Tappen is nestled in the recreation paradise of the South Shuswap, conveniently located on the Trans Canada Highway. The South Shuswap embraces the southern shores of Shuswap Lake, and although long renowned for its recreation and retirement lifestyles, the area has much more to offer, including scenic green landscapes, specialty hobby and traditional farms, light industry, forestry and a large artisan community.
Summer and winter activities abound as a result of a very moderate climate. The South Shuswap offers boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, alpine and cross country skiing, and house boating, as well as access to a first-class championship golf course.
The South Shuswap region of BC includes the communities of Balmoral, Blind Bay, Carlin, Eagle Bay, Notch Hill, Skimikin, Sorrento, Sunnybrae, Tappen, White Lake, and Wild Rose Bay.
The beautiful Shuswap Lake takes its name from the Shuswap Indians, northernmost of the Great Salishan Family, and one of the largest tribes in the interior of British Columbia. Once numbering over 5,000, these people were fishermen and hunters, roaming in bands through the vast land of lakes and forests, reaching 240 kilometres to the west, east and north. Salmon Arm takes its name from the southwest arm of the Shuswap Lake, due to the large runs of salmon that used to run up the creeks that empty into the lake.
Tappen is named after George Tappan (note different spelling), a subcontractor who had a camp here in 1884 while laying track for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).
Location: Tappen is located on Tappen Bay on the Salmon Arm of Shuswap Lake, 10 miles (16 km) north of the town of Salmon Arm on the Trans Canada Highway 1.
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Vintage car fanatics shouldn’t miss the White Post Auto Museum on the Trans Canada Highway in Tappen. The museum displays restored vintage vehicles and special interest vehicles, and also offers for sale vintage vehicles in need of restoration.
Follow Notch Hill Road up the hill to the ruins of the 1920s buildings that are all that remain of the once-booming railway town of Notch Hill. Notch Hill road is west of Highway 1 at Tappen.
The Margaret Falls are over 200 feet high and cascade into Reinecker Creek. There is an easy 10-minute self-guided nature walk in a beautiful gulley with large trees and cliffs looming above you, and a cave near the base of the falls is large enough to hold 2 or 3 adventurous explorers. The Margaret Falls are located across from the Herald Provincial Park day-use area (see below), 9 miles (14 kms) east of the Trans Canada Highway on the Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road.
Hiking: Hikers can follow the edge of the cliff for about 500 metres on the Bastion Mountain Trail northeast of Tappen. Other hiking opportunities include trails to Bryden and Pement Lakes, Skimikin Lake, Herman Lake, Reinecker Creek, and the White Lake Lookout Trail. The White Lake to Blind Bay trail is an 8 km return trip with a fairly steep descent to Blind Bay.
Golf: There are 2 golf courses to choose from in the immediate area: The Salmon Arm Golf Club offers an 18-hole championship course and 9-hole executive course, and Shuswap Lake Estates Golf & Country Club offers a scenic 18-hole golf course and driving range. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
White Lake Provincial Park is situated on the north shore of White Lake, due north of Tappen. The park has a reputation for excellent recreational rainbow trout fishing – it is one of the top three angling lakes in the province in terms of angler days. White Lake is popular in winter for ice fishing, in addition to fly fishing and trolling in the summer.
Herald Provincial Park is situated on the west shore of the Salmon Arm of Shuswap Lake. The 79-hectare park situated on the grounds of an old homestead offers a very popular campground and features 700 metres of sandy beach on the warm waters of Shuswap Lake. Swimming, canoeing, fishing, and bird-watching are popular activities. For picnickers looking for a break from Highway 1, it’s worth the short drive (9 miles/14 kms) to reach the park from the highway.
Shuswap Lake Marine Provincial Park is one of the most popular boating and canoeing locations in the Southern Interior. Shuswap Lake is the product of the glacial scouring that also rounded the surrounding Shuswap Highlands, and is made up of four large arms: the Shuswap Lake Main Arm, Salmon Arm, Anstey Arm, and Seymour Arm.
South of Tappen is Salmon Arm, the largest town and the economic and service centre of the Shuswap area, located on the south shore of Shuswap Lake.
North of Tappen is the lakeside vacation community of Sorrento. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, alpine meadows, rivers and forests on the shores of Shuswap Lake, Sorrento is enveloped by motels, resorts, campgrounds and summer cottages, offering a fabulous array of recreational activities, during both summer and winter.