Winlaw is a small unincorporated community on the eastern bank of the Slocan River in the BC Kootenays. Located in the picturesque Slocan Valley, Winlaw offers a host of recreational activities amongst the surrounding mountains, rivers and lakes.
Winlaw was named after John Brown Winlaw, who built a sawmill on the railway line here around 1900, and became the first postmaster of Winlaw in 1903.
Winlaw’s rather traditional roots have nourished an eclectic community, probably the funkiest little town in the Slocan Valley, which celebrates its diverse lifestyles and liberal ways.
Centrally located to Valhalla and Kokanee Provincial Parks, and the towns of Nelson, Castlegar and New Denver, Winlaw has one of the six one-lane bridges spanning the Slocan River.
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Winlaw Beach Regional Park is a waterfront access park on the Slocan River located immediately north of Winlaw. Also known as Winlaw Nature Park, the park offers walking trails, a playground, picnic area, beach, and an elevated boardwalk, and is a put-in spot for paddlers enjoying the Slocan River.
Hiking: Pull out your hiking boots and fishing gear and head off Highway 6 onto Pedro Creek FS Road to the Rockside Lake Trail, a 4-km easy hike that leads to good fishing in the small Rockside Lake.
Mountain Biking: Mountain Bikers can challenge The Loop, a fabulous 6.7-km biking trail in Perry’s siding, just north of Winlaw. Home of the annual Shreddin’ the Loop Race.
The Rails to Trails recreation corridor that runs from the south end of Slocan Lake to Winlaw, Passmore and South Slocan is a wonderful trail for non-motorized use by horse riders, mountain bikers, runners, walkers, hikers, and nature lovers. In the winter, cross-country skiiers and snowshoers use the trails.
Valhalla Provincial Park is a magnificent world-class wilderness encompassing 49,600 hectares of natural landscape, and 30 kilometres of pristine shoreline along Slocan Lake. The park is located high in the Valhalla Mountain range along the west shore of Slocan Lake, with numerous cascades and waterfalls scattered throughout the park. Backcountry hiking and camping are popular in the park.
Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park is a rugged 30,000-hectare mountain wilderness park in the Slocan Range of the Selkirk Mountains, between Slocan Lake and the north arm of Kootenay Lake. The park offers excellent wilderness recreation in both summer and winter, but is best known for its top-notch backcountry hiking and wilderness camping, and some fine angling for trout in the more than 30 glacier lakes.
Golf: Golfers can head to the challenging 9-hole, par-35 Valley View Golf Club in Vallican, located south of Winlaw on Highway 6. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Winter Activities: Winter offers vacationers and residents the opportunity to ski, ice skate and ice fish in the area.
North of Winlaw is Slocan, once the smallest incorporated city in the British Commonwealth, and perhaps the smallest city in the world before it lost its city incorporation in the 1950s. Slocan is located at the extreme southerly end of Slocan Lake in the Slocan Valley.
South of Winlaw is the community of Passmore. Located on the Slocan River, the Passmore bridge over the Slocan River marks one of the most important mid-valley crossings over the Slocan River.
Farther to the south is the city of Castlegar, located in the Columbia Valley, at the confluence of the tumbling Columbia and Kootenay Rivers. Castlegar is home to many of British Columbia’s Doukhobors, a pacifist group of political refugee emigrants from Russia that settled in the Ootichena Valley in 1908.
Circle Tour: See the best of the area on the Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour. Travel the sunny interior of British Columbia, north through the Okanagan to Sicamous, following Highway 1 into the mountains of the BC Rockies. From Golden, head south through the Columbia Valley to Creston, and west through Boundary Country and the Southern Okanagan to complete the loop. Circle Tours in British Columbia.