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Water Sports

Water sports are a way of life in Arrow Slocan’s lakes.

Arrow Slocan’s scenic lakes and rivers make the region a paddler’s dream. Paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing are great ways to enjoy the water, especially on Slocan Lake. Motorized boats are popular on Arrow Lake.

A number of operators can set you up with the equipment and advice you need to get on the water safely. Boat launches are available in the area to help you get your vessel in the water.

Water Sports: Paddle Board, Canoe, Kayak

Slocan Lake is home to the self propelled water enthusiasts. The lake is dotted with paddle boards, kayaks and canoes exploring the shores along Valhalla Provincial Park and beyond.

Although the lake is often calm and inviting, strong winds can quickly create dangerous waves, especially in the afternoon. Stay close to shore and keep a close eye on the weather.

Motorized Boat Adventures

Arrow Lakes Reservoir is one of the top boating lakes in BC. The reservoir is nestled between the Selkirk and Monashee Mountains and stretches over 230 km from Revelstoke to Castlegar. Make it an overnight adventure by visiting the provincial parks and recreation sites that are located along the shoreline.

Water levels can change over a 24 hour period. Reservoir operations combined with the reservoir’s topography create hazards that are unique to man-made water bodies. Water levels within the reservoir fluctuate by as much as 20 metres annually and are constantly changing. Reservoir levels can rise or fall by approximately 30 cm in a 24-hour period at any time of the year.

Boat fuel is available in Edgewood, Needles and Nakusp.

Where to Launch

On the Arrow Lakes, boat launches within Arrow Slocan are found at McDonald Creek, Edgewood Park, Fauquier Park, Burton Historical Park and Nakusp. Other Arrow Lakes launches are found at Shelter Bay, Eagle Bay and Centennial Park near Revelstoke. Some facilities are not useable or accessible when the Arrow Lakes Reservoir reaches low elevations.

Three daily elevation gauges are available for the Arrow Lakes Reservoir: Nakusp, Fauquier, and Hugh Keenleyside Dam. BC Hydro has further reservoir information.

The Nakusp Marina offers break-watered moorage, parking and washroom facilities. It is located adjacent to the BC Hydro maintained boat launch.

  1. McDonald Creek Park – The boat launch is located at the south end of the park and useable only during high water. A nearby 25 vehicle parking lot is available for overnight parking. There is no wharf, but boats can be beached during the day.
    Call: 1 866 937-5734
  2. Edgewood Park – The community run campground at Edgewood situated near the mouth of the Eagle Creek has an easy-access boat launch.
  3. Fauquier Park – The launch is located on the eastern side of the Needles Ferry terminal adjacent to the golf course.
  4. Burton Historical Park – The campground has a boat launch and dock amongst its other amenities.
    Call: 1 844-265-4885

The majority of the provincial parks have lake access suitable for Kayak, canoe and paddle board launch, as well as the following public parks:

Slocan City – has a sandy beach at the end of the main street and a boat launch adjacent to the beach area.

Silverton Day Park – has a lakefront landscaped area in downtown Silverton.

Centennial Park – at the south end of New Denver and has beach access as well as other amenities.

Bigelow Bay Regional Park – at New Denver’s northern boundary this waterfront park provides water access from Kildare Street.

Rosebery Parklands – located in Rosebery, a few kilometres north of New Denver, this park provides beach access.

The Village of Slocan also maintains a boat launch on the south end of Slocan Lake.

Know before you go

Water sports can be dangerous and require skills and knowledge to be safe. The Slocan and Arrow lakes are long narrow mountain lakes. When wind occurs, it is funnelled up and down the steep valleys. Due to the lakes’ length, significant waves can be created even without a storm.

Safety is an important part of any water adventure. You are required by law to have a lifejacket or PFD (Personal Flotation Device) on board for each person on a watercraft – human-powered or motor.

More Resources

Find a Guide, Rental or Equipment

Looking to get out and enjoy one of the many Arrow Slocan water sports? Here are some businesses that can get you out.

Arrow Lakes Adventures, Nakusp
Pontoon boat lake cruises and charters.

Endless Adventure, Crescent Valley
Offering water sport supplies, tours, lessons and rentals for rafting, kayaking and paddle boarding.

Smiling Otter, Slocan
Shuttles at either end of Slocan Lake can be arranged.

Wet Willies, Nakusp
Kayak and paddle board rentals conveniently located near Nakusp’s public beach.

Valhalla Pure, New Denver
Paddling, outdoor gear and accessories available for purchase.

Big Dog Paddle, New Denver
Paddle board and yoga camping retreats. Paddle board lessons.

Silverton Building Supplies, Silverton
Camping and fishing equipment, ice, propane, snacks and beverages.

Halcyon Hot Springs rents kayaks, paddle boards and canoes to their guests.