Wardner Provincial Park is located about 15 km (9 miles) west of
and 37 km (23 miles) east of Cranbrook,
off Hwy 3/93 in the small Village of Wardner.
The main highlight of Wardner Provincial Park is being able to have
an access point to the Kootenay River at the north end of Koocanusa
Lake. The small park is located on Laurier Street in Wardner where
you'll find a day-use parking lot with picnic area and another parking
area with a gravel boat launch into the Kootenay River at a slightly
different location to the north
At one time, the park was well used as a rest stop as it was on
the original route of Hwy 3 which went through Wardner. Then in
1971, Crowsnest Hwy 3 was re-routed to a new bridge over the Kootenay
River, just upstream from Wardner. With the re-routing of the highway,
the park's usage dropped off enormously.
After the completion in Montana of the Libby Dam in 1973 and the
flooding of the new reservoir called Koocanusa Lake, a new demand
was created for Wardner Provincial Park. Now the parks main purpose
is to give local residents and travellers access to the north part
of Koocanusa Lake where there are fishing, water sports, and other
outdoor recreational opportunities.
Wardner Provincial Park still serves as a good resting point or
place to relax for lunch if you're travelling Hwy 3, with a number
of picnic tables with views overlooking the Kootenay River. There
are two picnic tables situated at the parking lot on Laurier Street,
as well as a pit-toilet. There is a short trail to some other picnic
tables that overlook the Kootenay River with Bull Mountain and 'The
Steeples' in the view towards the north-east towards Norbury
Lake Provincial Park.
Lake Provincial Park
If you are looking to camp near Wardner Provincial Park in the provincial
campground system, you can find some opportunities at Norbury Lake
Provincial Park. Once leaving Wardner, travel east on Hwy 3/93 across
the Kootenay River Bridge and turn north on the Wardner Fort Steele
Road. Travel about 15 km (9miles) through the small community of
Bull River to the park gate.