice and snow. A good pair of snow grips can give you confidence, security, and peace of mind while adventuring in winter conditions. There are a couple of options for ice and snow grips: crampons, microspikes, snowshoes, or Yaktraks.

Here is a great blog post explaining the differences: Spikes, Crampons vs. Snowshoes | What to use for winter trails

Gaiters

Keep snow out of your boots, and your feet will stay warm and dry. Gaiters are made of nylon or Gor-Tex and typically go over your footwear and cover your calf area.

Hiking Poles

Don’t make your legs do all the work! Instead, get your upper body involved, and you’ll save energy. Poles are also crucial for the protection and assistance of your knees and back and may prevent slips and falls.

For more gear tips, what to wear, and wear to purchase locally, check out Salmon Arm’s Gear Guide: The Best Cold Weather Gear for the Whole Family.

Kids and Pets
Keep your pint-sized adventurers nice and toasty, too, with specialty kids’ gear from Skookum Cycle and Ski, Johns Ski Shack, and Hartty Clothing in Salmon Arm. In addition, Westside Stores in Salmon Arm carries kids’ size ice cleats to go over their winter boots.

Protect your pup in wet, windy weather and keep them warm in the Carharrt chore and hiking coat from Hartty Clothing.

*Remember that pets’ paws are also susceptible to slipping and injury on the ice.

Photo 5 _Shuswapadventuregirl
Photo 6_Shuswapadventuregirl

Other Ways to Enjoy the Trails

If hiking is not your preferred winter workout, why not try Snowshoeing, Skiing, or Fat biking to get out on the trails?

Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is a popular choice and is a great beginner’s sport because it takes minimal experience and is easy to learn.

Snowshoes have two functions: they provide flotation, so you don’t sink as deeply into powdery or deep snow. Snowshoes have integrated crampons on their undersides that help provide traction on ice or packed snow. For tips and tricks on snowshoeing, check out this blog post: Tips and Tricks for Snowshoeing.

In the Shuswap, Larch Hills Nordic Society and Skmana Nordic Club are the best places to snowshoe for well-marked, designated snowshoe trails.

Don’t have snowshoes, don’t worry! You can rent snowshoes for the whole family at John’s Ski Shack or Skookum Cycle & Ski in Salmon Arm.

The BEST Snowshoeing spots in the Shuswap:

Shuswap XC Ski and Snowshoeing Guide
Shuswap Trails: Snowshoeing

Photo 12_Shuswapadventuregirl
Photo 11_Shuswapadventuregirl
Photo 14_Shuswapadventuregirl


Cross Country Skiing
Cross-country skiers of all levels will appreciate the variety of skiable terrain and quality of track-set trails at our Nordic Clubs. Larch Hills Nordic Society is home to some of BC’s finest courses. With over 170 km of ski trails, 57 km of which are regularly groomed and illuminated trails, there is no shortage of variety for the outdoor enthusiast.

Skmana Ski and Snowshoe Club in the North Shuswap offers 18 km of track-set classic ski trails. All are well-marked and cover many natural forests, lakes, and streams.

For a more backcountry feel, Skimikin Lake is also known by locals for its snowshoe and cross-country skiing trails, including short looped Nordic trails near the lake and longer, more backcountry-style courses. A perfect place for beginners and children!
Plan your route: Skimikin Trails Map

Additional  Cross-Country Ski Trails:
Crowfoot Mountain and Mobley Lookout | North Shuswap | Rated most difficult | Ski on the old road/trail that was once part of the Old Big Bend Gold Rush Trail built in the 1800s.
For more information: Back Road Map Book Adventures

Around the Hill Greenway Loop | Larch Hills, Salmon Arm | Rated difficult | Ski a complete loop backcountry venture off-track or stay on connecting track set trails.

North Fork Wild | Malakwa, Sicamous | Rated easy to difficult | A designated conservation park where you can explore a short section of the old 1924 Pack Trail north of the park into older growth cedar hemlock forest.

Mount Rose-Swanson | Enderby, Armstrong | Rated easy to difficult | Ski a variety of forested loops. The trails are very well-marked.


Fat Biking
With massive tires giving incredible traction on snow, fat biking opens up a whole new world of exploring the trails on two wheels. Some of our best fat biking trails are found at South Canoe Trail System, where courses are groomed specifically for fat biking. For a complete list of track set trails and current conditions, Shuswap Cycling Club is the best resource. Skookum Cycle and Ski carries fat bikes and technical gear to get you biking all year around.

Winter Hiking Quick Tips

– Check the weather forecast, and know the terrain and trail conditions.
– Be prepared and always pack the ten essentials.
– Always leave a trip plan.

– Bring the right gear. Read more: Hiking 101 blog post

– Dress in layers. Be bold; start cold.

– Stay hydrated and keep your water from freezing.
– Bring a thermos with a warm drink and plenty of snacks.

– Keep your electronics warm. Batteries die in the cold quickly.
– Watch the time. Hiking and snowshoeing in the winter can take much longer.

– Be avalanche safe. Read more: Avalanche Canada.
– Plan your route here: Shuswap Trails


Know Before You Go
Shuswap Tourism strives to ensure Shuswap region visitors have the information and resources they need to make informed decisions while traveling in the Shuswap. 
We have compiled the list below to help ensure the utmost safety and information resources for our visitors and locals alike.

Please explore respectively. Plan ahead and prepare.

