Stroll along the waterfront walkway in the village of Nakusp
A lakefront path leading to the beach makes Nakusp a lovely place to relax
Relocating a waterfront seems unlikely, but that’s what happened in Nakusp when the Hugh Keenleyside Dam was constructed in the 1960s and water in the Arrow Lakes rose to much higher levels. Wishing to prevent erosion, the village of Nakusp put a cement wall in place and until the 1990’s the path along the lake was just a dirt trail.
Today that old dirt pathway called the Waterfront Walkway is now paved and popular with both local residents and visitors to the area. Those involved in the development of the walkway wanted to create a healthy community and if the popularity of the walkway is any indication they have succeeded.
“The view is outstanding,” said Karen Hamling, mayor of the Village of Nakusp. “It’s a very peaceful walk and there are lots of benches along the way to sit and read or just enjoy the view.”
The gardens at the marina are a perfect place to start your waterfront exploration and there is ample parking as well as a picnic area, washrooms and the beautiful gardens to enjoy. Leaving the marina and heading towards the beach area at the farthest end, you will pass below the Leland Hotel, the oldest hotel in B.C. Stop here and take pleasure in the Spicer Gardens, named after Jean and Chris Spicer, who cared for and maintained these lovely gardens for many years.
“You walk along the waterfront and can watch osprey from April to September,” said Hamling. “We often see a bald eagle or a golden eagle and sometimes if you are lucky enough you will see the otters.”
Those looking for handicapped access and an accessible picnic area will find it near the beautiful rock gardens farther along the path. Stop at the viewing platform within the Japanese gardens created to honour the local Japanese residents. The red bridge crossing over the goldfish pond and pond flowers are a perfect place to stop and enjoy the scenery around you.
Planted with wild roses and various plants, the bank along the walkway will lead you to the beach at the farthest end of the trail. This is the perfect place for swimming and sunbathing on the sandy beachfront.
Ray Nichol of Valley Landscapes planted these beautiful flowers and he refreshed and maintains the Spicer Gardens. No wonder Nakusp won first place in the Communities in Bloom contest a few years ago.
Future plans for the waterfront walkway include connecting with another path a short distance away that winds itself around most of the village. Two-thirds of the trail is already in place.
“People love to walk, bike and cross country ski down the path,” said Hamling. “We keep it ploughed during the winter, as there is such a high demand for its use.”
Nakusp’s beautiful waterfront walkway is a perfect place to spend the day or afternoon any time of the year.