When imagining Canada most people picture snow capped mountains, acres of forestry, and clear waters on which to spend a peaceful day. These images draw people from all four corners of the globe and it is British Columbia to which they flock.
Travelers looking to enjoy the picturesque landscape couldn’t find a better method of soaking up the atmosphere than by hiring a boat to take on to one of the region’s many lakes.
Maybe you are looking for the best fishing lake or just somewhere to drop the anchor and enjoy a picnic on deck amongst stunning scenery; here are five of the best places to go boating in British Columbia.
Atlin Lake (pictured above) looks as though it could have been drawn from the imagination of a child; the lake and surrounding areas have been left unspoilt, making this a must visit destination. The naturally formed lake is nestled in amongst mountains such as Mount Minto and Birch Mountain, and surrounded by Atlin Provincial Park where visitors can enjoy a spot of hiking and bird watching. The lake stretches to 100km, making this the largest natural lake in the province. Atlin Lake is perfect for recreational activities including boating, canoeing and fishing – though to take advantage of the abundance of Whitefish you must apply for a permit first.
Dreams of fame? Then visit Harrison Lake which lies just outside of Vancouver and is home to the legendary Sasquatch. Relax on deck with a pair of binoculars and see if you can spot Big Foot – provided you can tear your eyes away from the incredible mountain views that wrap around the lake. In addition to the excellent boating, canoeing and fishing facilities at Harrison there is also the opportunity to visit the Harrison Hot Springs. A dip in the pool for a few minutes is said to relieve some ailments.
Okanagan Lake offers visitors some of the best weather in Canada and one of the largest lakes in the country on which to enjoy it. Work on your summer glow whilst sailing through smooth waters. Take a dip in the lake or go water skiing closer to the shore in the morning and travel up to one of the many vineyards on the lake’s edge in the afternoon. The perfect holiday destination.
Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island may be smaller than others, but that doesn’t make it any less popular for recreational activities. Take advantage of the beautiful forest surrounding the lake by using it as a great backdrop for all those photos of you water skiing, swimming and wind surfing. If after all that you find yourself too tired to move then relax on one of the lake’s sandy beaches.
Experienced boater? Feeling adventurous? Then why not sail the Sunshine Coast? As the name suggests, this is one of the sunniest areas of Canada. Visit Princess Louisa Inlet on the North part of the coast, which is only accessible by air or water (be aware of the rapids that you must pass to get there though). Stop off for a bit of shopping or culture in some of the smaller towns on your way to Desolation Sound – the biggest marine park in South BC with beautiful scenery and litter of small towns surrounding it to enjoy. Finish off your trip by exploring the East and West Redonda Islands and Cortes Island. Don’t worry about missing out if you are a beginner sailor – catch the ferry from Horseshoe Bay and you can start your adventure in just 40 minutes.
[Photo by: tuchodi, Richard Smith, Daren Kirby, Robert Dyck, Hideyuki Kamon]
Lake cowichan by far is the best boating lake in BC
It’s great to see such a beautiful lake in the top five but….Cowichan Lake is the name of the lake and the town on the east end of the lake is Lake Cowichan.