Parson is located on the upper reaches of the great Columbia River in a region known as the Columbia Valley. With its stunning backdrop of two mountain ranges, the Rocky Mountains and Purcell Mountains, Parson provides many outdoor opportunities for hiking, biking and golfing. As well, with the Columbia River right on its doorstep, kayaking, fishing and exploring the wildlife of the Columbia Wetlands are all there to experience.
Parson, BC is located 35 km (22 mi) south of Golden and 68 km (42 mi) north of Radium Hot Springs on Hwy 95. Golden is situated on the Trans Canada Hwy 1 263 km (163 mi) west of Calgary, Alberta and 360 km (224 mi) east of Kamloops, BC.
| World's Largest Paddle. Photo: David Best |
Located just north of Parson, the Columbia Wetlands are situated between the Rocky and Purcell Mountains and provide stunning mountain vistas as you take a guided float tour of these ecologically sensitive wetlands. An important migratory route for birds, this area is considered environmentally important in international conservation of wetlands. Designed for all ages and abilities, you will see birds and wildlife in abundance. You can also take your own self-guided tour in your own kayak or rent one on site.
Made from Western Red Cedar, the world's largest paddle, at 60 ft long and 9 ft high and in the Guinness Book of Records, is located in the Columbia Wetlands area near Parson.
| Pedestrian Bridge, Golden |
At 46 m (151 ft) across, this is the longest freestanding timber frame bridge in Canada and is part of the walking trail that loops around the town of Golden. Crossing over the Kicking Horse River with mountain views, the covered bridge is located in BC Spirit Square and is home to summer outdoor concerts.
There is an abundance of trails for all levels of hikers, cyclists and mountain bikers. Trail maps for biking are available online from the Golden Cycling Club and Tourism Golden has several maps for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities.
Golden is home to many river rafting experiences on both the Kicking Horse River and the Columbia River. Whether you want the exhilaration of whitewater rafting, or the gentler pace of a river float for all your family, there are many opportunities to choose from.
| Radium Hot Springs, Kootenay National Park |
The town of Radium is located south of Parson on the edge of Kootenay National Park. Just outside of the town on Hwy 93 are the famous Hot Springs - a family friendly fun place to visit and relax.
Several golf courses are within easy distance of Parson. A short distance south on Hwy 95 is Spur Valley Golf Resort, a gently sloping 9-hole course. Just beyond is the Edgewater Hilltop Golf Course designed for families with kids of all ages. Radium Hot Springs has two challenging 18-hole courses situated along the Columbia River - the Springs Course and the Radium Course. Both are Les Furber designed. North of Parson is the Golden Golf Course, an 18-hole championship course set amid stunning scenery.
| Fishing from Shore of Columbia River |
There are many opportunities and places to fish on the Columbia River in and around Parson, whether from a boat or the shore. Species include rainbow trout, walleye, bass, whitefish as well as the white sturgeon.
The small hamlet of Parson is named after Henry George Parson, a merchant, who lived in Golden, BC. Born in 1865 in England he found his way to Canada in 1883, living in Ottawa, Ontario for 2 years when he moved to Banff, Alberta and shortly thereafter to Golden, British Columbia. Parson was elected to parliament, representing the Columbia region as a Conservative from 1907 to 1912. He died in Vancouver at the age of 70.
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia