Salmon Arm Waterfront Trail (including the Salmon Arm Wharf Trail and Raven Trail)
10.2 km round trip
NominalElevation Gain (m)
Although this trek is situated in an urban area and parallels a railway track, it is truly an enlivening adventure as it takes a trip through one of British Columbia’s foremost migratory-bird estuaries. The combined Salmon Arm Wharf and Raven trails provide a gentle, level stroll that consists of elevated concrete walkways directly over the estuary along with viewing platforms, an elevated boardwalk and a loop around Christmas Island.

This boardwalk exits the bush, taking you over marshy grasses and revealing fantastic scenery.

From the Salmon Arm Wharf trailhead, the path begins as a raised concrete walkway that makes its way behind the back of the Prestige Resort and its patio lounge and bar. The scene looking out onto the flat estuary is amazing and the wildlife immediately draws you in. Late in the season, when the lake is low, the estuary gives the appearance of a tidal flat that should soon be overcome with an incoming tide, but this lake “tide” will not return until the spring. And as you can imagine, spring and early summer are when this estuary is teeming with life.

This is the first of two raised concrete walkways, and it lasts only for about five minutes. Cross Marine Park Drive NE and pick up where the obvious sign stands on the other side of the road. Follow the concrete path as it winds its way around a parking lot to the next elevated concrete pathway. This second walkway is much longer and provides far superior viewing.

When this comes to an end, it takes a 90° right turn to Harbour Front Dr. NE. Turn left and hike the road a short distance to the Raven trailhead. Concrete now surrenders to dirt and gravel. This is a magnificent trail.

Within 5–7 minutes the first viewing platform is accessed on the left. This short jaunt projects you out of the forest, offering fantastic, unobstructed panoramas of this beautiful sanctuary.

One of the many amusing features of this easy, yet interesting trek is the overgrown birch and alder trees that have created lengthy archways, almost tunnel-like.

The trail to the Christmas Island loop is at about the 1 km mark from the Raven trailhead. This loop is 1.2 km long and is a worthy side trip, as it is the farthest extension out into the estuary.

Back on the main trail, continuing north, you come to the second viewing platform. This platform was closed in 2012, as the boardwalk out to it had severely deteriorated.

All along the way, the thin forest opens up, presenting spectacular sights, but some of the best views are seen from a sturdy boardwalk of about 100 to 150 m in length.

Beyond the boardwalk, the expedition lasts a further 15 minutes as it makes its way through high marsh growth.

The journey ends at 47th Ave. NE. Turn back and enjoy everything you missed the first time.


From the Trans-Canada Highway in downtown Salmon Arm, travel north on 4th St. NE for only a couple of blocks to where it intersects with Lakeshore Drive NE. Turn right on Lakeshore Drive NE and immediately get into the left-turn lane to cross the railway tracks onto Marine Park Drive NE. Turn left on Harbour Front Dr. NE and drive in front of the Prestige Harbourfront Resort & Convention Centre and look for a parking spot on the road just past the resort. The unmistakable post and sign marking the beginning of the Salmon Arm Wharf Trail stands on the right side of the road.

If you choose not to participate in the 1.2 km (one way) wharf walk and want to avoid the hotel and the marina park, turn right on Harbour Front Dr. and drive to its end to a gravel parking lot. This is the trailhead of Raven Trail.

Hike Map
Gerry Shea

Gerry Shea

Gerry Shea lives in Kamloops with his wife and children and he is also the author of The Aspiring Hiker’s Guide 2: Mountain Treks in British Columbia.

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