Top three places to bring friends and family in the Nelson area

Marc Orchyk of Just Floor It in Nelson shares his top destinations for visitors to the West Kootenay

by Colin Payne

1. Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort

This year-round resort on Kootenay Lake between Nelson and Kaslo boasts three odourless pools along with a unique cave pool, 41-room hotel and a restaurant. Founded by George Ainsworth in 1882, this was originally a mining town. The hot springs were first developed in the 1920s after the mining industry started to decline.

“It’s a beautiful spot,” said Orchyk. “It’s such a popular local attraction and it’s unique compared to most hot springs that just have pools. When you go into that cave it’s like a hot spring and a steam room as well. The restaurant is really good too.”

2. Meadow Creek spawning channel

Thousands of Kokanee salmon go to spawn in the Meadow Creek spawning channel at the Duncan Dam on the north end of Kootenay Lake. Many people go there to see a miracle of nature take place. The spawning channel was built in 1967 after construction of the Duncan Dam destroyed kilometres of habitat for kokanee, bull trout and rainbow trout.

When his parents came to visit recently from Manitoba, Orchyk took them to see the salmon spawn and also got a glimpse of some other Kootenay wildlife.

“We had read in a local paper that the salmon were spawning up there and that BC Hydro had created a special channel for them to spawn in,” Orchyk said. “There were thousands of fish. We saw some areas where bears had been in there eating the salmon and having a good feast. Then we went up and checked out the Duncan Dam, too.”

3. New Denver Garlic Festival

Every September hundreds of people come from all over the province to the shores of Slocan Lake for the New Denver Garlic Festival. They come for the food, for the fun, the music and the mountains, but more importantly for the garlic – which is available in many varieties and large quantities.

Orchyk said the festival is a place he loves to bring his family when they come to visit.

“It’s really unique,” he said. “I don’t know of any other place that has a garlic festival. My mom and dad love garlic; they love arts and crafts; and New Denver is a beautiful little town.”

Marc Orchyk of Just Floor It has been in business for five years now, serving the East and West Kootenay regions. He specializes in flooring installations including carpet, tile, hardwood and laminate.

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