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Visitors

 

Overview

About Kimberley

Kimberley is a former mining community nestled up against the Purcell Mountains at the widest spot in the Rocky Mountain Trench. With a population of about 7,000, it is a friendly, safe and welcoming city with a host of amenities and activities for visitors. You can learn more about what Kimberley has to offer by visiting the Tourism Kimberley website.

 

About the Kimberley Nature Park

Located within the city boundary on the western edge, the Kimberley Nature Park is an 840-hectare, non-motorized day use area, with no overnight camping permitted. Hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, snowshoers, skiers, dog walkers and naturalists are welcome to use the trails. The primary focus of the park is conservation, and aside from a well-maintained and well-signed 50-kilometre trail network, it contains few human-built amenities. The park has no toilet facilities (there are a lot of bushes), and campfires are prohibited due to the risk of a forest fire so close to town.  As well, hunting and the discharge of firearms are not permitted. Dipper Lake, Eimer's Lake and Duck Pond are all natural wetlands not suitable for swimming. Dogs are welcome and need not be leashed, but please prevent them from chasing wildlife or bothering other park users, and remove their poop from the trails.

 

The park contains a mix of old roads and hand-built, single-track trails that can be rocky and rooty. Sturdy footwear is recommended for hikers, as is a trail map which can be purchased at a variety of outlets around town or downloaded via the Trailforks app (http://www.trailforks.com/apps/map/).

Also recommended is bear spray, since black bears and cougars are not uncommon around Kimberley, and insect repellent as we do have mosquitoes in late spring and summer.

 

We hope you enjoy exploring the trails on your own, or as a participant in one of the Kimberley Nature Park Society's guided tours (see calendar of events).​

 

Access

There are six major access points around the perimeter of the park as shown on the map below. Most of the entrances have kiosks with a large map and a bulletin board for notices.

 

Entrance 1 (E1) is at the Kimberley Nordic Club ski area, where there is ample parking and free access in the summer months. In the winter, during cross-country ski season, there is a charge for entrance and no dogs or walkers are allowed.

 

Entrance 2 (E2) is close to downtown off Swan Ave.  At this time there is street parking along Swan Ave. for year-round access. The KNPS is working with the city to improve parking in this area.

 

Entrance 3 (E3) is at the end of Higgins St. and street parking is available one block east of the entrance. (The block closest to the entrance is reserved for local parking only.)

 

Entrance 4 (E4) is at the intersection of Jimmy Russell Road and the St. Mary Lake Road. This is a somewhat informal entrance, with parking about 50 metres up Jimmy Russell Road near the gate, or at the intersection itself.

 

Entrance 5 (E5) is across the road from the Kimberley Riverside Campground on the St. Mary Lake Road. There is parking for about 10 cars throughout the summer. Winter parking is available just inside the campground entrance in front of the office.

 

Entrance 6 (E6) is the Horse Barn Valley Interpretive Forest entrance and requires a drive up a forestry road that is most suitable for high-clearance vehicles. To access this trailhead, drive 4.1 km past Kimberley Riverside Campground on the St. Mary Lake Road and turn right onto the Matthew Creek Forest Service Road. Turn right after 2.0 km onto a narrow and sometimes rough road. Veer left after 1.6 km and turn right after an additional 0.4 km. The trailhead is reached after a final 0.8 km. Total distance from Kimberley Riverside Campground is 8.9 km.

 

The Kimberley Nature Park Society produces a comprehensive trail guide and map that is sold for $5 as a fund raiser for park maintenance activities. Trail guides showing the access points are available at:

 

  • Kimberley Tourist Information Centre

  • Alpen Cafe

  • Bavarian Home Hardware

  • Kimberley Riverside Campground

  • Togs

  • Kootenay Mountain Works

  • Mountain Spirit Resort

  • Kimberley Centex

Click on map to enlarge or download.

 

Activities

The nature park trail system provides some great opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, trail running and dog walking in the summer, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. See our Trails page for some suggested routes. In addition, the nature park society offers free public guided events in the spring, summer and fall to introduce folks to the park and its natural features.  A list of those outings can be found on our Events page.

 

Here are a few suggestions for things to do in the nature park:

 

  • Take the kids for a family walk around Eimer's Lake and look for turtles and frogs

  • Take the dog for a walk on Lower Army Road

  • Do a trail run to Duck Pond

  • Mountain bike from the nordic trails to the Riverside Campground

  • Hike across Rockslide Trail to Dipper Lake.

  • Have a picnic at the viewpoint on Myrtle Mountain

  • Photograph the ferns and mushrooms along the Army Road and Creek Trail

  • Snowshoe a loop on Cabin, Stump and Boulder Trails

  • Ski through Trickle Creek golf course and out the Army Road to Mary's Lunchroom

  • Take an early morning aerobic hike from the campground to the SW Passage Lookout

  • Take an evening walk up Sunflower Hill in May to view the balsam root in flower