 

Make a trip plan and tell someone responsible where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Visit Adventure Smart: Get Informed on how to Stay Safe Outdoors

The Shuswap Trail Alliance: Trail Saftey and Etiquette
Be Adventure Smart:  Adventure Smart
Shuswap Tourism: Know Before You Go
Be Avvy Savvy: Avalance Canada
Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society: Trail Users
Wildsafe BC: Keeping wildlife wild and communities safe
Wildsafe BC: WildSafeBC Bear Safety When Recreating

Winter Waterfalls | Experience the icy wonderland

By Sarah Tokarek

www.shuswapadventuregirl.ca

Instagram  

We love winter in the Shuswap. Waterfalls transform into sculptural works of art and are a truly magical experience!  For a winter snowshoe adventure, a trip out to Albas Falls in Seymour Arm is for the intermediate recreator.  Margaret Falls is great for the whole family and is a winter wonderland! Notice how quiet the canyon sounds in the wintertime when the normal rush of water is muffled by ice. Watch for ice-climbers carefully making their way down Margaret Falls.
The sheer size of Kay Falls will have you in awe, especially when it is completely frozen. Other wonderful winter walks include Sicamous Creek Falls and Evelyn Falls in the North Shuswap. A pair of good hiking boots with microspikes will keep you safe and allow you to enjoy most winter trails.

Map your trip: Winter Waterfalls | Experience the icy wonderland

 

Know Before You Go
Shuswap Tourism strives to ensure Shuswap region visitors have the information and resources they need to make informed decisions while travelling in the Shuswap. 
We have compiled the list below to help ensure the utmost safety and information resources for our visitors and locals alike.

Please explore respectively. Plan ahead and prepare. 

 

Make a trip plan and tell someone responsible where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Visit Adventure Smart: Get Informed on how to Stay Safe Outdoors

The Shuswap Trail Alliance: Trail Saftey and Etiquette
Wildsafe BC: Keeping wildlife wild and communities safe
Wildsafe BC: WildSafeBC Bear Safety When Recreating
Shuswap Tourism: Know Before You Go
Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society: Trail Users

10 Ways to Enjoy Winter in the Shuswap | December Edition

By Sarah Tokarek

www.shuswapadventuregirl.ca

Instagram

Welcome to Secwepemcúl’ecw Territory.

The Shuswap is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Secwépemc Peoples.

Winter in the Shuswap brings endless possibilities.
Whether you are a backcountry enthusiast, a family looking for fun, or a first-timer, we have something for everyone this winter.

Embrace the cooler temperatures and capture the essence of winter while engaging with our community, connecting with nature, and spending the days outdoors.

Here’s our list of essential winter experiences you need to try this season!

1| Snowshoeing
When life gives you snow, go snowshoeing!

Once the snow accumulates and makes hiking trails too deep to access, Snowshoeing is a popular choice and is a great beginner’s sport because it takes minimal experience and is easy to learn.

Bundle up, grab those shoes and head out on one of the Shuswap’s spectacular winter and Nordic trails.

Larch Hills is a Nordic dream with over 170 km of cross-country ski trails and 17 km of snowshoe tracks. You will find warming huts on the course, a heated chalet at the parking lot, and even a dedicated dog trail. A more extended day trek up to Cec’s Cabin makes for an unforgettable backcountry trip, and you can ski and snowshoe at night on the illuminated trails.

The snowshoe and cross-country ski trails at Skmana Lake in the North Shuswap are well-marked and family-friendly. In addition, there is approximately 18 km of Nordic winter trails around the forest and lake, plus a warming hut to cozy up, have a fire and take a break.

Don’t have snowshoes, don’t worry! You can rent snowshoes for the whole family at John’s Ski Shack or Skookum Cycle & Ski in Salmon Arm.

The BEST Snowshoeing spots in the Shuswap are found here:
Shuswap XC Ski and Snowshoeing Guide
Shuswap Trails

2| Sliding

As far as winter sports go, sliding and tobogganing are at the top of the family fun list! Something about zipping down a hill or zooming through a forest can enliven our spirits.

The Shuswap offers great sliding hills and winter play places to take on these timeless and exhilarating family traditions.
Load the sleighs, start the car, and hit the hills!

Some of our favorite winter play places offer sliding hills, amenities, picnic tables, and designated firepits. Skimikin Lake is surrounded by sliding hills and provides a full day of old-fashioned outdoor fun. White Lake is a great go-to spot for winter sliding; the mountain behind the playground and bike park offers an exhilarating ride. Locals know that Larch Hills has an excellent tobogganing hill beside the north side of the parking lot.

It is always a good idea to wear a helmet when tobogganing, and please respect private property.

3| Ice Skating

The ultimate Canadian pastime, ice skating is a great way to enjoy the crisp winter air with family and friends. 

We are so lucky, here in the Shuswap, to have a great selection of both maintained and natural outdoor rinks, each one offering a new and unique experience.

Silver Creek Community Park and Farrell’s Field in the North Shuswap are two of the best outdoor rinks by Columbia Shuswap Regional District. And a recent addition to the outdoor rink circuit, Sorrento-Blind Bay Community Park has a maintained rink and snow-plowed, forested walking trail around the park’s perimeter. 

Farrell’s Field in Celista boasts 17,000 square feet of ice. The rink is beautifully lit at night, and the music plays, creating a magical winter experience under the stars.

If old man winter chooses to cooperate and weather conditions are favorable, ice rinks can be found on our local lakes like White Lake, Gardom Lake, and Skimikin Lake.

The Shaw Centre at Salmon Arm Recreation, The Art Holding Memorial Arena in Chase, and The Sicamous & District Recreation Centre are indoor ice rinks that offer public skating.

