Let Us Guide You On A Forest Bathing Journey Around Kootenay Lake

Let Us Guide You On A Forest Bathing Journey Around Kootenay Lake

Welcome to our rare inland temperate rainforest, a magical place boasting many species of trees in a diverse and beautiful ecosystem. Cleanse your mind, body and spirit by forest bathing around the Kootenay Lake region. Relax and become aware of all your senses, as you discover lush forests, ancient growth and wildlife. You may even discover something about yourself…


It’s no secret that time spent in nature is the best medicine. So it’s no wonder that forest bathing’s popularity has increased, with many describing it as therapeutic. Unsure exactly what it is? Hint - it’s not hiking! Akin to meditation, forest bathing is rooted in the process of walking slowly through the forest with no particular purpose. Absorb the surroundings with all your senses and interact with the forest in a healing and meaningful way. Let your curiosity wander as you take your time exploring. You might just spark your creative and problem solving side.


Take your time forest bathing, and see what else the woods has to offer you. Those with a keen ear will soon hear sweet birdsong, with our forests being home to many types of birds, and the sound of the wind. Birders will be delighted to find such beauties as Calliope, Rufous and Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Western Grebe, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Western and Mountain Bluebirds and of course - the majestic Osprey. Take the short John Fenger Memorial Trail, in North Kootenay Lake, and keep an eye out for owls! Or tread the boardwalk and beach at Crawford Creek Regional Park and Wetlands Trails, an important nesting area for migrating birds.


Whether you choose to have a solo or group forest bathing journey, there’s so much to take in along the 107 kilometres long Kootenay Lake and its 13 communities. Discover Douglas firs, western red cedars, lodgepole pines, western hemlock, subalpine fir, and Engelmann spruce to name a few. At West Arm Provincial Park, running from Nelson to Harrop, you’ll find a glorious habitat for endangered species and that the majority of the trees are mature or old growth.


As our shores have luckily remained untouched for centuries, there are many special places to find old growth up to 5 meters thick. Once the snow melts from late spring, take the Retallack Old Growth Trail near Kaslo and discover the power of these ancient trees. Walk among groves of giant cedars at Kokanee Old Growth Forest Trail, near Balfour, or Cedar Grove Trail, near Nelson. Over on the East Shore near Boswell, choose a misty morning to take a stroll at Lockhart Creek Trail near Boswell.


Slow down, be in the moment as you feel the glacier water flowing through your fingers at many of the creeks feeding into Kootenay Lake. Trace a historic wagon road up to an old mill site, at Sproule Creek, or set up camp on the shore at Davis Creek near Kaslo and see where the creek takes you. Let Kokanee Creek Loop weave through the forest, along the creek, where you’ll see the red salmon spawning in late August. Keep your eyes open for wildlife, as these rushing salmon streams attract cinnamon-coloured grizzly bears and bald eagles.


One of the key tenets of forest bathing is respecting the environment you’re in. Travel responsibly, stick to trails and established paths to avoid damaging these rare habitats. Be careful not to trample or damage the forest floor, which is an essential part of these fragile ecosystems. If you bring a tasty picnic, pack out what you take in and leave no trace. But most of all, take your time, breathe deeply and let the forest guide you.


The essence of forest bathing is not where you are, but how you use all your senses to experience it. But if you need some help getting started, why not download the Kootenay Lake Road Trip App? Let Kaslo local musician Diemm guide Dan take you on a guided forest bathing journey, with the new Kaslo River Trail tour. Walk beside the lively Kaslo River with mossy banks, bright bridges and hidden sculptures, all unveiled to capture your curiosity. While you're exploring our communities with the app, let our driving tour guide you.

Let's Begin Forest Bathing

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