is located 41 km (25.5 miles) south-west of Nelson
on Hwy 3A, 89 km (55 miles) east of Grand
Forks on Hwy 3 and 26 km (16 miles) north of Trail
on Hwy 22.
Dam City in the World'
Castlegar is situated in a large valley right at the point where
the Kootenay River flows into the Columbia River. Close by to Castlegar
are at least nine dams controlling water flow plus generating electricity
giving Castlegar the notoriety of being called the 'greatest dam
city in the world.'
Castlegar has a number of interesting things for you to see and
visit. There is the heritage museum located downtown which happens
to be housed in the original CPR station built in the early 1900's.
If you're visiting Castlegar, one thing you'll notice is the past
heritage and culture of the Doukhobors. The Doukhobors are a Russian-based
religious organization that flourished in the central Kootenay Region
from 1908 to 1938.
Doukhobor Village Museum
To fully understand this communal lifestyle, make sure you take
the time to visit the Doukhobor Discovery Centre conveniently located
across from the Castlegar Airport on the Columbia River.
Close to the museum is a national heritage site, the Brilliant Suspension
Bridge built by hand in 1913, to help serve the local citizens across
Island Heritage Park
Located along the banks of the Columbia River is Zuckerberg Island
Heritage Park You will find the area very interesting with a number
of nature walks and informational displays chronicling Castlegar's
past history with emphasis on the local First Nation, Lakes Band
of Interior Salish, who existed on the island 3,500 years ago. The
island is accessed by a beautiful walk-only suspension bridge that
spans part of the Columbia River.
Located just west of Castlegar on the Columbia River is Lower Arrow
Lake, British Columbia's less-populated larger lake. You can view
BC Hydro's Hugh Keenleyside Dam, the dam that creates Lower Arrow
Lake, located north-west on the Columbia River just past the small
community of Robson on Broadwater Rd.
If you like boating and water sports Lower Arrow Lake is excellent.
Fishing is also very good with record-sized Dolly Vardens being
caught continuously. For boat launches, parts and marina services
try Scotties Marina and Moorage.
For people who like to camp there is a government campsite located
at Syringa Provincial Park. The beach area at Syringa Park is excellent
for kids' swimming. If you do go here there is an excellent view
across the lake of a trestle on the Trans-Canada Trail.
trails to explore
For recreation Castlegar is just superb. From cross-country skiing,
whitewater kayaking, tubing down the local rivers to endless golfing
on one of BC's nicest courses. The action just never seems to end.
If you enjoy hiking and biking there are numerous trails to explore.
The Trans-Canada Trail happens to go through Castlegar utilizing
the old Columbia and Western rail bed that eventually joins up with
the Kettle Valley Railway at Midway.
Make sure you bring a flashlight as the trail goes through the 900-metre
(2,952 feet) Bull Dog Tunnel.
of Parks & Trails
A good place for you to look for reference material on the local
trails around Castlegar is at Friends of Parks & Trails.
If you get a chance to spend some time in Castlegar, one spot you
might want to check out is the drive out to Deer
Park on the south-east side of Lower Arrow Lake. The road starts
near Syringa Provincial Park and travels north on a gravel forestry
road. Take your camera along the panoramic views of southern Lower
Arrow Lake are superb.
One more area where the rock has been eroded is across the lake
from Deer Park at the natural arch near the old site of Renata.
You will need a boat of some kind to reach this stone monument.
It will be a little more work but well worth the hassle.