A popular section for cross-country skiing in the winter with some of the most scenic sections of the trail.
Distance: 16.5 km
Features: Hidden Beaches, Swift Water, Narrow Winding Valley, Beautiful Farms, Business and Residential Areas, Rugged Rocky Shorelines
The Crescent Valley section of the trail is very popular, particularly in the winter ski season. The main reasons for this popularity are ease of access; great scenery and access to some beautiful secluded beaches and shorelines.
Immediately north of Crescent Valley there are long forested sections that are very peaceful and quiet with frequent glimpses of the river passing by quickly below steep banks. At about km 7 the valley closes in and the trail hugs the river. This is one of the most scenic, secluded stretches of the trail as it passes below the historic Kosiancic farm with amazing views of the valley, river channels and numerous islands.
As you approach the southern end of Slocan Park the trail diverges away from the river and the valley opens up again with pleasant views of the surrounding mountains, farms and residences. This represents the halfway point on this section of the trail. Just ahead Slocan Park provides a nice refuelling point with numerous businesses to provision your continuing journey, including a store, coffee shop and garage, artisan studios. There is a small parking lot for trail users located at each end of the Slocan Park stretch.
Continuing north past the Slocan Park bridge the trail reconnects with the river again as the valley sides once again close in. Here the Slocan River makes a great broad sweep back and forth across the valley while the trail takes a more direct route and then hugs the steep shoreline closely until one reaches the Passmore Slide a couple of kilometres on. The slide occurred in April of 2000 when a large unstable area crashed across the highway and temporarily blocking the Slocan River and destroyed a popular community beach. It destroyed the rail grade and created what is now the only “hill” on the Slocan Valley Rail Trail. From the trail you can watch the river flow by and keep an eye out for wildlife. There is even a bench or two located here to help you do just that.
North of the slide, the river makes another great swing across the valley. The trail continues straight on through some impressive mature forest before emerging onto open flats next to the river after a kilometre or so. This clearing is the site of the old Passmore sawmill but the area is now developing into a pleasant riverside residential neighbourhood. Less than a kilometre north the trail crosses Passmore Upper Road to reach the Passmore trailhead.