Distance: Varies, 7-9 km Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 97 m
Time: 1-4 hrs
Road Access: Easy, paved road
The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is a lush wetland habitat located 11 km west of Creston. Easy, year-round access to kilometres of flat-top dyke trails offers amazing opportunities to view a large diversity of wildlife and for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Within the larger CVWMA, the the most popular and easily accessible area is the Corn Creek Wetlands around the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre, with miles of boardwalks, two multi-level viewing towers, and five loop trails of varying length to explore the surrounding ponds and mountains.
To get here from Creston, head West on Highway 3 for 10 Kilometres, turning left on West Creston Road just before the highway heads up Kootenay Pass. Passing the Balancing Rock Trail head on your right, travel another kilometre before turning left into the parking lot in front of the Kootenay Columbia-Discovery Centre. From here the boardwalk begins and you can choose from the following trails:
Boardwalk Loop – 20 minutes. A great overview of the habitat found at the CVWMA, taking you through tall grasses and cattails, ponds and channels, shrubs and cottonwood trees. Get a great view from the 3 story viewing tower.
Songbird Stroll – 40 minutes. Continuing from the Boardwalk Loop, you will follow a meandering channel.
Marsh Trail – 1 hour. This loop trail is one of our most popular hikes taking you out into the wetland for some great wildlife viewing opportunities.
Wildlife Tree Wander – 2 hours. Fork off the Marsh Trail to take a longer trek past beautiful old cottonwood trees.
Wood Duck Walk – 3-4 hours. For those looking for a nice day trek, you will explore more of the wetland and forested areas, taking you through a variety of habitats.
Elk Amble – 3 hours. Forking off of the Marsh Trail and continuing north of Highway 3 you will access a myriad of ponds and our 2 story viewing tower.
Other CVWMA hiking areas include Summit Creek, just 3 km north of the Discovery Centre on highway 3; and farther north, Duck Lake, known for great large mouth bass fishing as well as amazing bird viewing opportunities. For further details about the CVWMA trails click here.
*** Note that while Dogs are currently allowed on the trails at the CVWMA they must be on leash and picked up after to protect the wildlife & habitat.