Boswell is a small community residing on the east shore of Kootenay Lake between Crawford Bay and Creston. Included in this community is Destiny Bay that offers relaxation, stunning views across the lake to the Selkirk Mountains, and opportunities to paddle and canoe.
This area along Kootenay Lake is home to an abundance of birds and wildlife - drivers must look out for wild turkeys on the road, as well as deer. Sandy beaches, nature walks, alpine meadows and hiking in the mountains are all easily accessible.
Kootenay Lake is one of the largest lakes in the region at 120 km (90 mi) long. As such it attracts many locals and visitors to enjoy the warm waters. Fishing for trout, spending relaxing days kayaking to some of the many secluded bays along the shore, going for a dip in the clear waters are just a few ways to enjoy lazy days on the lake.
Boswell is located on Highway 3A on the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake, 38 km (24 mi) south of the eastern terminal of the Kootenay Lake Ferry at Kootenay Bay, and 44 km (28 mi) north of Creston.
Boswell is home to this busy and interesting gallery. Providing a showcase for local artists, visitors will appreciate the pieces on display including artwork, silversmithing, fabric art, stained glass, woodworking and dolls. In the winter the gallery provides courses and training.
The famous Glass House in Boswell features half a million empty embalming fluid bottles used to build a curiously beautiful house. The house was begun in 1952 when the late David H. Brown retired from thirty five years in the funeral business. Starting the house "to indulge a whim of a peculiar nature", the retired undertaker travelled western Canada collecting bottles from friends in the funeral profession to add to his own collection, until he had acquired half a million of the square shaped bottles, weighing 250 tons in all. The Glass House was meant to the Brown's home, but the project attracted the curiosity of passers-by from the start. Finally, suffering from a complete lack of privacy, he employed a staff and allowed curious visitors to view his masterpiece.
Located just North of Boswell, Lockhart Beach Provincial Park is a small, fairly rustic park on the shore of Kootenay Lake. Swimming and canoeing/kayaking is available from the park. A good hiking trail climbs 800 m (2600 ft) on the north side of Lockhart Creek and takes three hours. An old cabin site some two hours up is a favourite stopping point.
Several wineries take advantage of the abundance of sunshine in the fertile valley and warm slopes beside Kootenay Lake to produce excellent grapes and some award-winning wines. Located in and around Creston are three wineries providing some wonderful wines. Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery is a boutique winery offering tastings in the summer; Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard provides winemaking and tasting tours and has a bistro for light lunches; Wynnwood Cellars in Wynndel is a small, intimate winery and the closest to Boswell and Destiny Bay.
There are several golf course within a short distance of Boswell. Kokanee Springs Golf Resort is a Norman Woods designed 18-hole championship course. Residing on the shore of Kootenay Lake near Crawford Bay and with stunning view so the Selkirk Mountains and Kokanee Glacier. Creston Golf Club offers undulating greens amid forests and farmland and provides challenges for both the novice to experienced golfer. Golfers looking for a little less of a challenge should try the 9-hole Riondel Golf Course.
Year-round fishing is available at Kootenay Lake, where visitors can catch three varieties of trout (Gerrard rainbow, Dolly Varden, and Kokanee) and whitefish. The lake's largest catch is a 35 lb 12oz Gerrard Rainbow trout, and the world's largest recorded Kokanee at almost 10 pounds was caught here. The Kootenay area also has many creeks, small lakes, and rivers to challenge any skill level.
Kayaking and canoeing offer an opportunity for a unique and timeless experience. Four and five-day kayak trips can be planned and plotted out using maps of the area or you can take several daytrips. The area is full of wonderful sights, historical treasures, and great places to explore.
Miles of unmarked powder are characteristic of the ungroomed trails in the area. With mild temperatures, an average of 10 to 15 feet of fabulous snow, and breathtaking scenery, the ride is always a thrill. A wide variety of terrain provides a memorable experience for all riders, from the novice to the expert, and even those looking for "extreme snowmobiling". If you're looking for an uncommon experience and like to make new tracks in new snow, make this area a priority for your next trip. The elevations run from about 610 m (2,000 ft) all the way up to 2,200 m (7,000 ft). The main season runs from December to April.
Many of the early settlers came from England and Scotland and grew a substantial farming community in and around Boswell. Because of the temperate climate, fruit growing became the major industry. There were no roads at the time and everything was shipped by paddlewheeler. With the abundance of fruit the access to fruit markets was too slow and the community decided to build a jam factory to process the more perishable fruit, while apples and cherries were shipped to the US and other areas.
In the 1960s, the road was built along the Kootenay Lake eastern shore and people moved to other areas, where different industries flourished. Gone were the paddlewheeler, jam factory, and the farms. Boswell evolved into a quiet retirement community that stretched along Kootenay Lake. Today, Boswell has become a tourist haven due to the proximity of the lake and the mild climate.