Trail, British Columbia: A Hidden Gem in Canada

Trail, British Columbia is a small city located in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada. It is situated on the banks of the Columbia River and surrounded by the Monashee and Selkirk mountain ranges. Trail is known for its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Attractions and Natural Wonders

Trail has a variety of attractions and natural wonders that are worth exploring. Here are some of the top things to see and do in Trail:

  • Columbia River Skywalk: This pedestrian bridge offers stunning views of the Columbia River and the surrounding mountains. It is a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying the scenery.
  • Trail Museum and Archives: This museum showcases the history of Trail and the surrounding area. It features exhibits on mining, forestry, and transportation, as well as displays on local sports teams and cultural events.
  • Gyro Park: This park is located on the banks of the Columbia River and offers a playground, picnic areas, and a beach. It is a great spot for swimming, fishing, and boating.
  • Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre: This facility features a pool, hot tub, sauna, and fitness centre. It is a great place to relax and stay active.
  • Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital: This hospital is one of the largest employers in Trail and serves the surrounding area. It offers a range of medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and cancer treatment.
  • Red Mountain Resort: This ski resort is located just outside of Trail and offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the region. It features over 4,200 acres of skiable terrain and receives an average of 300 inches of snowfall each year.

Parks, Lakes, and Trails

Trail is surrounded by a number of parks, lakes, and trails that offer endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Here are some of the top spots to explore:

  • Champion Lakes Provincial Park: This park is located about 30 minutes from Trail and features three small lakes that are great for swimming, fishing, and boating. It also has hiking trails and picnic areas.
  • Kootenay River: This river runs through Trail and offers excellent fishing and boating opportunities. It is also a popular spot for rafting and kayaking.
  • Columbia River Trail: This trail runs along the banks of the Columbia River and offers stunning views of the water and surrounding mountains. It is a great spot for walking, jogging, and cycling.
  • Rossland Range Recreation Site: This recreation site is located about 20 minutes from Trail and offers hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing trails. It also has picnic areas and a campground.
  • Trail Creek Trail: This trail is located in the heart of Trail and offers a scenic walk through the city's downtown area. It features public art installations and historical markers.

Festivals and Events

Trail is home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year. Here are some of the top ones to check out:

  • Silver City Days: This festival takes place in May and celebrates Trail's mining heritage. It features a parade, live music, food vendors, and a carnival.
  • Kootenay Festival: This festival takes place in August and showcases the region's arts and culture. It features live music, dance performances, and artisan vendors.
  • Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey: This junior hockey team plays at the Trail Memorial Centre and is a beloved part of the community. Games are held throughout the winter months.

History of Trail, British Columbia

Trail was established in the late 1800s as a mining town. It was named after the Dewdney Trail, which was a route used by miners and traders to travel through the area. The town was officially incorporated in 1901 and quickly became a hub for mining, forestry, and transportation.

One of the key figures in Trail's history was Colonel James Baker, who was instrumental in the town's development. He helped to build the first smelter in Trail and was a major employer in the area. Baker also served as the town's mayor and was a prominent member of the community.

Today, Trail is a thriving city with a rich history and a strong sense of community. It continues to be a hub for mining and other industries, as well as a popular destination for outdoor recreation and cultural events.


Trail, British Columbia is a hidden gem in Canada that offers something for everyone. Whether you're interested in exploring the city's history, enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding area, or taking part in local festivals and events, Trail has it all. So why not plan a visit and discover all that this charming city has to offer?


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