By Powder Matt Mosteller
It’s second nature, given these times, to choose places that have wide open spaces, less people and plenty of action opportunities to get your body moving. Canada’s British Columbia offers a variety of outdoor towns that will have you enjoying adventure time right outside your doorstep.
Wild West Coast - Storm watching, Tofino, British Columbia
Can’t beat the view here. Long Beach Lodge Resort is steps from the sand on Cox Bay Beach. You can stay in one of the private cottages, and don’t worry about Netflix, as you dine in the Great Room. Put in a wish, hopefully between the windy and rainy, you’ll catch a magical sunset too.
Inland Seas - Beach walks, Parksville, British Columbia
This best kept secret on the Eastside of Vancouver Island stretch of coast is a laid-back escape. At Tigh Na Mara Seaside Spa Resort you can get cosy staying in a forested enclave in your own private log cabin. But don’t miss out on morning walks on the access to more than 3 km of sandy beach, perfect for you and fido.
Desert skies and wine, Osoyoos, British Columbia
Something different for that winter escape, visit Canada’s only desert. With warmer temperatures and some of British Columbia’s best wines, you just might fall in love with Osoyoos. Stay lakeside, in the upscale, Watermark Beach Resort. Bring your AKU GTX hiking shoes to explore the irrigation canal walkway, or head up to venture above on the Mount Kobau trail.
Just far enough to feel you left. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, British Columbia
The Dogtooth Range, rising abruptly from the deeply carved valley where Golden, British Columbia sits, was one of the key reasons why the Swiss Guides, working for the Canadian Pacific Railway, picked this hamlet to be their home base. Bountiful snow, and incredible mountains above, fulfilled their need for limitless mountain exploration. But beyond the fang-like crags and dagger peaks only accessible to climbers, there is so much here that you can do just steps from your stay at The Cedar Wainstone, offered by Lush Mountain Accommodations, a new eco-friendly abode, built to LEED standards, nestled in the trees, right on the Golden Nordic Club trails, makes it the perfect stay to enjoy the pleasures of snowshoeing, cross country skiing or the ski slopes at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, with the top five vertical in North America and more than 3,000 acres of ski runs to discover.
Family adventures, Kimberley, British Columbia
Happiness is a process not a place. Lots of little things make a difference. Kimberley, British Columbia, is a good place to be and filled with lots of little winter activities to get you outside. Trickle Creek Lodge is the perfect stay for days on the slopes, striding and gliding the variety of over 30 km of trails of the Kimberley Nordic Club. You can also experience backcountry bliss, helicopter assisted of course, for a stay in one of the oldest operating ski touring operations in British Columbia, Boulder Hut Adventures.
Powder Highway baby, Fernie, British Columbia
There is nothing soft about the Lizard Range, a stony rampart of peaks of the Southern Canadian Rockies, where in the early days’ hardy miners ventured. Now the powder-filled range is the glory of skiers and snowboarders. Fernie is a lively town that anchors itself to the banks of the Elk River, a fly fisherman's dream stream. At the heart is a Main Street laden with cool shops and good eats. In this unpeopled landscape you can stay in a log cabin at Snow Creek Cabin, offered by Fernie Lodging Company. Warning, you will not want to leave, surrounded on one side by cedar trees, ski run views the other. Cozy up to the river rock fireplace with a good book, fleece on and good time daydreaming begins. Outside explore on snowshoes, a journey from Fernie Alpine Resort to the trails along Lizard Creek in Mount Fernie Provincial Park and back or try the variety of cross country trails offered at the new Elk Valley Nordic Centre.
Deep in the woods, Nelson, British Columbia
Go deep into the woods here. Stay surrounded by natural beauty on 42 acres, get up close to the grandeur of the Selkirk Mountain range, staying at Logden Lodge, Ymir, British Columbia. Easily access both the 30km at the Nelson Nordic Club or the 15km of cross country at Whitewater Ski Area. Cabin time is sweet here, each appointed with a soaker bath, perky woodstoves and comfy bedding, makes you feel right at home. But outdoors beckon with the snowshoes calling you to explore with a step outside, and silence, you and Nature’s eye candy takes the stage.