The Pacific Fur Company established the Brigade Trail, and it was used by fur traders until 1858, when its primary users changed to gold seekers. J.M. Robinson, arguably the father of Peachland, arrived with them in 1898. Robinson was the president of a mining company that operated gold mines on the mountainsides above Peachland. The slopes of the mountains surrounding Peachland at one time held orchards of fruit- most notably peaches. This resulted in the construction of several packinghouses on the waterfront. Sternwheelers and steamboats plied the waters of Okanagan Lake to dock at the town's wharf.
Peachland's Little Schoolhouse was built in 1898 and still stands today, lovingly restored. The Peachland Primary School was constructed in 1908. Two years later Peachland's famous eight-sided church (now the museum) was built in the downtown area.
Long before fur traders and gold seekers came to the area, the Okanagan First Nations knew the area was rich with wildlife. They also knew of Ogopogo, the lake monster, whose home is supposedly in an underwater cave across the lake, between Rattlesnake Island and Squally Point.
Peachland has been home to sawmills, a hydro-electric project on Trepanier Creek, and is home to many kilometers of unobstructed pebble beaches. It is the gateway to Glenn Lake, Headwaters Lakes, Silver Lake and Peachland Lake. Peachland is nestled on the shore of Okanagan Lake and is respectfully tucked into the mountainsides above it. Peachland is a place of natural beauty, charm and over a hundred years of history.
Peachland is located on Hwy 97 25 km (15.5 mi) south of Kelowna and 45 km (28 mi) north of Penticton.
Built in 1910 as the Peachland Baptist Church, this unique 8-sided building was constucted by volunteers from the church congregation. It was purchased by the government in 1960, and in 1980, the Peachland Historical Society was granted permission to use the building to establishh a Peachland museum.
Directly across the lake from Peachland, this is the largest island in Okanagan Lake. A narrow channel separates the island from the mainland, and many boaters delight in exploring this channel where the water is a deep royal blue and a feeling of mystery exists. Close to the island in one of the underwater caves is said to lie the lair of the Okanagan's legendary monster Ogopogo.
Above the lakeshore are over 10,000 hectares of rugged landscape with mountain lakes, grasslands and spruce-fir forests accessible only on foot, horseback or bicycle. Trails and rustic campsites are the only facilities in this area of the wilderness. A wonderful setting for hikers- a climb to the top of Okanagan Mountain will lead you to beautiful scenic lake views to the west and the Monashee Mountains to the east.
A boater's paradise, this wilderness park dominates the east side of Okanagan Lake between Kelowna and Penticton. Six marine campgrounds and secluded bays and sheltered sandy beaches tucked into the 33 km of undeveloped shoreline make water exploring a true adventure. Mooring buoys available; horse-loading ramps available in parking lots.
Built in 1898, the Little Schoolhouse was the community's first school, as well as a church and a hub for public and private meetings. In the year 2002, restoration work on the building was completed (after a Council motion two years prior had called for its demolition), and it now serves, once again, as a hub for the community.
Parrot Island is a unique sanctuary for abandoned and abused exotic birds. Visitors are invited to come and share in their passion for these beautiful birds.
There are several wineries located just minutes from Peachland: First Estate Cellars, Hainle, Working Horse and Greata Ranch and many more with a short driving distance. Winery maps and brochures are available at local Visitor Centres.
Hardy Falls is on Deep Creek at the south end of Peachland, just past the Peachland Lakeshore Inn and beside Antler Beach Trailer Park. The walk to the falls will take from 5 - 30 minutes, depending on how much time you spend admiring the gorgeous scenery. The walkway crosses Deep Creek several times on the way to the falls. It is not uncommon to see fish in the creek along the walk and there are benches to stop, take a break, enjoy the scenery and chat with others along the way. A picnic area and washroom facilities are available for public use, and the walkway is wheelchair accessible.
The many trails near Peachland provide excellent hiking opportunities. Jog the 11-km (7 mi) lakefront trail along Beach Avenue.
Though known more for boating, water skiing, and water sports, Okanagan Lake contains rainbow trout and kokanee salmon.
Peachland has tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and paved areas for rollerblading, skating, and jogging!
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia