It’s a bluebird day in Golden and the family is getting restless, what to do? Why not take a tour of our Rotary trails? Grab your bikes or walking shoes, family, pet (if you have one) and take a cruise around our community. Cross over the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge Away from Spirit Square and take a right to head West along the Rotary Trail. The Historic Kicking Horse River awaits you, piquing your imagination with its glacial blue waters as they gurgle by. Explore downstream along the river path, noticing the stunning views of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. You are in Kicking Horse Country.
This level, graded community-built trail was designed for all ages to enjoy. When it splits, keep following it along the river, it turns to a paved road but don’t stop, cross the train tracks and a short distance up the road Confluence Park will be waiting for you. Equipped with picnic tables, stairs, wheelchair access and public washrooms, visitors and families can enjoy a few minutes to several hours here exploring the walkways sandy beaches, and river rock gravel bars.
Confluence Park is the meeting point of two historic rivers, the Columbia and the Kicking Horse, both with unique colours that change throughout the summer as runoff levels drop. By mid-summer, the Columbia runs a deep emerald green and the Kicking Horse a gemstone teal. Splash around, dip toes in, swim, build sand castles, throw a stick or pebbles for the dog, or just simply set up the camp chairs and take in the peaceful surroundings.
Your adventure has only just begun, retrace your steps back over the train tracks and seek the path on the right side of the road where the gravel path begins. This trail will eventually turn south and meander gently through fields and wooded areas eventually leading to a clearing and over to 14thr. Heading East, Mount 7 will be directly in front of you. This prominent peak is the launching point for paragliders and hang gliders, the starting point for the several downhill bike trails and one of the most scenic viewpoints you’ll ever find. Follow 14th St, until you cross Highway 93/95 the trail continues on the other side. The Golden Museum isn’t far away, drop in and check out local history, historical buildings and artefacts. Or continue right, passing the BC Hydro building and into Alexander Park Playground, another wonderful area where you can spend some time with the family playing on the jungle gym or relaxing in the shade. Continue through the park and into the back alley behind the houses. This wide trail seldom sees vehicles and is flanked by a steep treed hill, continue until the gravel path starts again and crosses Selkirk drive and continues past Alexander Park Elementary School.
When the trail splits, stay to the left, it will lead you behind the municipal campground through a beautiful treed area and eventually back to the Kicking Horse River. You’ve now completed a partial loop, to your right is a small beach where you can cool off by dipping your feet into the cold water, and your dogs can get a drink. The rotary trail now follows the Kicking Horse River again back towards town. The views here are incredible as you look down the river and face the Dogtooth Range of the Purcell Mountains, you might even see rafters or kayakers float by as they return from their day’s adventures. Before crossing Highway 95 once again, just past Kumsheen Park and the Golden Cinema is the Golden Civic Centre. A community hub for local arts, live music, weddings and special events, make sure you visit KickingHorseCulture.ca for the most up to date info on upcoming events. After the crosswalk continue to follow the gravel trail on the left, this will lead you back to the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge and complete a 6.4km loop.
Now that you know the lay of the land you can start planning tomorrows adventure. Remember to pick up a Golden Hiking or Biking map at our local Visitors’ Information Center, Chamber of Commerce or multiple locations around town to make it easy to follow this or other routes.
Get out there and enjoy summer. Happy Travels!