Bridesville is located 15 km (9 miles) west of Rock
Creek and 36 km (22 miles) east of Osoyoos
on Hwy 3.
Bridesville is a small unincorporated community made up with around
30 residences or so. Bridesville does not have any businesses or
services available with the only commercial activity taking place
at either the local post office or at the scrap metal dealer. For
the residents the Bridesville Senior Citizen Centre Branch 115 acts
as the main activity centre.
The community sits next to Hwy 3 with the only road, the Bridesville
Townsite Road running parallel to, plus entering and exiting the
highway at both ends. The Bridesville countryside is surrounded
by grassland pastures occupied by cattle ranches and sits in a steep
valley that runs from Rock Creek to the Anarchist highway summit
east of Osoyoos.
Victoria & Eastern Railway Line
Bridesville has quite a history, first getting established with
the introduction of the Vancouver, Victoria & Eastern right-of-way
going through the southern part of British Columbia. The route took
the railway through Bridesville then south towards Oroville in Washington
State connecting with the Great Northern Railway.
The community was first known as Maud in 1905 by the railway surveyors,
named after the wife of the first postmaster, Hozie Edwards. But
by 1910 the name was officially recognized as Bridesville in reference
to David Bride, who owned part of the land the community sat on,
including the local hotel and saloon, when he put pressure on officials
for the name change.
The community had a wood mill supplying railway ties to the Vancouver,
Victoria & Eastern Railway with cattle ranching and hay farming
firmly established throughout the region. In 1931 both freight and
passenger railway service through Bridesville was terminated. Bridesville
also had a border crossing and customs post for entering the United
States but unfortunately this was closed in 1940.
Creek Provincial Park
There is a provincial park situated near Bridesville called Johnstone
Creek Provincial Park. The park which is only located 10 km (6 miles)
east of Bridesville features a 16-vehicle-accessible site campground,
wildlife viewing opportunities, especially for woodpeckers and a
short trail that takes you to several vantage points where there
is a view across a rock chasm.
Service Recreation Sites
There are two rustic forest service recreation sites north-east
of Bridesville. Jolly Creek has a grassy field ideal for picnics
and suited for groups. Little Fish Lake is quite secluded, is near
1,920 metre (6,300 feet) high Storm Hill and offers a trail into
the south end of Conkle Lake. Going into Little Fish Lake requires
a 4x4 on the sometimes muddy Little Fish Lake Road found east of
Bridesville, just past the Rock Creek Canyon Bridge and the turnoff
to Mount Baldy Ski Hill Road.
Lake Provincial Park
Conkle Lake is also close to Bridesville where you'll find Conkle
Lake Provincial Park. The park has a boat launch, a 34-site,
vehicle-accessible campground and features a white sandy beach at
one end excellent for small children. The campground is very quiet
and relaxing and features a trail that follows the shoreline on
the east side of the lake and another one going to a small waterfall.
Conkle Lake is also known for fairly good fishing for Rainbow trout.
Creek Forest Service Road
If you do decide to take the trek into Conkle Lake, be prepared
to take your time on a rough forestry road called the Conkle-Johnstone
Creek Forest Service Road. The road goes to Conkle Lake and, if
you keep going, circles down to the small community of Rhone Valley
near the Kettle River and Hwy 33 just north of Westbridge.
For more backcountry adventure there is the Rock Creek-Bridesville
Road that starts just east of the Bridesville Townsite Road. The
gravel road travels directly south of Bridesville coming very close
to the USA border, then circles north and comes out just east of
Rock Creek on Hwy 3.
Guest Ranch Resort
There is a bed and breakfast resort nearby to Bridesville called
the Arosa Guest Ranch Resort. Here you can also find a small RV
Park with 30 amp services and camping spots with panoramic views
of the surrounding hills and grasslands towards Anarchist Mountain.
Just remember if you are enjoying the provincial parks and the countryside
around British Columbia, please remember this is bear country. Try
to avoid the rivers during heavy salmon spawning times unless you
feel comfortable with bears around and take the usual precautions.
There is also the possibilities of encounters with wolves or cougars
so please play it safe.