When you start travelling the Slocan Valley Rail Trail north from the Passmore trailhead, be prepared to experience a variety of landscapes and features.
Distance: 10.1 km
Features: Winding, Spectacular Forested Scenery, Close River Access, Confluence of the Slocan and Little Slocan Rivers, Marshland and Wildlife Habitat
Shortly after starting out you’ll arrive at the confluence of the Slocan and Little Slocan Rivers, where a large bench allows you to stop and ponder the vista. In the cliffs behind the bench garnet, galena and other semi-precious metals can be found, but they are part of a miners claim, so please don’t remove anything. Docile most of the year, the Little Slocan can turn into a raging torrent in the spring. Looking beyond the Little Slocan you look up at what the locals call Frog Peak, the history of which has been preserved in a tale shared by the Sinixt, the First Nations of the area.
Continuing north from here you’ll be travelling primarily along the river, viewing small log jams, pilings from former, and long since forgotten riverside mills. Continuing north, you’ll veer in and out of marshlands. In the spring the area is active with nesting waterfowl, more hidden beaches and if you’re lucky, the occasional deer or moose.
After a long straight stretch paralleling the highway the trail then reconnects with the river. This area was at one time a thick cedar forest which has long since been converted into open fields. About 2 km north of here you’ll pass a variety of fish habitat structures installed by the Columbia Power Corporation. The structures were installed in 2005 to provide a safe haven for the juvenile trout population along the river. This segment of the rail trail ends at the “Winlaw Station”, the site of a former CPT station house, but is now home to a storage structure created by the SVHTS to house some of our seasonal equipment. It has been built in the style of the CPR station buildings of the day.