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FAQs

How do I get to the park?

The park is located on the western edge of Kimberley between the St. Mary Lake Road and the Kimberley Alpine Resort. You can enter the park at any one of six locations shown here

 

Is there an admission charge?

There is no admission charge to use the park.

 

Are there washrooms in the park?

There are currently no washrooms in the park. An outhouse at the Horse Barn Valley parking area is accessed from the Matthew Creek forestry road.

 

Is my dog allowed in the park?

Dogs are welcome in the park and do not need to be on leash. There is an expectation that they will be kept under control and will not bother wildlife or other park users. Please carry a leash with you in case it is needed.

 

What do I do in an emergency?

Most of the park has cell phone reception. Call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency.

 

Where can I get a map of the park?

Park trail guides are available for $5 at these outlets:

  • Kimberley Tourist Information Centre

  • Alpen Cafe

  • Bavarian Home Hardware

  • Kimberley Riverside Campground

  • Togs 

  • Kootenay Mountain Works

  • Mountain Spirit Resort

  • Kimberley Centex

 

Proceeds from the sale of the guides support the stewardship of the park. You can also access maps of the trail system via Trailforks on your smartphone or computer. Instructions for that are located here.

 

Are there picnic areas?

There are no picnic tables in the park, but feel free to spread a blanket anywhere that suits you.

 

Are any trails wheelchair-accessible or easy for people with limited mobility?

No provision for wheelchair access has been made in the nature park. If you would like to explore a natural area in your wheelchair we recommend the Rails to Trails or the Lions Way trail along Mark Creek.

 

What hike do you recommend?

You can find a list of recommended hikes here.

 

What kind of wildlife lives in the park and what do I do if I encounter an animal?

You can find out more about the animals that inhabit the park here. Encounters with dangerous animals are very rare though there is a chance you will see a bear, coyote, moose or cougar. If so, make some noise and leave the area. You can learn more about how to avoid conflicts with wildlife at the Wildsafe BC website. 

 

What kind of traffic is allowed in the park?

The park is open to foot traffic and bicycles. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the park except in emergencies.

 

Where can I purchase bear spray and how do I use it?

You can purchase bear spray at many hardware and outdoor stores in the region. Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding usage or watch the Wildsafe BC video here.

 

Is the park safe for (small) children?

We do not recommend leaving small children unattended in the park, but they should be fine with parental supervision.

 

Am I allowed to go off the trails?

We strongly recommend that you stay on the established trail system, for your own safety and to prevent damage to soils and ecosystems.

 

Am I allowed to pick flowers, mushrooms, berries, etc?

We would prefer you leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures.

 

What do I do if I spot a fire?

Call 9-1-1 and report the location of the fire.

 

Are dogs allowed to be off leash?

Yes, the park is a designated off-leash area. You should carry a leash with you, however, in case you need to restrain your dog.

 

What do I do when there's a tree blocking the trail?

Please report it so that our volunteers can remove it. You can learn how to do that here.

 

Is there a reservation system for the cabin?

No, the Halfway Cabin in Horse Barn Valley is used on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Are there trash cans in the park?

No, there are no trash cans in the park. Please pack out all garbage.

 

Are there guided hikes/biking trips in the park?

The Kimberley Nature Park Society leads a variety of outings in the spring, summer and fall (and sometimes winter). You can find our events schedule here.

 

Is there a 'lost and found'?

No, but folks do occasionally pin found items on the park entrance kiosks. You can also post notices of lost or found items on our Facebook page.

 

How can I support the park?

You can support the park by joining the KNPS, making a tax-deductible donation, or becoming a volunteer. Learn more here.

 

How can I become a volunteer?

You can sign up for our mailing list and be notified when we are having a work party. Or you can let us know what you are interested in, and we will see if there is a job you can help with. Email us.

 

Where can I find more information about the flora and fauna in the park?

You can learn more about the plants and animals of the park on our nature page, our species lists, or our nature posters.

 

Are hiking boots required in the park?

Hiking boots are a good idea, though sturdy running shoes are also suitable. We would not recommend walking in the park in flip-flops.

 

Who is responsible for maintaining the park?

The Kimberley Nature Park Society has an agreement with the City of Kimberley to manage and maintain the park. Most of the work is done by volunteers, though contractors are hired occasionally for larger projects. The nature park society also has an agreement with the province for managing the Horse Barn Valley Interpretive Forest.

 

Are there cross country ski trails in the park?

The main roads in the park are suitable for cross country skiing and there is usually a set of ski tracks down one side of them. There are no machine-groomed trails in the park.

 

Can I hike in the park in winter?

Yes you can, though you might need snowshoes for some of the lesser travelled trails. Learn more about winter activities here.

 

Are there any hikes recommended for early spring/late fall?

The lower elevation trails are usually snow-free earlier in the spring and later in the fall. Hoodoo View, Sunflower Hill, Shapeshifter, Jimmy Russell Road and lower Duck Pond are your best bets.

 

I saw an animal/flower/etc. in the park today. What could it be?

If you see something interesting in the park, we encourage you to post a picture on our Facebook page or send us an email. We will do our best to identify it.

 

I only have two hours - where should I go?

You could do a loop walk from the Kimberley Riverside Campground entrance to the Southwest Passage viewpoint, or a hike from Higgins Street past Eimer’s Lake to Myrtle Junction and back. Learn about more hikes and bikes here.

 

Where are the best viewpoints?

Viewpoints are shown on our trail guide map, available for $5 from these merchants:

  • Kimberley Tourist Information Centre

  • Alpen Cafe

  • Bavarian Home Hardware

  • Kimberley Riverside Campground

  • Togs

  • Kootenay Mountain Works

  • Mountain Spirit Resort

  • Kimberley Centex

We recommend the Southwest Passage Viewpoint, the Myrtle Mountain viewpoint, or the Bear Mountain viewpoint in Horse Barn Valley.

 

Where can I rent a bicycle / snowshoes?

You can check with the Kimberley Alpine Resort or Kootenay Mountain Works in the Platzl.

 

How do I report a trail problem?

You can report a trail problem from your computer or smartphone by using our Tree Down system or Trailforks. Learn more here.