Magna Bay is located on scenic Shuswap Lake in the Thompson Okanagan Region of British Columbia. The area offers every type of outdoor activity that you could desire whether it's on the lake or at the surrounding parks and beaches. Boating, water skiing, canoeing, scuba diving are all available, plus trails for nature walks, hiking, mountain biking, cycling, horseback riding and so much more. Whether you just want to relax and recharge your batteries, or get a workout on the trails, you don't have to go far once you have arrived in this popular destination.
The small community of Magna Bay is one of several small communities (Scotch Creek, Celista, Anglemont) dotted along the north shore of Shuswap Lake. Located 130 km (80 mi) north of Vernon via Hwy 97, Hwy 1 W and Squilax-Anglemont Road. Alternatively, travelers can take Hwy 97A, Hwy 97B through Salmon Arm and Hwy 1W. From Kamloops, travel east on Hwy 1 to Squilax-Anglemont Road for 100 km (62 mi).
| Shuswap Lake Provincial Park |
The lake is the centre of all things to do in this area. It has about 100 km (62 mi) of shoreline to explore so offers an abundance of activities. For those who enjoy nature and wildlife, kayak into some of the small bays and enjoy the birds that flock to this area or go scuba diving and check out the world under water. Swim from the beaches, dive from a houseboat moored in the middle of the lake, or go paddleboarding. Take a boat cruise and explore the lake or rent a skidoo, speed boat or pontoon.
Both the Adams River and Shuswap River converge into Shuswap Lake and both provide excellent rafting opportunities for every age and ability. The Adams River is mostly famous for its world-renown Sockeye Salmon Run but in the summer, if you like whitewater rafting, take a fun one-hour plus trip through the Adams River Gorge and include a dip in the clear, warm waters while you're at it. If a more relaxing rafting experience is more your style, the mid section of the Lower Shuswap River offers lots of choices.
| Adams River Run |
Shuswap Lake and the Adams and Shuswap Rivers offer many opportunities for some excellent fishing. The lake is particularly noted for Rainbow Trout, Char, Sockeye Salmon, Burbot, Bull Trout, Lake Trout and whitefish. In October the most spectacular Sockeye Salmon Run happens annually on the Adams River within the Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, with a dominant run every four years known as the "Salute to the Sockeye" with celebrations coordinated by the Adams River Salmon Society. People travel here from all over the world to experience the event.
There are several wineries in the North Shuswap area all offering excellent varieties with Celista Estate Winery currently being the only one on the northern side of Shuswap Lake. Many offer award winning wines and some are open year-round. This is the most northerly part of British Columbia that vineyards flourish.
There are several trails of varying lengths and difficulties in both Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park and Shuswap Lake Provincial Park for walking, hiking and cycling. Copper Island which is part of Shuswap Lake Provincial Park has a 2.8 km (1.7 mi) trail with views and is accessible by boat. There is also the Magna Bay - Celista Loop that is approximately 18 km (11 mi) round trip but is an easy hike. Some trails in the area are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter although may not be maintained.
The name Shuswap comes from the Secwepemc First Nations who were descendants of the indigenous peoples who lived in the North Shuswap area for hundreds of years. The first settlers however arrived here in 1895 from Minnesota, crossing the lake and landing at Scotch Creek where they settled. Others followed. The homesteaders made their money mainly from logging, fruit farming and trapping. The only transportation in those days was by water and a one Henry Bischoff used a rowboat and raft to transport people and supplies. Ferry service began in 1914 between Scotch Creek and Sorrento and continued until 1956. When ferry service stopped, it became necessary to improve the road between Scotch Creek and Squilax.
The first post office was built in Celista in 1908. Anglemont had a post office by 1914 and Magna Bay by 1920. Schoolhouses were built in Celista, Magna Bay, Anglemont and Meadows Creek and were also used as community centres. Magna Bay schoolhouse, being the largest, was the most popular location for dances. Hydroelectric power arrived in the North Shuswap in 1957.
Today, tourism is the major industry in the Shuswap area.
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia