Surrounded by orchards, vineyards and towering Ponderosa pines, Peachland is a serene and picturesque community located on the shore of Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley.
The historic community of Peachland dates back to the late 1800s, and the arrival of pioneer John Moore Robinson from Manitoba in 1897. Recognizing the agricultural potential of the land along the Okanagan Lake shoreline, Robinson claimed and sub-divided benchland above the lake, eventually establishing the town of Peachland.
Following this settlement, Robinson moved south in 1902 to create the lakeshore community of Summerland, with the patronage of Sir Thomas Shaugnessy, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). Robinson followed this success by further establishing the town of Naramata in 1907.
Peachland is Ogopogo’s hometown! While all the communities on Okanagan Lake lay claim to this famous watery beast, it’s at Squally Point, just across the water, that Ogopogo is thought to make his (or her) home.
Besides lake monsters, Peachland is known for its fruit and wines of the Greata Ranch and Hainle Vineyard Estate Wineries.
Location: Peachland is located on Highway 97 on the western shore of Okanagan Lake, 18 miles (29 km) north of Summerland and 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Kelowna. Peachland neighbours on the community of Westbank.
Okanagan Orchards: The Okanagan Valley, stretching from Osoyoos at the US border north to Vernon, is laden with orchards, making it especially appealing in spring when the fruit trees are in full bloom. The best time to pick up some of the valley’s bounty is mid-August through early September.
Okanagan Wineries: Fruit aside, winemaking is the hot ticket in the Okanagan, and British Columbians have long taken inordinate pride in their wines. Ever since the province authorized estate and smaller farmgate wineries, many excellent small wineries have popped up. Nearly three dozen quaint wineries set in lush vineyards operate in the Okanagan Valley, welcoming visitors to sample world class wines while enjoying the scenery of nearby lakes and mountains. Take a self-guided Wine Tour, and experience the magic first hand.
Wineries in the Okanagan Valley
Peachland Museum: Exhibits of artifacts and photographs depicting the history of the Peachland district are on display at the Peachland Museum, housed in the former Baptist Church, an unusual eight-sided wooden building constructed in 1910.
Heritage Buildings: Historic and heritage buildings to be seen include an original 1907 log cabin, the United Church, the Greata Packinghouse, and the March residence.
Stroll along the lakeshore on the Peachland Promenade. With a main street running along the lake, Peachland features an inviting beach that stretches seven kilometres, with a gentle, sloping shoreline and cool, clean waters.
All aboard! The Kettle Valley Railway offers a unique two-hour journey from Summerland on one of BC’s few remaining fully operational steam railways. From May to October, enjoy a tour along a preserved ten-kilometre section of the original railway. Constructed between 1910 and 1914, the Kettle Valley Railway was an engineering marvel, linking the towns of southern British Columbia, climbing from 1100 to 4000 feet above sea level, and travelling over 18 trestle bridges. The locomotive, a 1924 Shay steam engine, pulls two 1950s passenger coaches, the Kettle Car (open air) and the Kaboose.
You can walk or hike as much or as little of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, south of Kelowna, as you feel inclined to tackle. Stamina, more than conditioning, will determine if you complete the 24-km round trip between the trailheads on the Little White and Myra Forest Service Roads. As the trail follows an abandoned railbed, the grade is moderate. This was one of the more challenging sections of the route to engineer, and required 18 trestles and two tunnels. Kettle River Recreation Area.
Hardy Falls Park in Peachland is a cool oasis in what can sometimes be a hot landscape. A pleasant walking trail (easy 3 km return), complete with seven footbridges, leads to a splendid little waterfall hidden away at the head of a narrow canyon. The shade and the cool water attract a wide variety of wildlife as well as human visitors. In the spring, wildflowers brighten the canyon walls and the underbrush along the trail. Carp spawn in the creek and dippers nest in the cracks of the waterfall. In October, crimson kokanee dart among the riffles in the creek. Harry Hardy was one of the first orchardists in the Westbank area, and Hardy Falls Park is named in his honour. The park is adjacent to Antlers Beach Park, where you can head for a dip after your walk.
Darke Lake Provincial Park is about 20 km northwest of Summerland off Hwy 97 on Prairie Valley Road (20 kms of gravel road). It has a small campground, with good rainbow and brook trout fishing. In winter, the lake is the site of ice fishing and skating. From Darke Lake, it’s only 4 km farther to Eneas Lakes Provincial Park, a lovely undeveloped area consisting of four lakes on a fir- and pine-forested plateau. It’s 20 km west of Peachland; road access is limited and rough, and four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended.
Okanagan Lake Provincial Park: There are 168 campsites in two separate campgrounds on the west side of the lake in Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, 10 km south of Peachland. This is a scenic, well-developed site, with sandy beaches along the lake backed by uplands of ponderosa pine and sagebrush. The park is open year-round and is suitable for day use and picnics, but campers should be prepared for crowds during the peak season.
Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park: Across Okanagan Lake, opposite Peachland, are 10,000 hectares of remote wilderness in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. There is no road access into the park; it’s boat, bicycle, or hike-in only. Secondary roads from Kelowna offer access to parking lots on the park’s northeastern boundary. Souls looking for more undisturbed places will not want to miss the wilderness walk-in campsites in the park, which is well suited to backwoods camping.
Hiking trails provide an excellent opportunity to ramble around and see unique plants and animal life in this semidesert wilderness region. The lake and mountain views are good from the top of Okanagan Mountain, but wear sturdy footwear (this park is in rattlesnake country) and carry water between camping areas if you’re hiking in summer. In addition to the backcountry campsites, facilities also include horse-loading ramps in the north and south parking lots, as well as marine campsites and mooring buoys on Okanagan Lake. Hike to the top of Okanagan Mountain on the Divide Lake North Trail (moderate; 16 km return) from the Rimrock Rd parking lot for beautiful views of the lake to the west and the Monashees to the east, and check out the four archaeological sites in the park.
Pennask Lake Provincial Park, 56 km northwest of Peachland off Hwy 97, is a source of much of the province’s rainbow trout eggs, which are used for restocking purposes. Fishing is excellent here, and the park has a boat launch. The road in is not suitable for recreational vehicles: it’s rough for 50 km from Peachland and then gravel into the park.
Golf: The 18-Hole public Ponderosa Golf & Country Club is situated at the base on Pincushion Mountain. Rolling fairways wander amongst the Ponderosa pines, with spectacular views of Okanagan Lake. Golfers of all abilities will enjoy the challenging fairways and well-groomed tees and greens (6,007 yards, Par 72). Along with full amenities, the Ponderosa Bar is one of the largest log structures in Western Canada. Located off Hwy 97 South. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Whether you ski the diamond slopes or challenge the all-natural snowboard park, Crystal Mountain can be addictive. Watch for signs of rosy complexion, a steady smile and a general feeling of well-being. Skiing & Winter Activities in the Okanagan Valley.
South of Peachland is Summerland, drenched in sunshine on the shore of Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley.
Northeast of Peachland is Westbank, a popular spot for those who seek a relaxing experience on Okanagan Lake: boating, sailing, canoeing, houseboating, windsurfing and swimming, and in winter, downhill and cross-country skiing.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on 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 the Southern Okanagan, starting and ending your sun-drenched voyage in Osoyoos, the place where two lakes come together. Circle Tours in British Columbia.