The Shuswap is situated in south-central British Columbia midway between Vancouver, BC and Calgary, Alberta - the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy1) and Highway 97 make it easily accessible from all directions. The area offers a four-season playground that includes many activities in snowcapped mountain peaks, pristine waterways complete with secret hideaways, eagles above and marine life below. Shuswap Lake, one of the most popular recreational destinations in BC, offers 400km (250mi) of flawless shoreline, provincial parks and unlimited water-related recreation opportunities. The surrounding mountains provide miles of trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, mountain-biking and hiking.
The North Shuswap is a recreation and vacation paradise with abundant sunshine, beautiful beaches and numerous facilities and services for the ever-expanding number of visitors. Located just a few minutes north of Highway 1, the North Shuswap is a beautiful area boasting hiking and riding trails, sunny meadows for picnics, shady country lanes and over 100km (60mi) of unspoiled shoreline. In the fall, the world famous "Adams River Salmon Run" is a mere few minutes drive from anywhere in the North Shuswap. Come winter, snowmobilers head to the trails on pristine Crowfoot Mountain or take in the beauty of Skamana Lake while cross-country skiing.
The North Shuswap is also home to many artists, craftspeople and authors. Their work can be found at numerous venues and local festivals year-round or at their studios, many of which display the artisan identification sign. Restaurants and eating establishments are scattered throughout the area as well as casual pub settings or elegant dining rooms accompanied by views of the lake or woods.
South Shuswap, "The Heart of Shuswap", offers a relaxed lifestyle with a great variety of recreational choices. This area is conveniently located on the Trans Canada Highway 1 along the southern shores of Shuswap Lake with magnificent vistas northward and focused on Copper Island as its Centerpiece. Summer and winter activities abound as a result of a very moderate climate. Boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, alpine - and cross-country skiing and house-boating, as well as access to a first class championship golf course are some of the many outdoor activities popular around the South Shuswap.
Salmon Arm and the surrounding area are located in the very center of BC's famous Shuswap Lake Recreational area, midway between Calgary to the east and Vancouver to the west. The city of Salmon Arm is not only the Okanagan Valley's northern gateway, but also the Shuswap's bustling center of commerce, government services and institutional facility. Like a ripe apple in the thumb and finger of the Thompson and Okanagan valleys, Salmon Arm is bursting with goodness and potential. This town offers a wealth of recreational attractions, outstanding scenic beauty and a multitude of water activities. Visitors can take advantage of the free summer entertainment at the wharf-side gazebo and experience the Western Grebe breeding habitat and other wildlife along the shoreline. Outdoor recreation includes water sports, 18-hole golf courses, top-rated cross-country ski trails, backcountry sleigh rides, snowmobiling, mountain-biking and hiking. The arts, cultural-based programs, festivals, carnivals, sporting events, visiting performers and entertainers continue to grow in number and offer the visitor many exciting year-round opportunities.
Salmon Arm's town centre provides an urban ambience where it is easy to park, stroll, shop and unwind. Extensive beautification projects, visitor appreciation programs, and the careful development of a marine park where birders the world over enjoy some of North America's finest bird watching provide a restful visit. Indeed, natural beauties abound and agriculture's roots run deep here.
Travel 30 km (18 mi) to the east on Hwy 1 and you'll soon be in Sicamous - also known as "The Houseboat Capital of Canada". The town, whose name comes from the Shuswap Nation term for narrow, provides visitors with many vacation options from water activities, hiking and golfing in the summer to snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter. This great recreation area is nestled amid the Monashee Mountains on the shores of Mara and Shuswap Lakes, at the junction of Trans Canada Highway 1 and Highway 97A. Relax while boating, sea-dooing, swimming, fishing or just sitting around a beachside campfire at day's end. For those that want to play, there is every imaginable water toy. Hike the many trails leading to waterfalls cascading over large boulders and experience the sounds of nature with a stroll through the forest. Snowmobiling is popular too with groomed trails on four local mountains providing conditions for the novice to the seasoned veteran. Best of all, the four surrounding mountain ranges boast elevations of over 2,000m (6,600ft) allowing you to sled through deep powder well into the spring. During the month of May, it's actually possible to snowmobile, golf and houseboat all in the same weekend.
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Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia