Trail, South Kootenay

Travel Spotlight

Trail

The City of Trail straddles the magnificent Columbia River which flows through the valley between the Monashee and Selkirk Mountain ranges. Primarily a mining town and home to Teck Cominco, the town has taken advantage of its mining heritage and visitors can tour an interpretive centre with interactive displays. The surrounding area will excite the outdoor enthusiast as there are plenty of hiking and biking trails as well as fishing, boating, swimming and more. The winter also provides plenty of opportunities to ski and snowboard at nearby world-famous Red Mountain Resort.

Music at the Gyro Park in Trail.

Location

Located in the West Kootenays just 10 km (6 mi) north of the US border on Hwy 22 & Hwy 3B. The closest town is Rossland to the west at 9 km (5.5 mi) and Castlegar to the north at 30 km (18 mi).

A Step Back in Time

Prospectors Joe Moris and Joe Bourgeois discovered gold and copper on Red Mountain in the late 1800s. This led to the area becoming the foremost mining hub in North America. To process the ores, a smelter was built in 1895 and the town thrived. In 1901 Trail was incorporated, World War 1 increased demand and commerce and schools developed and a bridge was built across the Columbia River. Europeans, mainly Italians, arrived in the early 1900s and provided a distinctive character to their homesteads. They set up home at the entrance to Trail in an area that is known as “the Gulch”. This was so named as the land begins at the start of Trail Creek narrows between the high, sandy slope of Smelter Hill and West Trail bank. The homes were built on these banks.

An aerial view of the Victoria Street Bridge at night in Trail.

Contact Information

Trail Visitor Information Centre

Tourism Trail

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989