Wardner Provincial Park off Highway 3/93 east of Cranbrook provides recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors on the Kootenay River and Lake Koocanusa.
A boat launch located within the park allows access to the northern reaches of the man-made Lake Koocanusa. The reservoir, created in 1973 by the construction of the Libby Dam in Montana, stretches for more than 160 kilometers, with approximately 1/3 of its waters residing in British Columbia. Wardner Provincial Park is one of 2 BC provincial parks located on Lake Koocanusa, the other being Kikomun Creek Provincial Park, 22 km to the south.
The Kootenay River, as it flows by the community of Wardner, is most effected by water levels in the reservoir in summer months. Originally, Wardner Provincial Park provided a picturesque rest stop along the Crowsnest Highway 3. However, a new bridge crossing for the Kootenay River and subsequent rerouting of Highway 3 reduced tourist visits to the park.
Today, the 4-hectare park primarily serves local residents and a small number of tourists. A small beach area allows swimming opportunities and an upslope forested day-use and picnic area, complete with picnic tables and benches, further complements the park’s riverfront setting.
Wardner Provincial Park offers a day-use area for hiking, and fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming on Wardner Lake.
Wardner Provincial Park is located off Crowsnest Highway 3 / Highway 93, east of Cranbrook and 15 km northwest of Jaffray.
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