Get the lay of the land

This land is the sweet spot of the Kootenays!

 It is located halfway between East Kootenays and West Kootenays. The convenient location is perfect for enjoying all that the Kootenays has to offer while living in the sweetest place.

 Our communities are all within the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) regional boundaries and are often grouped as Areas A, B, C and Creston. 


 The combined population is 13,172.
  2016 Census Stats for the Kootenays. 

 The locals refer to the communities on the east shore of the Kootenay Lake, from Kuskanook to Riondel, as one large community called East Shore. The other communities in this area are referred to as Creston Valley, except for Kitchener and Yahk.

 It is worthwhile noting that the Creston Valley and East Shore do not switch over to “Daylight Savings Time.” This area always stays at the same time year-round. 

The average drive time to these neighbourhoods from Creston is about 10 minutes, except Kitchener is approx. 15 minutes east on Highway 3, and Yahk is about 30 minutes east. Heading north on Highway 3A takes you to Boswell in approx. 30 minutes, Crawford Bay in 45 minutes, and Kootenay Bay/Riondel about 60+ minutes depending on seasonal traffic.

Each one of these neighbourhoods has its unique character and qualities that are influenced by their history, geography, and rural living. Our people naturally learn to be resourceful and collaborative.

All the communities

Town of Creston

Creston is a service hub for the neighbourhoods within the Creston Valley and the East Shore of Kootenay Lake. Creston is a cozy town. In my opinion, it pretty much has every primary service I can imagine wanting and needing. Creston also has a hospital, college campus, library, an award-winning recreation center, a busy shopping area downtown, and uptown as well as many social services. International Columbia Brewery is a significant contributor to the tax base along with other “bricks and mortar businesses.” Real estate in Creston is very affordable compared to other places in the province. However, housing in town is more expensive than rural houses. 

West Creston – Area C

This community is a short 10-minute drive from Creston. The West Creston Hall is a hub of activity. West Creston provides excellent opportunities to spot wildlife and to birdwatch throughout the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. This area also includes some fantastic walks through the wetlands and channels. West Creston is also known for flatwater canoeing or kayaking. 

South of Creston

The Lower Kootenay Band with its Yaqan Nuki people has a village in Lister, but they also have lands throughout the Creston Valley and Kootenay Lake. The Band hosts an annual traditional Pow Wow during the Blossom Festival weekend, where the public is invited to attend. Their office is located just off Highway 21 southwest of Creston, and there is also an interpretation centre situated within the Legend Logo store. You can learn more by going to Ktunaxa Nation website.

Lister – Area B

Lister is 10-minutes drive south of Creston. The wide-open spaces in Lister provide for some fantastic views of the Skimmerhorn mountains and vistas of rolling farmlands. The airport located here is vital to the valley as a whole. Theairport serves local pilots, emergency air ambulance, and forestry firefighting. TheCreston Valley Golf Course located in this area is known for its scenic championship 18 holes beautiful course design and busy clubhouse restaurant. Properties for sale in this area are in demand. 

East of Creston

Erickson – Area B

This agricultural community borders the Town of Creston. Locals and visitors treasure the roadside fruit stands and wineries. Within this farming area are a few pockets of residential neighbourhoods. 

Kitchener – Area B

Kitchener is 15-minute drive from Creston. Outdoor recreationists enjoy this area because it provides access to ATV trails, fishing holes, and hunting grounds. The weather here dips down in the winter from the rest of the valley, but those who live here don’t care because they play in the snow, their taxes are cheap, fuel for wood stoves is plentiful, and they live on route to Cranbrook for its additional services. 

Canyon - Area B

Canyon is a farming community about 10 minutes drive east of Creston. When the people of the Creston Valley think of Canyon, they likely think of fly-fishing on the Goat River or orchards or horses. Historically Canyon Park hosted Chuckwagon or Chariot Races during the Blossom Festival weekend. Now the grounds is mainly used by the 4H Club and Creston and District Community Complex programs, and the campground for special events. Residents are fond of their community hall, school and convenience
store.

Yahk and Kingsgate – Area B

Yahk is a 30-minute drive from Creston along Hwy 3. Outdoor recreationists and individualists are attracted to live here. This friendly community cherishes its beautiful Hall. There are a couple of convenience stores with fuel, touristy stores, and 3 RV parks. The Yahk Provincial Camp Ground is conveniently located just off the highway and along the Moyie River. 

Lakeview Arrow Creek – Area B

This community is nestled behind Goat Mountain or Arrow Mountain and can be accessed off Hwy 3 at Arrow Creek Rd (leaving the east end of the valley after Erickson) or off of Hwy 3A at Lakeview Rd. (between Wynndel and Creston).

North of Creston is the East Shore – Area A

Wynndel

The rural hamlet of Wynndel is a 10-minute drive north of Creston. Most residents have access to municipal water, natural gas, fire protection, the Wynndel Memorial Hall, and the neighbourhood convenience store, Wynndel Foods, and Gas. Adding to the tax base is Canfor Wynnwood Sawmill. Wynndel has easy access to Duck Lake for outdoor recreation from the flats and historical Sirdar. Many Wynndelites enjoy the close approximately to Kuskanook Harbour on the Kootenay Lake. Fair priced properties for sale in the Wynndel area are often in demand. 

Boswell

Boswell is a stretch of area that follows the Kootenay Lake shoreline on Highway 3. The active Boswell Hall is a short 30-minute drive from Creston. Local recreationists, especially fisher-persons, make good use of the Boswell Boat Ramp.  

Most of the housing is along the lake. There are a few communities within Boswell, such as Twin Bays, Sanca, and Destiny Bay, with its convenience store. Mountain Shores Resort is another community within Boswell. This gated community makes rural living look easy (they even have their marina with fuel). 

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Gray Creek

Today there are many seasonal residents in Gray Creek who make this beautiful location along Hwy 3A their “home away from home.” A visit to the historical Gray Creek Store tells tales of life here from 1913 on; it is an excellent source for local knowledge and household goods. 

Crawford Bay

Crawford Bay is an eclectic community located on the Kootenay Lake 60-minute drive from Creston. Each summer, tourists arrive to meander through the shops within the artist community. It has seasonal restaurants, a year-round convenience store, and a K to 12 school. There is a public beach in the bay within walking distance of the campgrounds. Located within the community is one of BC’s most scenic golf courses, Kokanee Springs. This area is becoming known for mountain biking. A local trail map makes it easy for newcomers to get out on the trails, either on foot or on a bike.

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Kootenay Bay

This area is around the corner from Crawford Bay. The world’s longest free ferry ride (30 minutes) takes you over to the other side of the lake to the community of Balfour. There is a public boat launch near the ferry landing. A short drive along Pilot Point will take you to Pilot Point trailhead. This trail follows along the lake and gives you access by foot to a provincial marine park and other beaches. A little further down the road is a trailhead to a historical lighthouse where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the lake.

Riondel

Riondel is a town located on the Kootenay Lake at the end of the lake road. Riondel’s history goes back to 1882 when it became a booming mining town until the Bluebell Mine closed in 1972. Now it is a haven for retirees and mobile workers. This little town has a fire department, grocery store, restaurant pub, internet service, and community center with curling rink. It has an active community that includes the performing arts. Within its town limits is a beautiful park along the lake with camping facilities. Summer tourists provide a welcome change of pace for full-time local residents. The Riondel Golf course is enjoyed by those who don’t take the game too seriously and enjoy life as it comes. The Yasodhara Ashram, a yoga retreat and study centre is a special place to visit whether to partake in one of their programs or to drop by for a short visit.