Always consider the risks of skating on natural ice before heading out.
See information on ice safety from the following resources:
Canadian Red Cross Ice Safety
Adventure Smart BC Ice Safety

4|  Ice Fishing

The Shuswap offers exceptional year-round fishing, and winter is no exception!

Local hot spots like White Lake, Skimikin Lake, Hidden Lake, Gardom Lake, and Paul Lake transform into wintery wonderlands and community gathering spots. Ice fishing is fun for the whole family at these easily accessible spots.

Don’t forget that you’ll need a BC Fishing Licence.

Please, always consider the risks of recreating on natural ice.

See information on ice safety from the following resources:

Canadian Red Cross Ice Safety

Adventure Smart BC Ice Safety

5| Cross-Country Skiing

Two great ingredients for a fantastic family day are fun and exercise! If traversing through old-growth forests or around a frozen lake is your winter style, the Shuswap has hundreds of kilometers of cross-country trails to explore.

Cross-country skiers of all levels will appreciate the variety of skiable terrain and quality of track-set trails at our Nordic Clubs. Larch Hills Nordic Society is home to some of BC’s finest courses. With over 170 km of ski trails, 57 km of which are regularly groomed and illuminated trails, there is no shortage of variety for the outdoor enthusiast.

Skmana Ski and Snowshoe Club in the North Shuswap offers 18 km of track-set classic ski trails. All are well-marked and cover many natural forests, lakes, and streams.

For a more backcountry feel, Skimikin Lake is also known by locals for its snowshoe and cross-country skiing trails, including short looped Nordic trails near the lake and longer, more backcountry-style courses. A perfect place for beginners and children!
Plan your route: Skimikin Trails Map

6| Winter Wonderland Walks

Walking in a winter wonderland….sounds like a mid-winter dream!

What better way to enjoy the stillness of the winter landscape…the frosty lake, the dusted mountains, the evergreen canopies, or the sound of the snow crunching underfoot. Here are a few of our favorite family festive walks in the Shuswap.

Eagle River Nature Trail | Sicamous
This is an easy, super enjoyable, family-friendly, flat pathway with 6 km of well-marked loop trails through old-growth stands of the Cottonwoods, Hemlock, and Cedars.

Waterfront Raven Trail & Christmas Island | Salmon Arm
One of Salmon Arms’ best waterfront wildlife viewing trails with incredible views of Shuswap Lake.

McGuire Lake | Salmon Arm
A stroller and wheelchair-accessible paved path looping a natural lake in the heart of Salmon Arm. This a great family stroll and a place for littles to explore!

Herald Provincial Park & Margaret Falls | Sunnybrae
A perfect winter adventure through a fairy-tale-like forest and frozen waterfall. This is a favorite family destination in the Shuswap.

Syphon Falls | Gleneden Salmon Arm
A short hiking trail to a beautiful hidden waterfall tucked in the forest. 

The Salmon Arm Wharf | Salmon Arm
Salmon Arm features the largest curved wooden wharf in North America. Sunsets are spectacular here, and the twinkling city lights glisten on the water at night, making a perfect backdrop for a hot chocolate and winter stroll.

Winter Waterfalls | Shuswap
In the winter, waterfalls turn into ice, transforming into an icy wonderland. A curated winter waterfall tour awaits you!

Plan your route here: Shuswap Trails
*For personal safety, it is essential to consider your footwear’s ice and snow traction capabilities. Adding tractions to your boots will not only help navigate slippery terrain, but they may also prevent a fall. Winter tractions: What to use and wear to buy locally

7|  Winter Traditions

The busy holiday season is upon us! From sleigh rides and holiday trains to community light-ups and Christmas parades, we love all things merry and bright! 

This December, feel the joyful moments in our communities. In Salmon Arm, be sure to visit the pop-up Christmas trees downtown! Decorated Christmas trees sponsored by local businesses adorn the streets, offering a special treat or gift, and are interactive. Shop windows, historic landmarks, and charming lamp posts are decorated in festive trimmings and bows. Take a stroll while shopping locally in our beautiful downtown!

Walters Sleigh Rides in Notch Hill is a delightful way to spend the afternoon for all ages, and freshly baked cinnamon buns are just one of the holiday highlights.
Caravan Farm Theatre is a sleigh ride show that is a beloved winter holiday tradition. 

Locals love the annual CP Holiday Train that rolls through the Sicamous, Salmon Arm, and Notch Hill on December 15th. The North Shuswap Santa Parade is on December 9th, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.  

Local tree farms offer festive fun, including hot chocolate and scavenger hunts. This year, consider getting your Christmas tree from any of our U-Cut tree farms. Jespersen Solvang Tree Farm, Smith’s Christmas Tree Farm, and Jim’s U-Cut Christmas Tree Farm are open and ready for the season. If you prefer to pick out a pre-cut tree, Demill’s Farm Market and Pedro’s Farm Market offer fresh-cut trees in various species and sizes. 

Taste of the Shuswap is doing a fantastic job keeping us up to date on local happenings in the Shuswap, and you can find the up-to-date information here: Taste of the Shuswap  

8 | Celebrate Winter Solstice |  December 21st

The enchantment of the winter solstice may mean something different to everyone. It marks the beginning of the astronomical winter and is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Traditionally, fire and light help warm and bring comfort during this celebration. 

We invite you to get outdoors and try a new activity, a nighttime hike, gazing at the stars, a beach bonfire, a winter walk, or even a cold water immersion.
Light the night and celebrate solstice! 

