Difficulty Level: Intermediate/Advanced (unstable trail surfaces and a few steep climbs – could be considered advanced due to length; 30 km out and back)
Distance: 15km one way
Elevation Gain: 90m (one-way)
Dog Friendly: Yes
Bike Friendly: Yes (x-country)
Facilities: Pit toilets at the Blagodatnoye Picnic Site, benches along trail
Season: This trail could be completed in most months though the majority of users will find the June to October period most pleasing. Soft trail surfaces in spring are susceptible to damage – particularly from bikes and horses and these uses are strongly discouraged when these conditions are encountered. Loops of various lengths are possible at the north end of the trail which hikers can enjoy year-round.
The Columbia River trail is an out and back trail along the east side of the Columbia River extending southwards from Ootischenia and terminating at the end of the single track at the north boundary of the City of Trail. Recent upgrades have made it more accessible and enjoyable for recreational, non-motorized use. Spanning across many different forest types, the Columbia River trail is very scenic and popular with local residents. Unfortunately, the road access from the City of Trail to the south end of the Columbia River Trail is not properly designated for public use. The private land owner is working with the Crown to have this rectified. Until that is done, the road cannot be used to access the trail.
The trail length is 15 km from the end of the pavement on Columbia Road in Ootischenia, near Castlegar, to the end of the single track at the north boundary of the City of Trail. There are pit toilets at the picnic site in the former Doukhobor settlement of Blagodatnoye and many opportunities along the way to rest and enjoy the spectacular views of the Columbia River valley.
It is a long day to do an out and back of the entire trail, but there are many opportunities to be in the shade. Good hiking shoes and plenty of water are a must to hike the 7-8 hour out and back trail. However, one may choose to shorten the duration by turning around at any point along the way and still have an enjoyable outing.
Note to Cyclists:
Trip time total: 4 hr (30 km return)
Total Dismount time out: 15 min
Total Dismount time return: 20 min
Trail Difficulty level: Intermediate (with some Advanced due to some steep technical sections/unstable trail surfaces)
Note: Bike travel on the Columbia River trail is not recommended on wet days. Wider cross-country bike tires are recommended.