The Skattebo Reach Trail connects from Glade to Castlegar, contouring above the Kootenay River. It’s a pleasant forested route with the blue-green river peeking through the woods. McPhee Creek makes a good turnaround point if you don’t want to head all the way to the Brilliant Substation near Castlegar.
Trailhead & Driving Directions
After disembarking the Glade ferry, drive up to turn right onto Glade Road and reset the odometer if needed. Drive 1.4km. After this point, the road gets rougher as it enters the forest. If you’re in a 2WD clearance vehicle or if the road is soft and muddy, you may want to park here.
Otherwise, continue driving and cross Glade Creek. Stay right at 1.7km rather than forking left to Glade Creek Falls. If the road is getting worse and the forest is closing in, there is a wide parking space at about 3km. Continuing along the road, reach the trailhead at 4.1km. You’ll be in a clearing at the end of the road with a huge boulder to the right and a small sign.
Along the trail
The Skattebo Reach Trail weaves through the forest with the Kootenay River along the side. It’s mostly easy walking, but there are a few rough and rocky places. The trail sometimes take steep drops down and up over creek beds which would be challenging for bikes!
There are also a few spots where the slope gets steep and the trail is cut into the side, with a big drop down to the river! Be cautious in these sections.
It’s not quite a pristine wilderness experience with highway noise channelling across the river, but it’s a nice forested walk that is snow-free early in the spring. There are plenty of larch and birch trees which would make for colourful fall hiking too!
Reach McPhee Creek after 4.1km from leaving the trailhead. There is a bench beside the bridge as a rest stop.
Before crossing the creek, you can also look for a faint trail off the right that leads out onto the delta. There are gravel bars here and a bit of a view to sit out and enjoy the space.
McPhee Creek is a logical turn-around spot, but you can continue hiking for about another 4km to end up at the Brilliant Substation near Castlegar.