Deer Park is located 38 km (24 miles) north-west of Castlegar
first on the Syringa Park Road and then on the gravel Deer Park
Deer Park's establishment dates back to June 1, 1897 when a post
office was established along this part of the Lower Arrow Lake region.
The CPR had steamer service for transportation of goods and people
coming in and out this section of the Lower Arrow Lake mainly using
the S.S. Minto, eventually ceasing business on April 24,
1954 with the last sailing.
The area was noted for a large deer population as highlighted from
G.M. Dawson when he originally published the survey for the Lower
Arrow Lake District, taken from 1001 British Columbia Place Names
by Akrigg, Helen B. and Akrigg, G.P.V: The most attractive and park-like
portion of this country is commonly named the "Deer Park,"
and is frequented by great numbers of deer, when in winter their
higher pastures in the mountains become covered with snow.
Today Deer Park is a quiet place with very little going on except
perhaps a generator or chain saw running in the background. There
is very little here except some vacation homes along the lakeshore
with only a few full-time residents, with most people enjoying their
privacy. The community is not on the electrical grid but is included
within the Central Kootenay Regional District in Area J but has
little or no services.
Deer Park, along with other communities along the Lower Arrow Lake,
was drastically changed with the completion of the Hugh Keenleyside
Dam 12 km (7.5 miles) upstream on the Columbia River Castlegar in
1968. Many of the communities had to be dismantled and have been
completely changed because of the rising reservoir along the banks.
The gravel road, one-way trip into Deer Park, in from Syringa Provincial
Park is well worth your time to explore. Not only are the views
along Lower Arrow Lake incredible but also the opportunity to view
wildlife, especially deer and mountain sheep is highly predictable.
On the way in there are a couple of interesting things, the hike
along the Tulip Creek Trail, the other the swimming hole on the
Deer Park FSR at Cayuse Creek.
The trip in can be slow, especially around the one-lane-only sections
and traffic coming the other way. You must exercise caution at all
times because the forestry road can have logging trucks and heavy
equipment operating on it at all times and must be given lots of
room and the right-of-way.
For accommodation there is really nothing to be found in Deer Park.
The closest and best facility in the area is back at Syringa Provincial
Park. At Syringa you can find a beautiful beach, day-use area and
61 vehicle-accessible campsites, 30 of which can be reserved.
Bay Recreation Site
There is a recreation site situated north of Deer Park on the Sunshine
Creek Forest Service Road. The Sunshine Bay Recreation Site has
four lakeside campsites and is north of the abandoned fruit-growing
community of Broadwater. Go to Recreation Sites and Trails BC website
for details of the campsite, driving directions on this rough gravel
4x4 road and what to expect on the travel in from Deer Park.
Just remember if you are enjoying the countryside around British
Columbia, please remember this is Bear Country. Try to avoid the
rivers during heavy salmon spawning times unless you feel comfortable
with bears around and take the usual precautions. There is also
the possibilities of encounters with wolves or cougars so please
play it safe.
on Deer Park