With over a hundred lakes within driving distance, the North Okanagan provides the means for a wealth of water recreational activities such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, fishing, boating, water skiing, beach volleyball, house boating, rowing or just spending the day in the sun.
Some of the larger lakes with public beaches and boat launches in the immediate area include Okanagan Lake, Kalamalka Lake, Mabel Lake and Mara Lake. For kayak enthusiasts, the Shuswap River offers miles of water to explore running from Mara Lake to Mabel Lake. The North Okanagan leg of Okanagan Lake also hosts Western Canada’s only freshwater dive park for those who enjoy scuba diving.
Public beaches on Kalamalka Lake include Kalamalka Beach and Juniper Bay in the Kalamalka Provincial Park. Okanagan Lake is over 90 miles long and stretches throughout the entire Okanagan Valley. Vernon is located on the northern leg of the lake and has public beaches at Paddlewheel Park and Kin Beach. In addition to the beaches and parks, there are three marinas and the Vernon Yacht Club on the Vernon end of Okanagan Lake.
Kalamalka Lake in Coldstream BC / Greater Vernon:
Kalamalka Beach, Coldstream BC
On the north shore of stunning Kalamalka Lake, Kal Beach has a beautiful broad sandy beach. The beach offers several beach volleyball courts, a long swimming pier as well as change rooms and rest rooms. A concession is open on site in the summer, as well kayak and small boat rentals are usually offered. There is also a boat launch around the corner from the beach as well as a convenience store, restaurant and pub within short walking distance. Parking nearby on Husband Rd.
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, Coldstream BC
Located in Coldstream, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is simply beautiful! The soft grasslands of summer, the rich tones of the leaves turning in the fall or the brilliant splashes of wildflower colour in the spring set off by the stunning blues and greens of Kalamalka Lake make this park a favourite amongst all who visit.
The lake is known as a “marl lake”, a process which begins when the lake warms and calcium carbonate or limestone forms crystals that reflect the sunlight creating its distinct blue-green colour. During temperature changes the lake often displays ribbons of deep blue.
The area hosts three wonderful beaches, Jade, Juniper, and Cosen’s Bay.
Day-use facilities – Juniper Bay is the perfect place for a day at the beach. A play area, picnic tables, water taps, toilets and an information display are provided.
Boating – Boat launch facilities are located on the west side of Kalamalka Lake at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park. Waterskiing is a popular activity on the lake.
Hiking and Trails – There are over 10 km of trails which provide access to the parks interesting features, viewpoints and beaches. Mountain bikes and horses are allowed on designated trails.
Okanagan Lake Beaches in Vernon BC:
Kin Beach, Tronson and Lakeshore Roads, Okanagan Landing in Vernon BC
On the eastern shore of the Vernon arm of Okanagan Lake accessed from Tronson Road and Lakeshore Drive. Offering shaded sandy beach, grassed areas, several picnic areas with barbecues, a large covered picnic shelter, change & rest rooms, a large handicapped accessible playground and boat rentals. The water is very shallow, so this is a great place for the kids to play. Parking available along Tronson Road, adjacent to the park.
Paddlewheel Park, 7801 Okanagan Landing Road, Okanagan Landing area of Vernon BC
This park is actually privately owned by the Okanagan Landing & District Community Association and although it is relatively small, it’s one of the best on Okanagan Lake. The Park offers a wide variety of fun recreational options: sandy beach, grassed areas, a playground, basketball court, sand volleyball courts and tennis court. A boat launch, along with boat trailer parking is available as well as a meeting hall.
Ellison Park, Eastside Road, Okanagan Landing in Vernon BC
Nestled on the northeastern shore of Okanagan Lake, Ellison Provincial Park includes 200 hectares of forested benchlands above a rocky shoreline of scenic headlands and sheltered coves. The park’s natural attractions, combined with the dry, sunny Okanagan climate provide many recreational opportunities from spring through fall. Hiking trails along the scenic headlands are steep and require care and attention.
Okanagan Lake Boat Launches:
Swan Lake in Vernon BC:
Bordered by Vernon and Spallumcheen, Swan Lake is a smaller placid lake, and offers a simple boating and fishing experience. Swan Lake is somewhat shallow and freezes over most winters. It is an important area for nesting and migrating waterfowl.
Swan Lake and its surrounding wetlands provide some of the best bird watching in BC. It’s a breeding, nesting and migration haven for ducks, waterfowl, marsh birds and more.
In the beautiful North Okanagan region of B.C., the Shuswap River is ideal for public recreation. Boating, fishing and swimming are only some of the activities that can be enjoyed in the area. Hiking — including wheelchair accessible trails – and picnicking are also possible. The River offers enjoyment for canoeists, kayakers, and other recreational users.
This beautiful lake is oriented roughly north to south, and is approximately 35 km long. The Shuswap River flows out of Sugar Lake into the southern end of Mabel Lake, and issues westward from the middle part of the lake into Mara Lake. Miles of lush forested shorelines, sandy beaches, and sparkling blue water, this lake is a must see. Mabel Lake offers swimming, waterskiing, fishing, canoeing, and boating.
Mara Lake is found approximately 22 km. north of Enderby. Mara is a prime family recreational area, which is situated close to the world famous Shuswap Lake area. Great climate, excellent camping, fishing, swimming, water skiing, houseboating.