Summer Plus , Wednesday, May 1 2019

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SUMMER PLUS is a supplement to The Spokesman−Review • Wednesday, May 1, 2019

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Christina Lake Area in British Columbia

Offers Beauty and Adventure Story and photos by Sandra Hosking Marketing Correspondent British Columbia’s Christina Lake, named for the daughter of a Hudson’s Bay Co. employee, is a sparkling gem in the Boundary region. Located about 2.5 hours north of Spokane near Grand Forks, this 11-mile-long, narrow lake is embraced by the steep Monashee Mountains. The lake and surrounding area offer a nice blend of boating, camping and hiking, as well as wilderness access. “Christina Lake is a nice small resort community with a variety of opportunities for recreation,” said Mark Weston, Parks and Protected Areas Section Head, Okanagan, for B.C. Parks. “Regardless of your skill level or sense of adventure, there’s something for everyone.” Nice sandy beaches and lake houses dot the lake’s shore, where visitors can dip their toes in clear water. Even on a clear, hot day in July, the beaches are not too crowded. Known as the warmest lake in Canada, Christina lies along a fault line, and warm water bubbles up and mixes with the cool mountain water, creating a refreshing temperature in summer. Anglers can hook Kokanee salmon and rainbow trout, as well as large and smallmouth bass. Its maximum depth is 160 feet. Pictographs by the area’s first inhabitants are visible by kayak or boat. The area also features historic home sites, a semipermanent village and historic trails used by native peoples. The bulk of the lake extends within Gladstone Provincial Park, which encompasses 154 square miles and has diverse habitats including Kokanee spanning areas, winter range for elk and deer, and

old-growth cedar and hemlock forests. Texas Creek Campground, about 6 miles from town, has 63 spots for vehicle and tent camping. Reservations are recommended. One can take a short walk to the shoreline and claim a spot of beach. Hikers will enjoy several trails of varying difficulty, including the historic Sandner Creek Trail and Mt. Gladstone Trail. Deer Point Trail to Troy Creek leads to a beach with large cedar trees at the lake’s north end. “There are more backcountry opportunities at the northern end of the park where there aren’t maintained trails, but there are routes to outlying areas,” said Weston, who also highlights camping at Xenia Lake. “It’s a little more difficult to access and a rougher road, but it gives you a backcountry, car-camping experience.” Christina Lake Provincial Park on the southern shore has 1,150 feet of sandy beach and picnic tables. Christina Lake Marina operates a waterfront restaurant and store, and offers boat and equipment rentals. In the Christina Lake township, one can stop for a hamburger, poutine or ice cream at the Kool Treat. The restaurant was established in 1964 and operates during warmer months. “We have a real old-fashioned, family feel here,” says Cindy Alblas, manager of Christina Lake Tourism. “Our lake can’t be overbuilt on the water. People come back year after year, saying this has been their family vacation spot.”