Pilot Bay Provincial Park Trail

Pilot Bay Provincial Park Trail

Pilot Peninsula is an easy 12 km shoreline hike along Kootenay Lake through the Pilot Bay Provincial Park, providing access to to multiple beaches along a wide well maintained trail! Due to it's traverse along the lake, the trail experience limited elevation gain, making it one of the first snow-free trails in the area. It is also a great hike for families, trail runners, and or those looking for easy walk-in back-country camping to the provincial campground at Sawmill Cove.

To get here from Creston or Crawford Bay head to Kootenay Bay Ferry along Highway 3-A. From Nelson, take the scenic Kootenay Lake Ferry from Balfour. Arriving at Kootenay Bay, turn south onto Pilot Bay Road and drive about 10 minutes down the road, looking out for the Trailhead and parking lot on your left.

From the trailhead there is a pleasant and easy forest walk along the lakeside. At 1.8km the trail branches off down to the Sawmill Cove, a beach of sawdust and mulch left behind by a long-since closed wood mill. Shortly beyond the cove one will find the provincial park campground.

Continuing along the main trail you quickly arrive at a junction to the first pebble beach, which although small provides some lovely views of the lake. Only 30 minutes from the second beach you'll come to another junction at Boomer's Cove, which is the main beach and an ideal spot to take a picnic.

For the more ambitious hikers, you can also continue past Boomer's Landing, leaving park boundaries along a less maintained narrow trail for another 3 km . At 6.4 km, turn right down a faint trail to a worn set of stairs that lead to the shore.

The final beach is a wonderfully secluded lunch and swimming spot on a sunny day, with smooth pebbles and a stunning view of the lake.

To return to the trailhead, simply return along the trail you came in on!


* Distance: 12 km Round Trip
* Elevation Gain: 538 m
* Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
* Time: 2-3 hrs
* Season: Year-round
* Road Access: Easy, paved road
* Parking: Lots

Contact Information

Pilot Bay Provincial Park Trail
Central Kootenay A BC V0B 1E0