There’s no shortage of amazing tours in and around Castlegar. From guided fishing excursions to a walking tour of the historic Hugh Keenleyside Dam, there’s something for everyone in the little city in the valley. But the latest tour being offered in Castlegar is most definitely unique because it involves rafting, history, hiking, fine dining and wine.
Local company Endless Adventure is now offering two different heritage float tours that start with a leisurely float on the mighty Columbia River followed by a cultural adventure and then a delicious culinary experience. Below are the details about both as well as more details about the two main sites they visit.
Zuckerberg Island Dining Experience
Drift down the Columbia River while taking in the beautiful mountain scenery and listening to the history of the area. At the culturally significant Zuckerberg Island you’ll disembark and hike along an easy pathway to an eating area complete with white tablecloths. There, a five-course farm-to-table meal will be served paired with a selection of Okanagan wines.
- Dates: July 17 and August 22
- Duration: 2.5 hours (5:00 to 7:30pm)
- Group Size: 14 people
- Age: 19+
- Price: $169 per person
- Info: endlessadventure.ca/zuckerberg
Columbia River Heritage Float and Lunch
As with the Zuckerberg Island dining tour, you’ll float the Columbia, visit the island to see the historical sites and then continue down the river to the Doukhobor Discovery Centre for a tour of the grounds and a classic borscht lunch at the long dining table in the site’s traditional home called a dom.
- Dates: July 12 and August 16
- Duration: 5 hours (10am to 3pm)
- Group Size: Minimum 6 people. Maximum 16.
- Age: 10+
- Price: $129 per person
- Info: endlessadventure.ca/heritage-float
The Cultural Sites Along The Way
Not only do these two tours feature delicious food and wine, they also take you past the famous Millennium Park near downtown Castlegar, under multiple heritage bridges, and they start at the historic Old Ferry Landing in where people used to cross the Columbia before the construction of the Robson Bridge. Here are two other cultural landmarks you’ll enjoy on the tours:
Zuckerberg Island: Centuries ago the Lakes Salish people fished the waters here and built winter pit houses on this island. Then, in the 1930s, a Russian-born artist, teacher and engineer named Alexander Zuckerberg moved to the area and built a Chapel House on the island that came to bear his name in the style of Russian Orthodox country architecture. There are examples of his art in the house and on the grounds including “Stump Woman,” an unusual sculpture of a seated woman carved from an old tree stump. The island also features eight hectares of woodland, perfectly smooth pathways, picnic tables, benches, and a suspension bridge.
Doukhobor Discovery Centre: The Doukhobor Discovery Museum is an amazing place to learn more about the culture that has so profoundly shaped what the city is today. There are ten historic buildings on site and many displays that wonderfully recreate Doukhobor life in Castlegar in the early 20th Century. In fact, this is one of the only places in the world where the unique Doukhobor culture has been meticulously documented and where it still thrives today.
For more information about Castlegar’s Heritage Raft & Dining Tours, visit endlessadventure.ca.