9| See The Sparkle

This holiday season, locals are excited about the third annual Shuswap Holiday Twinkle Trail, which is an online, interactive Christmas lights map featuring homes and businesses lit up to help fill our festive buckets! The map is the perfect way to plan your magical family outings and get in the season’s spirit. 

Blind Bay residents Rebecca and Thomas Goode show they care by creating this festive map for all to enjoy. Shuswap Holiday Twinkle Trail Map

To get on the map, send your name and address to rebecca@unrefined.ca.

10|  Have An Old Fashioned Family Day

As lakes freeze and snow piles up, an insatiable appetite for nostalgic and timeless fun emerges. One of the best things about winter is an old-fashioned family day, playing hockey, snowmobiling, and classic ice fishing in our sparkling outdoors!

Gathering fireside with a warm picnic or hotdog roast with friends and family captures those simplistic holiday memories.
Engaging with your community by involving neighbours or committing to acts of kindness and giving to charity are timeless. Visiting Santa at the mall, writing Christmas cards, and carolling with your family is what memories are truly made of.

Let’s spend the day falling in love with the joys of winter, the happiness of the holidays, and the magic of the Shuswap! 



Text content

Fun Food In The Shuswap!

Ok so the sun is in the sky nine hours a day and most ice cream shops have closed for the season but that doesn’t mean we don’t have some super fun places to eat because fall and winter in the Shuswap offers a whole new way to enjoy cosy, comfort and cheerful!

Shuswap Tourism challenged us to develop an itinerary that is fun and can last all winter so here goes.  We grouped our finds into “adult fun” and “kid & family fun”.  We reached out to our friends who are moms, Sarah from Shuswap Adventure Girl and Angela from Shuswap Shop Local for some help because our kind of fun definitely falls in the adult category.  We also crowd sourced on our Instagram @TasteoftheShuswap.  Their ideas (and ours too) we think are awesome and we hope you do too!

Here goes!

While once a roll up the carpet by five town, Salmon Arm is getting hip and we now boast some pretty awesome downtown local date night spots.

We recently had a wonderful experience at The Night Café. Opened in the fall of 2020, Adam and Jenna Meikle have created an eclectic, warm and stunningly beautiful space that mixes powerful art and delicious food. There is absolutely nothing like it anywhere in the Shuswap and it should be on everyone’s must do fun list. The menu is perfectly unpretentious incorporating smoked brisket done on site and tasty flatbread pizzas. The cocktails are dreamy and we loved their wine list offers patrons something different but remaining local to BC when they can. I had a perfect glass of rosé from Quails Gate which paired so nicely with my Greek pizza which was topped with smoked chicken and was smoking good! Carson Meikle was at the bar and also is the crepe master. Our Nutella with bananas and strawberries was a perfect end to a perfect date night.

No strangers to hospitality, Hanoi 36 owners Jenny and Michael Vu opened Weekends Restaurant & Lounge on Alex this October. “Fun and Fresh Dining” is their tag line and by all accounts its true as they introduce unique flavours to the Shuswap featuring poutines, French rolled sandwiches and shared plates. I am most excited to try their fried chicken which is receiving rave reviews and we love they have partnered with local artisans Inspired Breads and Flaked Pastry to complement their menu. Their décor has been developed with local artisans including a gorgeous cherry blossom painting, a living wall and a colourful sunset mural.

_DSC5208

We were excited to hear that downtown Salmon Arm coffee favourite Anvil recently received their liquor license and will be opening later offering yet another casual fun vibe place to hang in the Shuswap. Speaking of hangouts, Marionette Winery hosts a very cool winter lounge on the weekends complete with fire pit, mulled wine and tunes.


If you’re looking for laughs paired with great food you can’t beat Small Axe Roadhouse in Enderby. We absolutely love their honest view of the world and their funky decor. Their food is so creative, delicious and fun. I mean how can you go wrong with menu items like The Crispy Kenny Rogers (a finger licking chicken burger) and Sweet Dreams are Made of Cheese, Who am I to Diss A Brie, I mean come on, you know you’re going to have so much fun!

Rachel and Les Biernacki owners of Ranchers Pizzeria & Bar in Blind Bay have created a place where “everybody knows your name” and the welcoming vibe is so awesome. They serve up really, I mean really good pizza, local wine and beer and if the Oilers are playing you can count on the game being on the big screen and Les sporting his jersey. But don’t hold that against him and to be fair, they offer a discount for anyone wearing any jersey on Saturday Hockey Night in Canada. We have had so many great times at Ranchers, and you will too!

Nothing is more fun on the North Shore than time at the Scotch Creek Hub. Live music, comedians and more paired with local beverages including Nigel’s favourite Crannog Ale Back Hand of God on tap. We love that their burgers are served with really fun choice of sides including baked beans with marshmallows on top and mac and cheese! Their specialties come from The Hub Smoke House which makes pretty much anything taste delicious.

While all the suggestions for date night are welcoming to children and families, there are some super fun places that mix fun and food especially for kids!

They may not cover all the food groups, but the Candy Vault is high on fun and we love their seasonal window displays. It is soooooo hard to decide which treat we want when we visit, I guess the answer is to visit all the time!

Our Moms tell us that Hungry Panda in Salmon Arm is a regular go to when kids are in tow. What kid doesn’t like to slurp out of a box with chopsticks and the quality ingredients mean that they are getting their veggies if they know it or not! So are you a noodle or a rice lover? At Hungry Panda you can have both and they have special Kids Boxes at very affordable prices.

Have you been to Sanctuary Games new location yet? They have more room which means more games and more events! Kids love going there and we love that they offer bubble tea which flavours change with the season. Fall offers include Maple Spice, Vanilla Spice, Caramel Apple Butter and you know it …. Pumpkin Spice! Perhaps a treat spot after great behaviour?

