The first white settlers arrived in this valley in 1888. Salmon Arm first started as a railway camp during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), later developing into a logging, farming, and dairy centre.
The beautiful Shuswap Lake takes its name from the Shuswap Indians, northernmost of the Great Salishan Family, and one of the largest tribes in the interior of British Columbia. Once numbering over 5,000, these people were fishermen and hunters, roaming in bands through the vast land of lakes and forests, reaching 240 kilometres to the west, east and north. Salmon Arm takes its name from the southwest arm of the Shuswap Lake, due to the large runs of salmon that used to run up the creeks that empty into the lake. The area has retained a unique rural quality that is reflected in the richness and diversity of the communities throughout the Shuswap. Residents have a keen sense of pride and satisfaction in protecting their quality of life. It is this balance that appeals to residents and visitors alike.
Salmon Arm's economy is a diverse mixture of forestry, agriculture, tourism commerce, and manufacturing. A growing industry in the Salmon Arm area is the ever-popular agri-tourism. These farms includes wineries, berry farms, orchards, cheese plants, dairy farms, corn fields, pumpkin and gourd patches, canning and cider pressing, petting zoos, and much more.
Salmon Arm is located on Trans-Canada Highway 1, 108 km (67 mi) east of Kamloops and 60 km (37 mi) north of Vernon.
R. J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum is a 40-acre park owned by the City of Salmon Arm and operated by the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association. The Museum houses the archives and artifact collections. The main presentation area is used for ongoing displays depicting aspects of Salmon Arm's history. Other buildings within the village include a blacksmith shop, a bank, a fire hall, a print shop, and a school.
The Salmon Arm Wharf is the longest inland wooden curved wharf in Canada and offers a great view of the bird sanctuary and the ecological reserve. Enjoy a scenic, relaxing walk and view a glorious sunset during the evening.
Shuswap Lake Marine Park is popular for fishing and water sports; hiking and nature study. Shuswap Lake contains 19 species of fish.
Shuswap Lake is made up of four large arms: the Shuswap Lake Main Arm, Seymour Arm, Anstey Arm, and Salmon Arm. The product of the glacial scouring that also rounded the surrounding Shuswap Highlands, all four arms converge at Cinnemousun Narrows, northeast of Sicamous.
Herald Provincial Park is a popular destination campground and day-use area. The park covers 79 hectares of beautiful beach and forested uplands. Swimming, fishing and bird-watching are popular activities, as is the self-guided nature walk to Margaret Falls. The park is located 14 kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway along the western shore of the Salmon Arm of Shuswap Lake.
The Shuswap Lake area supports an exciting diversity of fish species, including Kamloops, Rainbow, Bull, and Eastern Brook Trout, Kokanee, Whitefish, Lingcod, and Perch.
Other lakes nearby include White Lake, Arthur Lake, Bolcan Lake (Falkland area), Gardom Lake, Humamilt Lake, Joyce Lake, Mara Lake, Pinaus Lake, Skimikin Lake, and Spa Lake.
A diverse landscape, and more sunshine per year than many regions in BC, provides the Shuswap with a variety of golf courses, including championship courses, pitch and putts, and nine-hole executive courses.
Try Canoe Beach, Salmon Arm's own public beach just minutes northwest of the city. There are several other beaches available in the immediate area at the provincial parks or the many private campsites. Salmon Arm also offers sea-doing, canoeing, water-skiing, tubing, and more.
The Salmon Arm Blazers are a local club that provide excellent riding trails at their very own Fly Hills Area, to the Crowfoot Mountain Trails in North Shuswap, and Hunter's Range, Quest and Eagle's Pass east of Salmon Arm. Great trails are available for novices and the more advanced.
There are many walking and hiking opportunities in the Salmon Arm area. One such is the Larch Hills which offer an abundance of walking, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails and in winter the same trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Hikers and bird watchers have long enjoyed Salmon Arm's Nature Bay which offers 11,000 feet of fully protected foreshore, including bird view blinds and rest areas. Don't forget to take a stroll along Canada's longest wooden inland curved wharf, located on the lake.
Located at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds, this annual music festival draws over 30,000 people and is held every August. It features 6 outdoor stages with over 45 performers.
City of Salmon Arm
Salmon Arm & District Chamber of Commerce
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia