Discover Christina Lake, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Recreation
Christina Lake, an unincorporated recreational area, is nestled in the Boundary Country of the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada. It's conveniently located on the Crowsnest Highway, just 20 kilometres east of Grand Forks and 73 kilometres southwest of Castlegar.
The Rich History of Christina Lake, British Columbia
Christina Lake was originally a significant fishing ground for the Sinixt, Sanpoil, Okanagan, and other tribes. Pictographs from these tribes can still be found around the lake's north-east shore. The lake and the village were named after Christina McDonald, the daughter of fur-trader Angus McDonald, who managed the Hudson's Bay Company trading post at Fort Colville from 1852-1871.
The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 1890s brought a number of townsites to the area around Christina Lake, transforming it into a popular recreational area. Visitors would travel by rail from places like Grand Forks or Phoenix to enjoy summer cottages, fishing, and other activities.
The completion of the Cascade-Rossland Highway in 1922 attracted more tourists to the region. During Prohibition in the United States, many American visitors from north-east Washington crossed the border to enjoy the local saloons and dance halls. During World War II, approximately 100 Japanese people were relocated to a summer resort hotel and its adjacent cabins, the Alpine Inn, on nearby English Point. After the war, some of the families chose to remain in the area.
Christina Lake, British Columbia: A Modern-Day Recreation Community
Since the years following World War II, Christina Lake has once again become a thriving recreation community. The lake boasts the warmest water of any tree-lined lake in Western Canada, making it a summertime mecca for biking, kayaking, boating, and water sports.
The Christina Lake Golf Course, which opened in 1963 and expanded in 1986, was built on the site of the old ghost town of Cascade City. Designed by golf course architect Les Furber, it is the first course in Canada to offer the rare feature of black sand traps.
The Trans Canada Trail and the historic Dewdney Trail and Kettle Valley Railroad Trail meet at Christina Lake, attracting bikers, hikers, and tourists from around the world. The Christina Living Arts Centre, which opened in 2011, includes the town's visitor's centre and an art gallery. The centre was built to LEED standards and is accompanied by the district's first Solar Aquatics water treatment facility.
Exploring Christina Lake, British Columbia: Texas Point Campground and Other Public Access Points
Christina Lake offers four main public access points. Texas Point, a popular campground, features a well-known beach with cliffs that many residents and tourists enjoy scaling and jumping from. Christina Lake Provincial Park, the most used provincial park, offers a large beach at the south end of the lake, volleyball nets, and picnic tables.
Community boat ramps are located at English Point near the marina and Texas Point near the provincial campground. Additional access points can be found at the Community Park and the Living Arts Centre. Kingsley Beach, a public access point at LaValley Point, is frequented by many people staying at the hotels along Kingsley Road. The old Christina Lake Hotel and Dance Pavilion used to be located here. There are also the Provincial Park Campsites and many other public access points around the lake.