By Brian Lawrence
With Labour Day weekend past, summer is officially winding down into fall. The shorter days and cooler weather are a welcome reprieve from summer’s heat — but that doesn't mean the fun is done. In fact, while Creston is best-known as an amazing summer destination, the fall offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to explore this area thanks to it's relatively warm weather and stunning autumn landscapes. Here are just a few of our suggestions for things to do on your fall vacation in the Creston Valley.
As the scenery changes from summer green to autumn orange, why not enjoy it cruising around on a bicycle? “Creston offers a wonderful array of cycling for all types of riders,” says Daniel Secor, co-owner of Summit Cycles and Sports, which conveniently rents bicycles too.
“Within [Creston] and Erickson there’s some lovely farm and winery loops that are fairly flat." For the average cyclist, “biking from town out to Good Company Coffee or the wineries offers a short and relatively traffic-free afternoon outing,” says Daniel. He also suggests a loop through Canyon and Lister for “nearly endless riding on quiet back roads,” or for the more hardcore cyclists the longer round trips from Creston to the top of Kootenay Pass or along Highway 3A on Kootenay Lake to Crawford Bay.
Alternatively, those with gravel or mountain bikes might be interested in some gentle riding along the many unpaved dyke trails and roads of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area to witness the changes of the season in the wetlands. Highlights include biking the trails & roads in the Corn Creek Marsh area around the Kootenay Columbia Discovery Centre or on the dyke road that traverses along Duck Lake.
Enjoy the Bounty of Harvest
The arrival of autumn also means the end of the summer growing season and the beginning of the harvest, with apples, pears and pumpkins topping the list of tasty produce on offer.
A great place to sample some of these local goodies is at the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market, which continues to run in its weekly Saturday outdoor market until Thanksgiving weekend in October. After this the market moves to the Creston & District Community Complex, where it is hosted once a month until spring.
Of course beyond the Farmer's Market there are numerous fruit stands and produce markets in the Erickson area open most days of the week. Always keep an eye out for farmers selling on the roadside, but driving along Highway 3 you won’t be able to miss Creston Fruit Market, Marar Orchards, Faraman Farm and Wloka Farms Fruit Stand — in the fall, the pumpkins tend to be pretty eye-catching!
And don’t miss out on exploring the unique wares and quaint storefronts of the area's local artisans and boutiques — the Yahk Soap and Candle Company being one of the coolest simply because you might get to see their goats, Walter, Toot, and Buttin, grazing on the grassy roof. In addition to their own handmade soaps and body products, the shop carries an array of works by other artists as well.
The local shopping game is also strong at downtown Creston’s The Fly in the Fibre, which offers high-quality yarn, local art, women's accessories and home decor. Plus, the drinks from the coffee bar are not to be missed — you haven’t lived until you’ve tried the Mocha Coconut Dream! Other must-visit shops include the trendy Page Boy Studio, stylish Modern Alchemy and the charming Pridham Pottery Studio.
Sip and Savour the Changing Season
The quieter pace of fall also offers a great opportunity to enjoy the area's well-known wineries, breweries and distilleries.
While things start to wind down at the wineries in September tastings are often still available by appointment on the weekends right up to Thanksgiving weekend.
More adventurous types may want to visit to the Wynndel Craft Distillery to sample their collection of spirits made with local fruits like their Apple Aged Brandy! And of course beer lovers will want to make a visit to the Wild North Brewing Company to try one of the seasonal beers on tap in their cozy tasting room. Finally, those looking to pair some local libations with a meal will also find many restaurants in Creston carry a great selection of local wines, spirits and beer to accompany lunch and dinner.
You Do You
With the busyness of summer behind, the fall shoulder season is also great time to relax and rejuvenate.
Or when the chilly air sets in visit the award-winning Creston and District Community Complex’s pool, hot tub and sauna to warm up and enjoy the stunning vistas of the Creston Valley's changing colours.
Simply put, the Creston Valley doesn’t just shut down when summer ends. There are still many fun activities to do, fantastic places to eat, and lots of live music and entertainment to enjoy. Browse our Get Inspired blogs or check our our Visitor’s Guide to learn more!
Freelance writer Brian Lawrence is a former editor and publisher of the Creston Valley Advance. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and trail running, and acting in and directing productions with Creston's Footlighters Theatre Society.