Sarah and Angela tell us that sometimes you need to some “to go” options and we hear that the “mac and cheese” at Blind Bay Village Grocer is a special favourite. Do your kids love Greek food? We love Stratis Mediterranean in Sorrento and their takeout is fast and yummy.

We could go on but writing about all this fun and fantastic food is making us hungry so we will sign off here and encourage you to get out, make it a date or a family event, but get out and make the most of fall and winter in the Shuswap. The Tastes here are amazing!

ranchers pizzeria
Scotch Creek Hub

Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition

By Sarah Tokarek

www.shuswapadventuregirl.ca

Instagram

 

Welcome to Secwepemcúl’ecw Territory.

The Shuswap is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Secwépemc Peoples.

 

Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition

Fall and early winter in the Shuswap are a time for adventure and connection. The coziest season is here and is the perfect time to soak up the golden afternoon sun, ever-changing lake views, and our unforgettable landscapes.
Whether you love to snuggle up in the warm glow of a fire, embrace the great outdoors or find that special moment with friends and family, here in the Shuswap, we invite you to step into the beauty of the season.

Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition
Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition

Here are our top 5 ways to warm up, snuggle up and get cozy!

1. Warm Up in a Cozy Coffee Shop

The Shuswap is bustling with fall delights; whether it’s a signature hot cocoa or specialty coffee, our locally-owned cafes and eateries will keep you toasty! Stay awhile or bring a few cozy blankets, get it to-go and pick a scenic spot to have warm drinks and sweet treats.

Around Town
Salmon Arm has a vibrant downtown brimming with time-honored cafes offering an extensive array of wholesome good eats. Anvil Coffee Collective, Ecotreats, Forage General, Shuswap Pie Company, and The Pink Cherry are our favorite coffee shops for your perfect warm-up. The Salmon Arm hot chocolate trail is designed for kids and those who are kids at heart!

When visiting the South Shuswap, Sprokkets Cafe is made-from-scratch goodness. And if vintage motorcycles spark your interest, the museum is a local favorite for adults and kids.
At Steamers Coffee Co in Sorrento, take your coffee to-go and browse the neighboring Shuswap Artisan Market. Or, for a quiet moment in nature, head to the North Shuswap and take a riverside stroll in the renowned Tsútswecw Provincial Park to savor your sips.

The village of Chase has a colorful downtown where you can find wholesome homespun bakeries. Craigs Bakery & Deli and Natty Cakes Confectionery & Bakeshop are local favorites. The waterfront Memorial park and iconic red wharf are great places to enjoy your sweet treats and good eats lake-side.

2. Relax and Unwind Fireside

In the Shuswap, relaxation and a deep connection to the outdoors are among our specialties. What better way to enjoy the casual and cozy feeling this season than gathering fire-side with your nearest and dearest in our great outdoors?

A few of our favorite places to have a responsible campfire this season include recreation sites, warming cabins and huts, and our own backyards!

Best Places to Have a Campfire

In the South Shuswap, Skimikin Lake is a family favorite. With designated firepits, over 100 km of hiking trails, and spectacular scenery, it is ideal for gathering fireside and spending the day.

The village of Falkland is surrounded by easily accessible recreation sites that offer an inviting place to beat the chill and bring the autumn glow with a crackling fire. Check out Bolean Lake, Pillar Lake, Joyce Lake, and Chase Creek Recreation Sites.

Travel to the North Shuswap and discover one of the hidden gems of the Shuswap! Skmana Lake offers a year-round lakeside spot for a fire and a welcoming hike-in cabin with a beautiful handcrafted, dedicated firepit area.

**Always use BC Recreation Sites and Trails Responsibly. Do not leave campfires unattended. Before leaving, extinguish fires and make sure the campfire bed is cool to the touch. Know the Rules

Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition
Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition

 

3. Shop and Stroll the Charming Streets

As the air becomes crisper and the days shorter, the lure of warm shops and festive window displays welcome us to discover fall indoors. Spend the day strolling through charming bookstores, artisan shops, unique mercantiles, specialty boutiques, and lively nosheries.

Around Town

The communities of the Shuswap each offer their own unique downtown experience. In Sicamous, Main Street Landing is in the heart of downtown and offers a lovely waterfront stroll along with a selection of locally-owned shops and boutiques. Enjoy Enderby’s downtown charm and quaint stores on Cliff Ave.

The historic downtown of Chase is pleasing to walk and has a variety of specialty stores and restaurants. Blind Bay and Sorrento in the South Shuswap is a lively scene with pop-up markets, artisan shops, wellness boutiques, and a fantastic array of restaurants.

In Salmon Arm, vibrant shops line the streets of downtown where the perfect textured blanket, warm sweater, artisan mugs, locally made gifts, and more can be discovered.

 4. Take the Scenic Route

November often brings drizzling and grey days in the Shuswap, and what better way to stay warm while enjoying the scenery than a road trip? No matter which direction you choose, the Shuswap is bursting with notable routes filled with picture-perfect views, historical stops, epic lookouts, numerous trailheads, and some tasty lunch options!

New sights and experiences are around each bend, and these are some of our favorites.


1. Sunnybrae Canoe-Point Road- A scenic lakeside drive to Margaret Falls. A family-favorite fairytale-like destination, and the journey there is nothing short of spectacular.

2. The North Shuswap is located on the north side of Shuswap Lake and is accessed by the Squilax-Anglemont Road, just off Highway. Our curated Waterfall Tour will guide you on an epic day of exploring waterfalls in the North Shuswap!

