Creston

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The Creston Valley begins at the U.S. border (Rykerts, B.C.), 11 km south of the town of Creston and parallels the East Shore of Kootenay Lake to Riondel.

The area encompasses the Lake communities of - Sirdar, Kuskonook, Sanca, Boswell, Gray Creek, Crawford Bay, Kootenay Bay and Riondel. The Valley stretches to include the Town of Creston and all of its neighboring communities - Erickson, Canyon, Lister, West Creston, Arrow Creek, Kitchener, Wynndel and Yahk.

Major highways radiating from the Creston Valley include Hwy. 3 that crosses southern B.C., Hwy.3A, paralleling Kootenay Lake and Hwy. 21, North to Creston and South to the U.S. border crossing into the State of Idaho.

The Creston Valley has a temperate climate which plays a vital role in its economic well-being. The agriculture industry is a major player, with more than 20,000 acres of reclaimed land - some of the most fertile land in British Columbia. Other major industries include: forestry, manufacturing, mining and tourism.

The Creston Area makes up the southern third of the Kootenay Lake Timber Supply Area, as well as a great deal of private forest land.

Creston offers a quiet, rural setting within reasonable distance of larger, urban centres in British Columbia, Alberta and the U.S. Nestled between the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains, the Town of Creston comprises 911 hectares and includes about 4,800 residents.

Creston routinely experiences ideal weather and is usually spared the sudden high and low extremes of many other regions. With such ideal weather and increasing economic development, Creston has long been favoured by retiree's as "A Great Place to Retire". Whether visiting or seeking to relocate, Creston has a complete range of services and facilities which provide for a comfortable and satisfying lifestyle.

winterfun.jpg - 10347 Bytes Spectacular mountain views, surrounding expanses of wilderness and the beauty of Kootenay Lake, are all readily accessible from Creston. These and other factors combine to make Creston an excellent base for outdoor adventure and a more popular destination for tourists.

Free full size photos of the Valley.

Agriculture

The Creston Valley is the centre of regional, agricultural endeavors. An area known as the Flats is well-suited to grain production, an important cash-crop to the Valley. Beans, potatoes, field peas, forage seeds and hay are also cultivated.

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The dairy industry is located on more variable terrain, just south of the Flats. Most milk produced in the area is transported to the Vernon Dairy. About 25% of the reported head of cattle were dairy cows or heifers (1,600), as opposed to beef cattle (4,000). Hogs, poultry and specially farming round, out that end of the farming picture.

The Creston Valley is most renowned for its fruit production, second only to the Okanagan. Most significant are the tree fruits, especially apples and more recently, cherries. As you enter Creston from the East, grower-owned produce stands dot Hwy. 3. Freshly harvested fruits and vegetables are offered throughout late Spring, all Summer and early Autumn. If you are feeling particularly ambitious, there are many locations where you can pick your own fruit.

Estimated total farm capital value: $87.4 million. Sales receipts: $14 million (1991 $). More than 19,000 acres of crops were reported: 10,741 hay * 937 tree fruits * 682 oats * 30 berries * 1,000 canola * 114 vegetables. (Suppressed data on acreage of potatoes, barley and wheatcrops).

Public Safety

Creston and Area Fire Protection Services are made up of three volunteer departments: Creston, Canyon/Lister & Wynndel. The staff includes three paid Chiefs and approximately 70 Volunteer Firefighters.

An RCMP Detachment of 11 full-time Officers and 9 Auxiliary Officers provide 24-hour coverage for the Creston community and surrounding Areas.

Recreation

Creston offers a wide range of recreational opportunities. Included are: a professional 18-hole golf course, a par 3 golf course, a 5-pin bowling alley with 8 lanes and automatic scoring, 2 fitness centres, several tennis courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a four hundred seat auditorium, a modem, air-conditioned Recreational Complex equipped with an ice rink which doubles as a rollerblading rink (Spring/Summer), a 6-sheet curling rink, and a 25 metre outdoor swimming pool and a wading pool. The Complex is situated on 17 acres in the heart of Creston and offers many active-living programs as well as a Spring Trade Show and Fall Fair. Creston is also the home of the (junior 'A) Thunder hockey team.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Creston's scenic hiking, biking and naturalist trails or paths. Near Summit Creek Campground & Recreation Area, hikers can explore part of the original Dewdney Trail.

Directly from Creston, excellent fishing and boating adventures await you on Duck Lake, or within 1.5 hour drive on Kootenay Lake. You can also "jump" at the chance for some exhilarating hangliding, from nearby Goat Mountain. Several municipal parks in Creston provide for perfect picnic fun and playgrounds for families with children.

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During the winter, popular sports include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. In the Valley, you can enjoy plenty of "offtrack" winter adventure. The Summit Creek Park and the Wildlife Management Centre Area offer flat and gentle slopes suitable to beginner & intermediate abilities. Other challenges are available at any one of the choice spots within a 2-hr. radius of Creston.

