An easy river-side stroll through the forest. The Slocan Pools trail offers gentle walking and beautiful views out over the Kootenay River.
Distance, round trip: 4.5km
Season: April to November
Trailhead and Driving Directions
Drive to the junction between Castlegar, Nelson, and the Slocan Valley (Highway 3A meets Highway 6), then continue 2.6km North towards Nelson and turn off at The Dam Restaurant and Bar on West Kootenay Road.
You’ll continue straight on West Kootenay Road, passing by Kalisnekoff Lumber and crossing the railway, before driving down the winding road to park in the public parking lot by the Hydro Station.
The Slocan Pools are on private land where the public is welcomed, but please obey all signage and be courteous.
Down the old road
Stepping off from the parking lot, you’ll see a trailhead sign directing you to the right and down an old road. Follow it to come down to the river.
You’ll be lead to a quiet beach overlooking the Kootenay River, with the community of Shoreacres in the distance.
The road will lead to an old homesite that’s been boarded up. Just beyond is the start of the official trail.
Through the Forest
Follow the trail through the forest as it edges along the river. There are several lookouts with scenic benches as you go.
After hiking 1.5km, you’ll reach a junction with a scenic bench down on the river, and a flagged trail ascending up through the forest. You can loop back down to this spot later on the hike if you wish. Continue straight on the main path.
The trail ends at 2.2km where you’ll intersect a rusted gate in the forest. Heading further through the gate will lead you into the community of Shoreacres. There is another junction here as you can loop back on a high path through the forest. This part of the trail traces an old road and parallels the railway.
The high path is easy hiking. After 3.3km, you’ll reach another flagged junction that will dip back down to the lower river trail if you want to make a shorter loop. If you continue on and follow the high path (GPS route above), you’ll eventually come to a gravel pit and the trail will lead down through the woods crossing old roads and railways to join up with the main river walk. If you get off track here, you’ll come out on West Kootenay Road again above the parking lot.