3. Notch Hill. Who doesn’t love a good story? Take a delightful autumn drive along the countryside in historic Notch Hill. The rustic farms, charming old homes, and landmarks tell a beautiful story of a once-bustling railway town’s fascinating past.

4. The journey along Eagle Bay Road to Wildrose Bay is stunning. Panoramic views of Shuswap lake and Copper Island adorn most of this route. A quick, forested hike to Wildrose Bay at the Community Park is well worth the drive.

5. For anyone chasing iconic Shuswap views without the hike, Sicamous Lookout, Fly Hills Rotary Skyview Lookout or Bastion Mountain are among our most accessible.

Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition
Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition

5. Plan Heart-Warming Experiences

November is the ultimate time to start planning for the busy holiday season ahead. Here in the Shuswap, we love all things winter! From dashing through the snow to idyllic cabin getaways, ice-skating on a frozen lake, or finding the joys of simplicity. We welcome you to find your new traditions or recreate your favored ones.

Around Town

Walters Sleigh Rides in Notch Hill is a delightful way to spend the afternoon for all ages, and freshly baked cinnamon buns are just one of the holiday highlights! Caravan Farm Theatre is a sleigh ride show that is a beloved winter holiday tradition. Book your spots now to avoid disappointment.

Locals love the annual CP Holiday Train that merrily rolls through the Sicamous, Salmon Arm, and Notch Hill on December 15th.


If a holiday workshop sparks your interest, Rustic Wedding and High Country Tree Farm offers fun and festive Christmas greenery-making workshops!

Community halls are often historic and offer joyful events in the months of November and December. Find nostalgia in craft fairs, artisan markets, bake sales, and kid’s holiday parties.


Is an idyllic cabin retreat on your wish list? Tin Poppy Retreat, Bluebird Chalets, or White Lake Cabins are just a few of our favorite Shuswap abodes. For a unique backcountry stay, Grizzly Lodge in the North Shuswap offers an exceptional snowmobiling experience. If you are looking for big mountains and big snow in the backcountry, Sicamous hosts some of the best alpine snowmobiling in Western Canada.

Here is a great list of Shuswap cottages and cabins for your winter stay.

Five Ways to Get Cozy in the Shuswap | November Edition

7 Celebrations – Reconnect in the Thompson Okanagan

In the Thompson Okanagan, we are lucky enough to live in an incredible place that is composed of diverse communities and cultures. Here, we believe in sharing what we love about this region with each other and our visitors. Now that travel and the ability to reconnect are possible, you are invited to the 7 Celebrations events to reconnect throughout the communities of the Thompson Okanagan.

7 Celebrations was named after the 7 Affirmations for 7 Generations Thompson Okanagan Pledge that was inspired by Indigenous philosophy that the actions we make today will have a lasting impact for 7 generations to come. We will celebrate the traditions, stories, and cultures of the region’s communities so they can live on for years to come.

Reconnecting in the Shuswap

North Shuswap October 26-27, 2022 Get Tickets
Sicamous October 28-29, 2022 Get Tickets
Salmon Arm November 3-5, 2022 Get Tickets

Celebrate culture and tradition in the Shuswap as 100 km of the region come together to host a series of events in the North Shuswap, Sicamous, and Salmon Arm. This series of events will feature cultural performances, Indigenous story tellers, local and Indigenous artisans, and a continued theme of welcoming the Sockeye Salmon home through the Uninterrupted Virtual Reality experience narrated by Dr. Mary Thomas.

Shuswap Tourism report reflects on 2021, seeks committee advisors

CSRD PRESS RELEASE

Shuswap Tourism looked back at the tumultuous 2021 season in an Annual Review, presented to the Board at the September meeting. 

But they are also looking towards the future, as they are seeking new volunteer tourism industry members for a revitalized Shuswap Tourism Advisory Committee which will help set the stage for the next five-year Strategic Plan.

The Annual Review is available on both the CSRD and Shuswap Tourism websites, and recaps the challenging circumstances faced by the tourism sector including the effects of the pandemic, wildfires, atmospheric rivers and highway washouts.

Despite the obstacles, Shuswap Tourism ran six major marketing campaigns including the promotion of trails, a re-connecting with family campaign, marketing the BC Ale Trail, a Let’s Ride BC sledding promotion and Get Into BC microsite partnership with Golden and Revelstoke to provide information regarding Trans-Canada Highway construction and closures.

Their efforts produced more than eight million impressions on social media and other platforms. In addition, the Shuswap ranked #99 in the world as a Most-Loved Destination based on the Tourism Sentiment Index.

As Shuswap Tourism moves forward, guided by new Team Leader Morgen Matheson, expressions of interest are currently being sought for the refreshed Shuswap Tourism Advisory Committee. This committee will include 10 members representing the tourism industry in the Shuswap region.

“We need to hear directly from those people working in the tourism sector, to ensure we can meet their needs and work to overcome challenges facing tourism operators,” says Matheson. “We are looking for industry members who can share their expertise as we plan for the future.”

Potential members will need to fill out an online Expression of Interest form available at the Shuswap Tourism page of the CSRD website. The deadline is October 31, 2022.

View printable copy (PDF)

Sipping Around the Shuswap Guest Blog From Taste of the Shuswap

Margaret & Nigel explore and share their Shuswap culinary discoveries.

 

With picturesque mountains, green pastures, sweet apple orchards, and stunning lake vineyards, it’s a region ripe with flavour and we love nothing more than to sip our way around the Shuswap!