Health Care

Creston has a fully equipped hospital which meets the area needs for minor surgery, maternity and outpatient requirements. Creston also has a full complement of seasoned health and wellness professionals to meet the wide ranging needs of area residents.

Library and Museum

The Creston Public Library offers a comprehensive inventory, an interlibrary loan network and access to the Intemet.

The Creston Valley Museum and Archives provide historical data on the community and its surrounding area and offer an extensive collection of materials and artifacts.

Transportation

Hwy. 3 links Creston to B.C.'s west coast and to the east, is our connector to southern Alberta. Heading north from Creston, Hwy. 3A leads to the longest free ferry ride in North America. The ferry crosses Kootenay Lake from Kootenay Bay to Balfour. Once across the Lake, Hwy. 3A (west) meets Hwy. 31 (north) to connect with Hwy. 6 (west). South of Creston, Hwy. 21 is the llkm stretch of road leading to the Canada/U.S. border.

Commercial bus travel is available from Creston twice daily to both eastern & western destinations.

The Creston Valley Airport is about 7 km south of Creston. The airport has one paved runway (4,000' ), non directional beacons, lighting and fuel facilities. The airport also serves the needs of the community for emergency air-ambulance services.

Creston is only a 1.5 hour drive from two regional airports, one in Casdegar and the other in Cranbrook. Both Canadian Regional Airlines and Central Mountain Air offer several daily flights from Cranbrook and Castlegar to Kelowna, Kamloops, Vancouver and Calgary.

Tourism

At the centre of the Kootenays, Creston is an attractive tourism destination. From outdoor adventures to quiet getaways, Creston offers a range of facilities and activities to entice any visitor.

Accommodation facilities include several hotels, motels, inns, ca grounds and RV parks offering a mixed-variety of amenities designed for your comfort and pleasure. As well, Creston has many Bed & Breakfast operations offering a distinct range of hospitality services (see page 10 and 24). Many accommodations are located within close proximity to downtown shops and eateries, while others are more secluded retreats in natural settings or, by the Lake.

Creston also has several eating establishments. These include: gourmet coffee shops, bakeries, delis, family restaurants, ethnic foods and chain restaurants. Many dot the streets of downtown Creston and that of Northwest Blvd. Other eating establishments are equally available, starting at the edge of town on Hwy. 21 (at Erickson Rd.) and along Hwy. 3 A, as you drive north toward the Lake.

Stroll along the main street or quiet sidestreets and enjoy the beautiful murals and interesting shops, galleries and stores along the way. Other shopping conveniences may be found at the Creston Valley Mall and along Northwest Blvd.

Attractions

Tour the Museum and Archives and explore our past. Shop at the Cresteramics ceramic gift shop for quality, handcrafted ceramic products. Go Trout farm-fishing in Wynndel. Tour the candle factory and gift shop in Creston. Visit beautifully maintained gardens and orchards - a perfect setting for a leisurely lunch. Ask for details about the free forestry tours or, the tour of the Columbia Brewery, home of the Sasquach and Kokanee Beer.

During your visit to Creston, do not miss the Creston Valley Wildlife Managment Area and Interpretative Centre. Located on 7,000 hectares of wetlands, this internationally recognized area is home to 250 species of birds and hundreds of species of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, several thousand invertebrate species and several hundred species of plant life. Check out their interactive displays, dioramas, gift shop and theatre. Enjoy a guided walking or canoe tour through the marshes.

Don't miss their magnificent mural, finely detailed by local artists.

For scenic hikes in the area, visit Balancing Rock Trail on Mount Creston or Lady Slipper Trail on Goat Mountain.

Accessible area mountain biking adventures are sure to challenge beginner and advanced enthusiasts alike. You can also enjoy endless fishing or boating fun on Kootenay Lake.

Spectacular views of the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges, the large expanses of wilderness and the "Big Lake" combine to offer some magnificent outdoor adventures.

The Kootenay Lake Forest District has a number of major sawmills. The largest primary lumber mills operating in the Creston Area produce softwood lumber (excluding exotic species) and are experienced exporters to many countries around the world. Several smaller companies and independent logging contractors also operate in the District under individual, forest and small business licenses.

The two Creston mills consume about 260,000M3 annually and must purchase extensive private wood stocks to maintain their operations.

Local wood product companies produce such things as Cedar flower pots and wooden toys for export. Presently, there are no further opportunities for primary processing. The Kootenay Lake Forest Base has a supply of commercial use species with a short re-growth period. These species include: Lodgepole Pine, Spruce, Larch, Cedar, Alpine Fir, Douglas Fir and Hemlock. The area has experienced substantial declines in the allowable annual cut. The Creston Area Economic Development Commission along with other area organizations, are working together with B.C. Forest Renewal, to build a strong future.


More information on Creston is Available from:

The Creston and District Chamber of Commerce
1711 Canyon Street,
Box 268
Creston, B.C. V0B-1G0
Phone: 250-428-4342 or Fax: 250-428-9411