Swimming, Boating, Sailing

Majestic Kootenay Lake, the largest body of water in British Columbia, is dotted with pristine, sandy beaches. And summers are hot in the Kootenays! Swim, throw a line in (fishing charters: Real Adventures Fishing), or enjoy some water skiing or boating. Nelson’s Lakeside Park has a lovely sandy beach with boat launch, cafe, playground, grassed area and tennis courts.    Day trip on the Kootenay Lake Ferry (world’s longest free ferry ride!) across to the east shore of the lake and find unspoiled beaches and artisan communities. Or just sail off into the sunset.


Explore the lake up close and paddle to your own private beach. Canoes and kayaks can be rented in Nelson with Kootenay Kayak or heading up the lake, at 6 mile from Hellman Canoes.  Keep an eye out for osprey or bald eagles feeding on the kokanee or rainbow trout.

Whitewater Rafting

The glaciers of the area’s mountains provide clean, clear water which feed a multitude of rivers including the Kootenay, Columbia, Slocan and Salmo Rivers. All this water creates the perfect environment for white water rafting. Whether you’re after a wild ride or something more subdued you’ll find it here.

Hot Springs

Soak, relax, unwind.  Perched above Kootenay Lake are Ainsworth Hot Springs, about a 40 minutes drive from Nelson. Ainsworth is known for its unique horseshoe cave.  Day trip out to other commercial and undeveloped hot springs in the Nakusp area, 2 hours north of Nelson, or travel further north to Halcyon Hot Springs.