From beaches and watersports in summer to cross-country skiing and skating in winter, this lake sets the scene for year-round leisure activities.
For a fun-filled outdoor vacation, visit Lake Windermere, one of British Columbia’s most beloved areas for outdoor recreation. This destination for all seasons offers everything from golf to hiking, skiing and watersports. The lake is a broadening of the Columbia River in a valley framed by the Kootenay Rockies and Purcell Mountains. Spread along its shores are tourist-friendly villages and provincial parks.
Summer is a great time to be at the lake, when visitors relax in the sunshine at beaches such as Kinsmen Beach in the village of Invermere. Explore the mild water by rented kayak or motorboat and try wakeboarding, waterskiing and windsurfing. In winter, powdery snow falls upon the lake and surrounding countryside. Go cross-country skiing, ice-skating or skate skiing on Lake Windermere Whiteway, a 21-mile (34-kilometer) groomed trail. Watch pond hockey or curling on the frozen lake.
Spend time browsing the exhibits at Pynelogs Cultural Centre and Windermere Valley Museum in Invermere. Find a beach, children’s playground and picnic tables at James Chabot Provincial Park. On the lake’s eastern shores is the peaceful and picturesque hamlet of Windermere. Spot deer and elk while walking in the grasslands of Windermere Lake Provincial Park.
A 10-minute drive north of Invermere is Radium Hot Springs. This is the gateway to Kootenay National Park and the Radium Hot Springs Pools. To the south is Fairmont Hot Springs, a jumping-off point for Columbia Lake Provincial Park and Fairmont Hot Springs Ski Area.
Tour the Columbia Valley Golf Trail, which incorporates eight courses situated between Radium Hot Springs and Fairmount Hot Springs. Eagle Ranch, The Ridge at Copper Point and Windermere Valley are all just a short drive from the lakeshore.
Lake Windermere is about a 170-mile (280-kilometer) drive southwest of Calgary. Rent a car and get here via the scenic highways that cut through the dramatic landscapes of Kootenay National Park. Check for avalanche warnings if visiting in winter.