This trail goes through a protected Blue Heron bird sanctuary developed by the Friends of Parks and Trails in 1996. It’s designed as a self-guided interpretive trail with stops along the route. Visit friendsoftrails.org for a guide pamphlet. Trailhead: Old Mill Road and Brilliant Road. Distance: 1.5 km/0.9 miles. Difficulty: Easy.
Starting at the Castlegar Golf Club parking lot, this trail climbs up the mountain and eventually connects with a large trail system. The trail offers views of the Kootenay River and valley below. Trailhead: 1602 Aaron Road, Ootischenia. Distance: 2.5 km/1.5 miles. Difficulty: Easy. Not bike-friendly.
This shaded trail loops around Champion Ponds. It’s a great trail for birdwatching and offers beautiful views of the Columbia River valley. Fall offers great colours and in winter this trail is popular for snowshoeing. Trailhead: Viewpoint along Highway 3 toward Salmo. Distance: 5 km/3 miles loop. Difficulty: Challenging bike, intermediate hike.
This trail network includes 15 km of trails through forest and along the Columbia River, offering great views of Castlegar and Zuckerberg Island. Trailhead: Frank Beinder Way (at Rosedale Road) or from the campus parking lot. Distance: 15 km/9 miles. Difficulty: Easy/moderate.
The hiking network contains three trails: Big Cedar Trail, Merry Valley Trail, and the Columbia Trail. A pleasant 5 km walk through a dense forest followed by a climb to a fine view of Castlegar and the Columbia Valley. Cyclists have three dedicated trails: Merry Go Round, Hail Merry, and Mr. Greenjeans and Captain Kangaroo. Trailhead: 2 km off Highway 3 on Merry Creek Forest Service Road. Distance: 5 km. Difficulty: Easy (hiking) and intermediate/advanced (biking).
Pass Creek is a very diverse watershed. Rainbow trout can be seen spawning in the spring; kokanee in September, and mountain whitefish in the fall. Dogs must be leashed. Trailhead: Parkside Road at the campground. Distance: 1.5 km loop. Difficulty: Easy.
Little McPhee waterfall
This trail follows the original Doukhobor workers’ trail from Brilliant Dam. The trail drops into the creek bed, which is followed upstream for a short distance. A short extension of the trail ends at the plunge pool of the scenic waterfall. The waterfall is best in spring and early summer when water runoff is high; later in the season, the creek flow is significantly reduced. Trailhead: From Brilliant substation parking lot, follow Skattebo Reach trail for 2.25 km. Distance: 2.3 km one- way. Difficulty: Intermediate.
For more information about biking trails, check local bike shop Cycology at 926 Columbia Avenue or call