Source of the Columbia Pathway
The internationally significant Columbia River begins its 1,960 km journey to the Pacific Ocean at the south end of Columbia Lake, near Canal Flats. These headwaters are in a very ecologically diverse area, that includes wetlands and associated willow/sedge communities. In addition to its natural significance, the Source of the Columbia site is historically significant, both for its role in Ktunaxa history and as the staging area for David Thompson’s explorations of the length of the Columbia River.
The nearby community of Canal Flats recently incorporated as a village, and the 2006 Official Community Plan (OCP) documents community interest in thoughtful recreational and tourism development. The Source of the Columbia Pathways project is part of the community trail network, thanks to the collaboration of Greenways, the Ministry of Environment and the Village. A species-at-risk assessment was completed prior to trail construction, and this trail formalises use of this site for a wide variety of non-motorised visitors. The Source Trail will be an excellent location for educational opportunities to highlight local historic and ecological information.