Our climate produces beautiful wine from northern grape varieties, crisp bright ciders from local fruit and is the home to sustainable organic breweries and creative craft distilleries. Shuswap magic makers put their own spin on the finest ingredients resulting in a delightful culinary journey where no two visits are the same. In fact, collectively the Shuswap is home to 9 wineries, 3 cideries, 3 breweries and 2 distilleries. You can taste something different at every stop.

Let’s start our sipping tour in the North Shuswap with a visit to Celista Estate Winery.

Northyards Cider Co.

While each winery is unique and has its own microclimate, one thing that all Shuswap wineries have in common is that they grow predominantly cool climate varieties which makes sense because the Shuswap is one of the most northerly grape growing regions in North America. In fact, Celista Estate Winery is THE most northern grape growing winery.

On a visit to Celista you may meet up owner Jake and enjoy one of his personalized vineyard tours where you will learn about grapes best grown in the Shuswap. Ortega, Kerner and Siegerrebe are three of the more unique vines you will find and Jake will teach you how to pronounce Siegerrebe properly! After the tour enjoy a tasting flight with some locally made cheese, crackers and spreads, all available for purchase at the wine shop. With views of the vines and glimpses of Shuswap Lake you’ll never want to leave.

Leave you must though as there are so many special places to explore and sips to enjoy! Returning to the South Shuswap a must stop is Crannóg Ales, Canada’s first Certified Organic microbrewery. If you haven’t tasted their signature brew, the Backhand of God, you’re in for a treat. Brian and Rebecca brew only organic ales from their own hops and focus on quality and socially responsible practises. We also love that the spent grains left over from the brewing process are used to feed the farm animals. If you’re lucky you may also get a chance to buy Rebecca’s home grown paprika. It’s so good.

A short trip to Sunnybrae and your sipping tour brings you to Sunnybrae Vineyards & Winery and Ricochet Brewing. Situated side by side on the shores of Shuswap Lake at the base of Bastion Mountain, these artisans share a love of flavourful delicious thirst quenching beverages. If you visit Sunnybrae on the weekend you are more than likely to enjoy tasty treats from a food truck and sounds of a local musician. Head out on the deck overlooking the lake and try their small batch single vineyard estate grown Pinot Noir or award winning Ortega. A light yellow skinned grape the Ortega has strong floral aromas and fruit forward, sweet taste and is often used in blends because of this sweet aroma and taste. Don’t forget to stop in at the Shuswap’s newest brewery Ricochet if the gate sales sign is up. If not, you’ll find the regions only canned craft brew at any local licensed liquor store including Tappen Co-op just down the road. Nigel’s favourite is Fire House Red Ale which is dedicated to all the local volunteer fire departments and first responders.

Are you a cider fan? We’ve got three in the region you are going to love, each with its own special experience. Head south to Farmstrong Cider. As you pull up the driveway you are instantly transported back in time as the gorgeous renovated heritage barn with its colourful patchwork roof comes into view. With apples grown right on the property, Farmstrong offers a wide range of ciders which we love to pair with house specialty pickle pizza! From there return to Northyards Cider Co. and Shuswap Cidery both in Salmon Arm. Northyards is located in the old Hanna Orchard and you can sip cider maker Alison’s traditionally made beverages right out in the orchard. You can even stay in the cutest little cabin or bring your trailer and camp. Shuswap Cidery offers an urban environment at the Westgate Public Market where you can enjoy a variety of cider including my favourite – haskap which pairs nicely with wood fired pizza.

In and around Salmon Arm you don’t have to go far to find several lovely vineyards. Larch Hills was the first winery to be established in the Shuswap and a visit there is something special as being the highest elevated winery in North America, the views are spectacular. Marionette, located on the North Broadview Bench has a unique terroir allowing winemaker Jamie to grow unique to this region grape varieties. If you can get it, the rosé is spectacular. Marionette has become a must stop for locals who love the weekend lounge featuring music and tacos. It has fast become a popular hangout place.

Marionette Winery

The Shuswap also offers some of the most affordable wines available. Waterside is a fun little winery just north of Enderby who’s labels like Sex in a Bottle are meant to be lighthearted and light on the wallet. You’ll find more price friendly wines at Edge of the Earth and Recline Ridge. Often sold out, affordable and award winning boutique Ovino Winery takes advantage of the sun drenched bench in the Salmon Valley. Don’t forget to pick up a jar or two of their delicious homemade hot pepper wine jelly. A perfect addition to your charcuterie platter!

Shuswap now boasts two craft distilleries, After Dark Distillery in Sicamous and Shuswap Highland Stills in Salmon Arm. After Dark offers a wide range of gin, vodka and whisky and flavoured moonshine liquors. My favourite is the Pickle Shine which is the perfect Caesar solution. How Canadian! Shuswap Highland Stills is brand new and excited to offer small batch vodka spirits and liquors made from apples grown right on their farm. How cool is that! Their Wee Nip coffee liquor features Shuswap Coffee Co. and is gives an iced coffee a nice little kick. Look for their tasting room to open soon.

Wrapping up our Sip the Shuswap tour back in Salmon Arm we always enjoy a visit to Barley Station Brew Pub. Serving their own brews, they offer something for everyone from ales to pilsners to stout. The menu is fantastic and we are big fans of their fish and chips. The Barley Station donates ten cents from every sleeve of Shuswap Trail IPA bought at the pub to the Shuswap Trail Alliance. We love their community spirit.

