Creston is a small community located in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada and is best known for its agricultural farming, u-pick farms and roadside farm markets.
So being that we love to shop local and we believe in supporting local businesses when visiting communities we stocked up on fruits and vegetables… some would say we went a bit fruity and then “vegged” out.
However, you can only shop and munch on fruit and vegetables for so long and then the juices begin to flow (sometimes right though you) and one will require some activity.
Hyped up on Vitamin C from our healthy snacks we set out looking for adventures. The challenge for us was locating the adventure destinations in a community which is mainly all about agri-tourism. You can only u-pick and shop for fruits and vegetables for so long… and then what?
Like every community in Canada there is always a great adventure waiting for you just around the corner – you just have to find it. And we did!
On our recent visit to Creston we were determined to seek out some new adventures and wilderness experiences. The surroundings screamed adventure.
The community is wedged in between the towering peaks of two mountain ranges – the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains… and surrounded by wetlands and marshlands… and kitty corner to lakes and rivers.
What is there not to like. The land and waterways always provide adventures when in Canada.
Being that we are adventure detectives it did not take us long to discover some new amazing scenery and wildlife. The first clue were the wetlands. When there are wetlands there are birds. When there are birds there are birding reserves, sanctuaries and management areas with viewing towers and trails.
In Creston it is pretty hard to miss the the 6,880 hectare Creston Wildlife Management Area. It is right, smack dab, in the western region of Creston.
The Creston Wildlife Management Area is a birdwatching destination with viewing towers, sightseeing benches and over 30+ kilometres of hiking trails. And here is the rub… we did not meet one soul on the trails… which is sad…. and we hiked every kilometre we could find over a two day period.
The Creston Wildlife Management Area is home to many birds and animals. Some birds arrive to nest, others to feed. Some stay year round, others just visit. The area attracts many birds because it falls within the migration routes (called flyways) used by various species of birds.
There are over 280+ bird species recorded in the wetlands area, 57 mammal species and 30 fish, reptiles and amphibian species. It is a diverse environment with wildlife populations flunctuating every season.
For the true naturalists there are interpretive brochures and trail maps available. The informative brochures will help with identifying the natural habitat in the area. The trail maps will assist in planning your hiking route.
Another must see adventure destination in Creston, BC is the Balancing Rock Trail. It is said there is a balancing rock on this trail but it is unmarked, hard to identify and really a poor excuse for a balancing rock. But the trail is not a disappointment at all. No… it is just poorly named.
The one-way 2 kilometre long Balancing Rock Trail climbs the slopes of Mount Creston. At the summit the trail provides amazing scenery and wide open views of the wetlands, community and the far reaching mountains.
The trail is challenging, rocky and includes an elevation gain of 730 metres (2373 ft.). At the 1360 metre (4420 ft.) summit there are some flowering meadows and sightseeing benches. Some of the fauna and flora to look for on the trail includes Rocky Mountain Juniper, Kinnikinnick, Buffaloberry, Skunk Cabbage, Devil’s Club, Indian Pipe and Sarsparilla.
Creston is also a great base camp for day drives leading to other adventures. For example, for boating and beach enthusiasts, travel north of the community of Creston on Highway #3 to the 100 kilometre long Kootenay Lake. It is a big part of summer fun in the region. Many arrive at the lake to go swimming, boating, water skiing, sailing and wind surfing.
Creston is well located for adventure surrounded by many parks, trails and lakes. There is plenty to do and see in the region to keep you busy for weeks. However… one should know Creston is not a mecca for shopping, big box stores, entertainment and night life.
Exploring with unknowns can sometimes provide some of the best scenery and wilderness experiences. Creston is such a place.
For more photos and information about Creston and its adventures please visit our Kootenays EH Travel Website at : http://www.kootenayseh.com/creston/index.html