Super Camping British Columbia
Super Camping British Columbia

Super Camping
British Columbia
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Kimberley Platzl | Kim Walker

Exploring Kimberley and Area in British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies

By Kimberly Walker

Looking for a charming Kootenay community nestled in the mountains and bursting with personality? Look no further than Kimberley BC! Surrounded by the Purcell and Rocky Mountains in British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies region, Kimberley is a great destination for outdoor adventures, cute cafes, and stepping back in time and experiencing the history of the area.

Kimberley has always held a certain je ne sais quoi for me – after all, the community and I share a name! But I became truly charmed by the area when I first visited in the summer of 2011. From my first trip, I clearly remember spending an afternoon exploring the shops and cafes in the town’s pedestrian-only downtown core, which is know as the Platzl.  When we visited again on our recent Kootenay motorcycle trip, I found the downtown just as I remembered it. We spent several hours poking around in shops in the Platzl and sampling food and drink from the local cafes – I particularly enjoyed our lunch at Burrito Grill and ice cream at the La Lune Candy Shoppe!

Kimberley Platzl | Kim Walker

After exploring the Platzl, we headed just a bit up the road to visit the Kimberley Underground Mining Railway. This is another thing I did when I visited Kimberley the first time, and it was so good that I knew I had to go back with my motorcycle companions.

Kimberley Underground Mining Railway Tour | Kim Walker

Kimberley has its origins as a lead and zinc mining community. The Sullivan Mine, which closed in 2001, kept things hopping around Kimberley from the late 1800s onward. Today, visitors can ride the train, pulled by a 9 ton locomotive, through the Mark Creek Valley, over the Sever Bridge, past the powerhouse, and into a tunnel housing the Underground Interpretive Centre. Here you disembark the train and see demonstrations of mining equipment including a slushing machine, a jackleg drill, a mucking machine, and safety equipment.

Kimberley Underground Mining Railway Powerhouse | Kim Walker

After leaving the underground area, the tour moves on to the Powerhouse for a demonstration of the Pelton Wheel, which used flowing water from Mark Creek to power a huge compressor which in turn powered mining equipment and helped provide ventilation in the mine. It is amazing to see the Mine Model located in the Powerhouse as it really puts into perspective how enormous the Sullivan Mine was. After returning to the downtown station where you started the tour, you can visit a number of other on-site attractions including the Orpheum Theatre, the North Start School House, the Kimberley Caboose, and the Sullivan Core Shack. The Kimberley Underground Mining Railway is an excellent way to step back in time and learn about the history of the Kimberley area.

Marysville Falls Bridge near Kimberley, BC | Kim Walker

Just five minutes south of Kimberley is an excellent wheelchair and stroller accessible walk along the banks of Mark Creek. The Marysville Falls trail starts by passing over a beautiful wooden covered bridge, then meanders along the creek on a series of wooden boardwalks and smooth paths. The walk takes about 10 minutes one way, and all along the way there are small waterfalls and pools in the creek before you head to the viewpoint for the final 30-metre waterfall where the trail ends. Marysville Falls is a perfect picnic spot and is an excellent spot to visit when exploring the Kimberley area.

Marysville Falls Trail near Kimberley, BC | Kim Walker

Kimberley is one of my favourite communities to visit in the Kootenays. There is a lot to explore, whether you have a day or a week. Next time I visit my bucket list includes cycling the North Star Rails to Trails route from Kimberley to Cranbrook, hiking at Kimberley Nature Park, and skiing at Kimberley Alpine Resort. I guess it is time to start planning another trip!

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Published: June 13, 2024
Last Updated: June 13, 2024


About the Author

Kimberly is a Special Education, Elementary School teacher in Hope, BC. Previously having worked ten years at the Hope Visitor Centre & Museum promoting tourism in Hope and British Columbia, Kimberly worked on many local history projects in the museum as well as researching and writing articles for the local newspaper. Kimberly loves travelling with her husband Dale and their dog Alpine. In the fall of 2014, they spent the first 78 days of married life travelling and camping their way across Canada - just the two of them and the dog - travelling in a Hyundai Elantra! Kimberly loves various outdoor recreation types and exploring our beautiful province.

Camping Lodging

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