It may seem strange to talk about going to a few different parks when you are in a town in the stunning mountains of British Columbia, Canada. However, these three parks are worth spending some time at while visiting the town of Nelson, BC.
Gyro Park in Nelson, BC. offers picturesque views of the Kootenay River and BOB. BOB is the iconic Big Orange Bridge that is the only way to get across the river in Nelson. The park offers a variety of trees and flowering plants throughout the area. The trails throughout the park bypass several benches to allow resting and enjoying beautiful days. Little ones can enjoy the wading pool in the summer and the playground year-round.
The park, located in the center of town, contains a breathtaking view of Elephant mountain, BOB, and views over the downtown area. Like several businesses throughout Nelson, it has incorporated the work of an artist into the setting. Patrick McIvor’s work is on display within the railing around the viewpoint.
Gyro Park is a favorite place to relax and have a picnic. It is also a well-known place for weddings and photos. Before or after visiting Gyro Park, stop at Oso Negro Café for breakfast or a coffee. I think it is the best coffee in Nelson.
The IODE Park has been home to the top of Hall Street for almost 30 years. After completing the first phase of upgrades, the parks remind me of something you would see in a fairytale. It is a steep area, so the limestone pathways are set out in a zig-zag pattern to reduce the incline while you are walking up. Throughout the park, you will see numerous native shrubs, trees, grasses, and flowers.
Solar lighting has been installed along the pathways along with art and seating. The views of the town and mountains are impressive from the park. On the corner of Baker Street and Hall Street, you will see the newly installed public restroom, water bottle filling area, and a water fountain. A few buildings down from here is All Seasons Cafe. I highly recommend making reservations for All Seasons Cafe when you go to Nelson.
This park is a great spot to pick up some local take-out and enjoy it in the fresh air with beautiful views.
Cottonwood Falls Park
Cottonwood Falls Park is an exceptional park hidden under Highways 6 and 3A. The Eco-Society, Earth Matters, and Izushi Friendship Society are stewards of the magnificent area. If I were not brought here by a local, I would have never known such a place existed.
Cottonwood Creek flows under the highway and down a stunning waterfall. It then passes the Miyazu Garden. The garden commemorates the relationship Nelson has with its Japanese sister city. A Japanese stone lantern sits in the park with a plaque stating it was a gift to celebrate the “ten-year anniversary of the Nelson – Shuzenji Sister City Relationship.” It’s like walking through a sliver of Japan in a small Canadian town.
The area also holds a community market with live music on Saturdays during the summer. Stay at the nearby Prestige Lake Side Resort.