Exploring British Columbia’s BC Ale Trail
New experiences are brewing nearby!
The BC Ale Trail is a series of 20 self-guided itineraries pairing 150+ local craft breweries throughout BC with the super, natural landscapes that surround them. BC’s craft breweries closely adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are ready to welcome you safely — whether you visit one of their patios for a pint or pick up some beer to-go.
Almost 200 breweries dot the super, natural landscapes of British Columbia. Let the BC Ale Trail be your guide for exploring BC’s ancient rainforests, vast, raw nature, mountain peaks that touch the sky, historical ranch-lands, West Coast culture, farm-to-glass culinary experiences, lakeside lifestyles and cities on the edge of wilderness – all while enjoying great, local, craft beer on your own self-guided Ale-venture!
Within each Ale Trail on our website, there are recommended itineraries to explore – this includes an array of craft breweries, pubs, restaurants, cafes, liquor stores, outdoor activities, sightseeing and more — all either on the way or very close to your campground! Some brewery patios are even dog-friendly!
The BC Ale Trail is divided into six regions – Kootenay Rockies, Northern British Columbia, Thompson Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Vancouver, Coast and Mountains.
The Kootenay Rockies is a go-to destination for beer lovers and wilderness explorers – enjoy spectacular parks, hot springs, hiking trails and of course, beer from 15 breweries.
Northern British Columbia
Explore the craft beer community in Northern British Columbia with 11 breweries situated among Northern BC’s sweeping glaciated valleys, volcanic rock formations, towering mountain ranges, and mist-shrouded coast.
Enjoy the diverse region of the Thompson Okanagan featuring views of the Rocky Mountains and vast desert landscapes, dotted with lakes, grasslands, and rolling hills paired with 34 craft breweries.
Experience craft beer culture from your choice of 46 breweries on Vancouver Island, interwoven with natural beauty, agricultural splendour and some of BC’s most spectacular beaches.
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains
Explore a craft beer scene in Vancouver, Coast & Mountains that’s finding fame across the world with 95 breweries and growing, in a city that loves to get outside – bordered by the sea, forest and mountain peaks.
Other Useful Information
Take the BC Ale Trail on the road with you! Download our FREE mobile app. With a database of over 250 locations including breweries, taphouses, liquor stores, visitor centres and more. Use the app to find a location near you, check-in once you arrive to collect points and when you have enough, you can redeem them for a reward at participating locations.
Read blogs from the BC Ale Trail website and explore more on the BC Ale Trail via its social media channels.
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For places to Camp in British Columbia go to the Camping Map
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Spring Activities Abound in the Okanagan
In the mountains there is still plenty of white stuff, but in the valleys, once the snow melts, the trees start to bloom and the leaves turn green.
There are a variety of activities available in early spring, especially because the temperate climate of the Okanagan is so warm early in the season. Consider indulging in some of the following if you’re looking to get camping this spring:
If you’re a fan of wines and brews, consider taking one of the area’s many wine tours. In Kelowna, you can take the Lakeshore Wine Route, starting at Sperling Vineyards to CedarCreek Estate Winery. Home of the award-winning restaurant, Home Block, CedarCreek is a popular way to enjoy the valley and the views of Okanagan Lake. As your day winds down, you can head back to Apple Valley Orchard and RV Park for a good night’s rest. The next day, you’ll be geared up to head down to Penticton to explore one of the province’s mighty Ale Trail destinations. In fact, Penticton was recently named Canada’s Craft Beer Capital!
You’re wise to spend several days using Kelowna as your home base, especially in spring. The flowers are out and the birds are singing, so it’s a great time to visit. Plan to spend a day visiting the Kettle Valley Railway in Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park, where you can enjoy biking, hiking and walking across the 18 trestles that still exist from the decommissioned railway line.
Of course, spring skiing is still an option if you’re so inclined, with Big White Resort, located just 60 kilometres east of Kelowna, a short day trip away. Other great accommodations in the Kelowna area include Okanagan RV Park, West Eagle Campground and Holiday Park RV & Condo Resort.
It’s a great time of year to visit the South Okanagan, as the fruit trees are in bloom in early April. Their heady scent permeates the air. In Penticton, you can enjoy time at a variety of different campgrounds and resorts, including Oxbow RV Resort, South Beach Gardens Campground or Barefoot Beach Resort. While in Penticton, you can enjoy all kinds of different activities and events. In fact, Visit Penticton has a great events calendar you can enjoy year round. Some favourite activities around the Penticton area include a day trip on the Kettle Valley Steam Railway in Summerland (and don’t forget to swing by Summerland Sweets while you’re in town, or to indulge the adults’ sweet tooth, consider a visit to Bottleneck Drive. You’ll have a chance to enjoy breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries, all in close proximity to each other).
As you wind your way south, golf, swimming, boating and hiking are top activities to enjoy. Outside the busy summer season, there are many places to see and things to do that are just waiting to enjoy. Book a spot at Gallagher Lake, where you’ll enjoy amazing views among the ponderosa pines any time of year. If you plan on staying in sleepy Oliver, consider booking at Lakeside Resort, a full-service year-round resort that’s budget friendly. It’s also near Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course, if you’re looking to practice your swing. Also in Oliver is Fairview Mountain golf course, which is known to be open (weather permitting, of course) 11 months of the year! While you’re in town, swing by the Oliver Visitor’s Centre, as there are events going on all year round in Canada’s Wine Capital.
Closer to the border is Osoyoos, known as Canada’s Warmest Welcome, where – if you’re not careful – you could drift across the American border, which bisects Osoyoos Lake. In town, you have a variety of options for accommodations, including Brookvale Holiday Resort and Cabana Beach Resort.
Stationed in Osoyoos also allows you to head east into Boundary Country or west to the Similkameen on day trips. Each are wonderful (consider visiting the Rock Creek Fall Fair, and don’t forget Keremeos is known as Canada’s Fruit Stand Capital) and are close enough to stay in Osoyoos, the only true desert in Canada, while exploring all the Okanagan has to offer.
For campgrounds in the Okanagan and elsewher in British Columbia go to the Camping Map.
Share your BC camping photos using hashtag #campinbc
Published: February 27th, 2020
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