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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Kootenay Rockies > Nelson

Nelson is located; 41 km (25.5 miles) north-east from Castlegar on Hwy 3A/6, 122 km (76 miles) from Creston on Hwy 6/3, or 114 km (71 miles) from Creston on Hwy 3A via the Kootenay Ferry crossing at Balfour - Kootenay Bay.

Silver Mining
Known for its long association with the silver mining industry and provincial parks, Nelson is also the main centre for most artisans and craftsmen in the Kootenay Region.

Baker Street
This is the centre of it - Baker Street. You will be impressed with the colourful and unique Baker Street, restaurants, coffee shops, old heritage buildings, art stores, plus lots of curios and collectibles throughout the whole length. A real treat is when a large number of outdoor cafes are set up and you get to have a breakfast or a coffee on all of the patios.

Heritage Buildings
Throughout Nelson you will notice a large number of old-stone heritage buildings some dating from the elate 1800's. Nelson was a very prosperous town and, in a proud display, the lumber and mining barons built their homes and businesses using large slabs of granite rock throughout.

Walking Tour
The City of Nelson has made a walking tour you can take throughout the city and view this proud past. You can pick up this free map at the Visitor Info Centre located at 225 Hall Street.

Lakeside Park
When you're walking around Nelson make sure you go to the Lakeside Park located just by the Orange Bridge on Hwy 3A. Visiting the park has been a Nelson tradition for many a family throughout the years. You can take a very nice walkway from downtown along the West Arm of Kootenay Lake.

Chahko Mika Mall
Located adjacent to Lakeside Park along Kootenay Lake is Chahko Mika Mall. The mall can be easily accessed using Nelson's colourful tramway or by walking along the waterfront. Chahko Mika Mall is very handy if you need supplies with Wal-Mart and Save-on-Foods being the main tenants in the mall.

City of Nelson Parks
The city parks around Nelson are excellent with various recreational pursuits offered throughout the year.

For swimmers, besides Kootenay Lake there is also Cottonwood Falls Park and the Cottonwood Creek area. This is located where Cottonwood Creek crosses under Hwy 3A and Hwy 6. Then, across the Orange Bridge on Johnstone Road, just over the North Shore is James Johnstone Regional Park for relaxing on Kootenay Lake.

Gyro Park
Also in town, kids will enjoy Gyro Park for swimming in the pool area and the adults will also enjoy the colourful garden display. Gyro Park is located at the end of Vernon Sreet heading north-east from the city.

Nelson Artwalk
The Nelson Artwalk is an annul event where the whole of Nelson has artistry showcased over the months of July, August and September. During the opening day of each month, Baker Street and downtown Nelson are set up with displays and objects of art to look at plus samples of various wines.

Colourful Events
Various venues, exhibits and events are also scheduled during the days and most evenings. With lots of colourful events and people coming together all summer long, it will be entertainment for you every day at Nelson Artwalk.

  • NDAC - Nelson and District Arts Council

Endless Recreation
For recreation the things and options to do are endless. From skiing at Whitewater, boating and fishing on Kootenay Lake, playing 18 holes at Granite Pointe to exploring along the Columbia River towards Crescent Valley and the Silvery Slocan.

For mountain bikers and cyclists, there are some great rides especially the logging roads and abandoned Nelson & Fort Sheppard Railway lines.

Provincial Parks
Nelson is home to some very nice provincial parks around Kootenay Lake. Towards Balfour on Hwy 3A only 19 km (12 miles) there is Kokanee Creek Provincial Park featuring a white sandy beach around 1,000 m (3,281 ft) long. North from here at Ainsworth is the Cody Caves Provincial Park presenting a guided tour into one of BC's caving experiences. For hikers try Kokanee Glacier Park just 16 km (10 miles) past Kokanee Creek. There is also along the west arm of Kootenay Lake, the incredible West Arm Provincial Park.

Bonnington Generating Plant
One unique thing about Nelson is that it is not part of BC Hydro's or FortisBC's electrical distribution customers. The City of Nelson owns its own fully vertically integrated electrical utility called Nelson Hydro with generation of power coming from the Bonnington Generating Plant. The power plant was built at Bonnington Falls located south of Nelson on the Kootenay River.

Explore the "Silvery Slocan"
One area that makes for good exploring around Nelson is the Silvery Slocan Driving tour. The route takes in Ainsworth Hot Springs, Kaslo, Sandon, New Denver, Silverton, Slocan City, Crescent Valley and Bonnington Falls. Make sure you allow yourself a good day for the tour as there is a lot to discover.

Information for Nelson

Golf Courses





Map of Nelson, British Columbia
click map for larger image


Heritage Building
Heritage Building - Nelson


Heritage Building
Heritage Building - Nelson


Lakeside Park
Lakeside Park


Lakeside Park - Orange Bridge
Lakeside Park - Orange Bridge


Central School
Central School


West Arm - Kootenay Lake
West Arm - Kootenay Lake

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