South Slocan to Crescent Valley
The newest section of the trail will have a 4 km stretch of paved surface added to it in 2017.
Distance: 4.5 km
Features: Popular Beach, Pub, Steeper Grade
This southernmost terminus section of the trail was the newest to be developed. At 5 km it is the shortest section, but in 2017, with the support of the Columbia Basin Trust and various government agencies it became the South Slocan Community Greenway. Offering a paved 4 km surface that is accessible to all fitness levels and offers an expanded variety of uses on a safe non-motorized section found nowhere else on the SVRT. The Greenway links the community of South Slocan and Crescent Valley and provides a connection route to the The Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and links to area trails as well as the Crescent Valley Beach Park.
The new South Slocan Trailhead is located at the end of South Slocan Station Road below the Dam Inn off Hwy 3A adjacent to the Dam Inn Restaurant. There is a paved parking area, washroom and picnic tables, both in the parking area and south of the parking lot high above on a ridge. It is connected to the SVRT by the 50 m long Greenway tunnel, which runs under Highway 3A – a long sought after goal by the Trail Society. With a design by local artist Peter Vogelaar and a variety of volunteers, a mural was painted along the length of the tunnel detailing the rich Slocan Valley history. This southern terminus was the the old switch and Wye area when the Slocan Subdivision was part of the CPR. The CPR mainline is still south of the trailhead, so be aware trains may be passing by.
From here there are great views of the Kootenay River Valley, the hydro electric dams nearby and the Bonnington Mountains Range to the SE. Setting out northwest from the trailhead, the trail meanders beside the highway and skirts a large pond and wetland area at the foot of Slocan Ridge. About 1.5 km along the trail emerges from the forest in the vicinity of Mount Sentinel Secondary School. Here the trail enters a more developed commercial and residential area with many students and lots of activity. Another km or so along the trail climbs gently and passes above Brent Kennedy Elementary School. Needless to say this section of the trail is well used by school children.
At this point the trail starts to swing gradually around the southern toe of the ridge separating the Slocan and Kootenay River Valleys until it is heading northwestward. This area is unique for its dry Fir and Pine forests and open views overlooking the lower Slocan Valley. Immediately below the trail at this point are a number of handy businesses including a gas station, organic food store, cafe and restaurants, not to mention the newly created Crescent Valley Beach Park. This park was once an active sawmill in 1907. It was run by the Patrick Brothers, who went on to fame in the NHL.
From here the trail hugs the hillside and gradually descends until is crosses the highway just north of the Crescent Valley bridge and arrives at the Crescent Valley trailhead.
Next section: Crescent Valley to Passmore »