Adams River Sockeye Run, Shuswap Lake, Photo Destination BC Chin Lee

Travel Spotlight

Magna Bay

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.

Location

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).

A Step Back in Time

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 local named 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.

Contact Information

Shuswap Tourism

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989