A 35-minute ferry ride takes visitors to one of Canada ‘s best kept secrets. The port of Balfour is located on the west side of beautiful Kootenay Lake, just inside the mouth of the West Arm. From here Highway 3a crossesKootenay Lake via the Longest Free Ferry Ride in the World! The town is home for the MV Osprey and its historic sister ship, the MV Balfour, both large enough for the largest of motorhomes and trailers. Surrounding the ferry landing are numerous restaurants, retail shops and bakery. There is also a service station here.
Balfour’s setting is indicative of something special; mountainous walls of pine and fir stretch skyward, with summer-snowy peaks soaring even farther above.
Just 5 minutes southwest of Balfour on Hwy 3A is Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. This popular full facility family oriented park has a gorgeous sand spit beach adjacent to a spacious campground. You will also find a boat launch, picnicking and an adventure playground. The primary attraction is the spawning channels, which have spawning Kokanee in August. Excellent interpretive signage describes the extraordinary life cycle of this landlocked species of salmon. Within the park there are eight different walking trails taking a total of 1½ hours to hike.
For a breathtaking day hike or backpacking trip look for one of the access points to Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park just west of the campground. There are 85+ km. of hiking trails in this 32,035 hectare park.
Balfour is also a gateway to the wild and wondrous West Kootenay region. Heading north on Highway 31 takes you to the 18 hole championship Balfour Golf Course with newly constructed Kootenay Lakeview Lodge.
Access to one of the more popular Loop Super Side Trips, the “North Kootenay Lake & Silvery Slocan Super Side Trip,” starts by turning north (right) immediately after disembarking the ferry.
For more information about this area contact the Balfour Chamber of Commerce.