Thinking about your next tasting trip? We highly recommend you consider the Shuswap where you will find an abundance of delicious offerings combined with warm hospitality and relaxed charm. Shuswap Lake provides the picture perfect backdrop to enjoy one of our many artisan beverages with your outdoor picnic or patio lunch. Come and sip the Shuswap!

Relax, Rejuvenate and Refresh | Experience the waterfalls without the hike!

By Sarah Tokarek

www.shuswapadventuregirl.ca

Instagram  

If hiking is not your interest, but waterfalls are, let us help get you there! This itinerary of easy-to-reach, accessible waterfalls will immerse you in nature while enjoying some of our best waterfalls and water-related trails.


Salmon Arm & South Shuswap
Waterfall

Margaret Falls is a short and stunning walk. It is a wide-flat pathway leading to a safe viewing platform. The trail is wheelchair accessible and is great for children and strollers.

Water Trail

McGuire Lake Park is a gem located in the center of Salmon Arm with a beautiful fountain and lush gardens. The park is a popular place to walk and have picnic lunches. There is a paved walkway around the perimeter of the park that is wheelchair accessible.

Sicamous & East Shuswap
Waterfall
Sicamous Creek Falls and Kay Falls offer very short and easy access to scenic waterfalls. These are not stroller or wheelchair friendly and may challenge those with mobility issues. They are child friendly and will take under 20 minutes each to enjoy!

Sicamous Lookout, Sicamous B.C. Photo credit: Shayla Coates

Lake Views
Sicamous Lookout is accessed by a vehicle on a Forest Service Road, requiring no hiking.
The expansive vistas of Shuswap Lake, Mara Lake, The Eagle River, Mara Mountain, and the colorful town of Sicamous are showcased from this iconic viewpoint.

 

Chase & The North Shuswap
Water Fall
Chase Creek Falls is an easy 10-minute out-and-back walk to an impressive waterfall. Kids and adults alike will love this easily accessible falls close to the bustling village of Chase. 


River Trail
From the main parking lot in Tsútswecw Provincial Park, a short, easy pathway leads to the Salmon viewing platform.
Tsútswecw Provincial Park is located on both sides of the Adams River, between Adams Lake and Shuswap Lake. This trail system is well marked, easily navigated, and provides light routes to wander around. It also boasts one of the best spots to view the world-renowned Adams River Sockeye Salmon annual run. The next Salute to the Sockeye event starts September 30th, 2022.

Map your trip: Experience the waterfalls without hiking

Know Before You Go
Shuswap Tourism strives to ensure Shuswap region visitors have the information and resources they need to make informed decisions while travelling in the Shuswap. 
We have compiled the list below to help ensure the utmost safety and information resources for our visitors and locals alike.

Please explore respectively. Plan ahead and prepare. 

Make a trip plan and tell someone responsible where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Visit Adventure Smart: Get Informed on how to Stay Safe Outdoors

The Shuswap Trail Alliance: Trail Saftey and Etiquette
Wildsafe BC: Keeping wildlife wild and communities safe
Wildsafe BC: WildSafeBC Bear Safety When Recreating
Shuswap Tourism: Know Before You Go
Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society: Trail User

A Four Falls Family Tour | Sicamous & East Shuswap

By Sarah Tokarek

www.shuswapadventuregirl.ca

Instagram  

 

This itinerary will surely fill your family’s adventure bucket! All four waterfalls can easily be ticked off in a day and are equally as beautiful in the wintertime.

Kay Falls

Start your day with a visit to Sicamous Creek Falls. Located a short drive off of Vernon-Sicamous Highway 97A just outside of Sicamous.

The short walking trails surrounding Sicamous Creek offer a refreshing scene to enjoy the mist of a waterfall, explore the diverse forest and have a picnic.

The village of Sicamous is lively and can provide you with all of the amenities you might need for your day of fun, out chasing waterfalls! Sicamous is also home to many well-marked, interesting, family-friendly nature trails. Marvel at the giant cedars along the Eagle River on the Eagle River Nature Trail, immerse yourself in an ecological reserve at North Fork Wild or walk into the Eagle River Estuary.

The popular attraction of Crazy Creek Falls & Suspension Bridge is a family favorite on the bucket list! Allow plenty of time here to explore.

Next on the list is the easy roadside stop of Kay Falls. Be careful when pulling on and off the highway here.  Kay Falls thunders with amazing force down 187 feet from the Monashee Mountains. This beautiful waterfall not only gets you completely soaked, but it will have you in awe of its sheer size!

Finally, make your way along Highway to Three Valley Gap, the most Eastern reach of the Shuswap region. The historic Three Valley Lake Chateau and Heritage Ghost Town are located on the beautiful banks of Three Valley Lake. The waterfalls to

Crazy Creek Falls

explore here are located on the Wap Lake forest service road. Frog Falls plunge and chute with force down the cliff and through the canyon. 

Map your trip:  A Four Falls Family Waterfall Tour | Sicamous & East Shuswap

Know Before You Go
Shuswap Tourism strives to ensure Shuswap region visitors have the information and resources they need to make informed decisions while travelling in the Shuswap. 
We have compiled the list below to help ensure the utmost safety and information resources for our visitors and locals alike.

Please explore respectively. Plan ahead and prepare. 

Make a trip plan and tell someone responsible where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Visit Adventure Smart: Get Informed on how to Stay Safe Outdoors

The Shuswap Trail Alliance: Trail Saftey and Etiquette
Wildsafe BC: Keeping wildlife wild and communities safe
Wildsafe BC: WildSafeBC Bear Safety When Recreating
Shuswap Tourism: Know Before You Go
Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society: Trail Users