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

Riondel
Riondel is located 9 km (5.5 miles) north of Kootenay Bay on the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake directly across from Ainsworth Hot Springs and Woodbury.

Canadian Metal Company
Riondel is named after the president of the Canadian Metal Company, Count Edouard Riondel by S.S. Fowler, a company executive in 1907. The Paris, France-owned Canadian Metal Company operated the very prosperous Bluebell Mine which contained a high concentration ore of lead, silver and zinc. A new concentrator at Riondel was also built and later a smelter south at Pilot Bay near Kootenay Bay was used to process the ore.

Bluebell Mine
The Bluebell Mine lasted up until 1929 and then because of lower prices was forced to close causing Riondel's population to be greatly reduced. The Bluebell Mine was later re-opened in 1950 and, with the addition of electrical power from Cominco-owned West Kootenay Power transmission lines in 1952, upgraded and expanded operations. The company flourished up until 1972 when the mine finally ceased and was eventually shut down.

Retirement Community
Today Riondel is a small retirement community with a population of around four hundred full-time residents. The unincorporated village has beautiful westerly views of Kootenay Lake plus the mountains and Kokanee Glacier in the background. Much of the community exhibits a high community spirit and pride shown with the streets and buildings well looked after and neatly kept.

Local Services
For local services there is the Riondel Market which has groceries and a liquor outlet. Riondel also has a community church, the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, community centre, house builders, internet and cable television.

Riondel Park and Campground
The Riondel Park and Campground is located just north of the general store along Kootenay Lake. Operated by the Riondel Park Society the campground is open from May to October 15th and features 50 rustic RV and tent sites with water faucets and flush toilets present. Unfortunately there is no power available but the campground is reasonably priced with many of the campsites situated along a beach on Kootenay Lake. Reservations are available telephone (250) 225-3338.

Riondel Golf Club
If you golf there is a 9-hole course available at the Riondel Golf Club. The facility is situated at 1298 Galena Bay Wharf Road. During the nicer weather you are recommended to reserve a tee time. Telephone: (250) 225-3584. For an 18-hole course, there is a beautiful facility, Kokanee Springs Golf Resort, located to the south at nearby Crawford Bay.

Riondel Daze
For entertaining times, try visiting Riondel during the BC Day August long-weekend when Riondel Daze is on. Join in and celebrate, starting with a parade including fun and unusual floats, followed with a pancake breakfast, lots of children's events, a baseball tournament, crafts, food kiosks and much more.

Bob's Bar and Grill
If you are hungry try going to Bob's Bar and Grill where the selection of food, especially the pizza, is fresh, hot and really good. There are also a good selection of other items on the menu along with a wide variety of beverages in the pub for cooling down a hot thirst from the Kootenay sun.

Kootenay Lake
The outdoor recreation found in Riondel is excellent, especially in Kootenay Lake where you can find good fishing, all sorts of water sports and lots of discovery. If you require a guide there is East Shore Charters, a business that specializes in taking you to areas for fishing the big trout found in Kootenay Lake.

Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK)
Riondel is represented by the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), with Riondel Regional Park a multi-purpose facility, that has a softball and soccer field. For swimming there is North Beach, a family friendly area featuring a pebble beach along Kootenay Lake.

Recreational Trails
There are also a number of recreational trails that start in Riondel and travel along the east shore of Kootenay Lake. A local favourite called the Waterfront Trail will take you along the lakeshore for 1.5 km starting at North Bay Beach with a walk to the south end of the community. Another walk featuring a south-facing beach is the Pebble Beach Trail which is located about 7 km (4 miles) north of Riondel off of the Kootenay Lake East Forest Service Road.

Yasodhara Ashram
Another spiritual facility that is located near Riondel is the yoga retreat and meditation centre found at Yasodhara Ashram, the Temple of Divine Light. The peaceful setting is situated on over 50 hectares (120 acres) of secluded land set in woodland grounds overlooking Kootenay Lake which access off Riondel Road south of the village.

Pilot Bay Provincial Park
If time permits for other exploring try going to Kootenay Bay and to Pilot Bay Provincial Park. Found here is a network of recreational trails that take you either along the lakeshore to a wilderness campground on Pilot Bay or to the historic Pilot Bay Lighthouse which was first lit in 1904 and operated up until 1993. If you are boating on Kootenay Lake, you can find perhaps the safest moorage in Pilot Bay.

Information on Riondel

 

 

Map of Riondel
click map for larger image

 

Bluebell Mine
Bluebell Mine

 

Riondel Market
Riondel Market

 

Riondel Park and Campground
Riondel Park and Campground

 

Riondel Park and Campground
Riondel Park and Campground

 
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