5 Birdwatching Hot Spots in the Columbia Valley

By Tourism Radium on May 4, 2022

With 267 documented bird species in the Columbia Valley, Radium is the perfect birdwatching base.

Credit the Columbia Wetlands, forests, and alpine of the Rocky and Purcell Mountains for the diversity and wealth of birds in the area.

Here are 5 hot spots in the area to check out!

1. Old Coach Trail

This 9-km trail—friendly for both hikers and bikers—offers views of the wetlands and Purcell Mountains. Keep your eyes up for eagles, your ears open to the song of forest birds, and binoculars handy to spot other wildlife like bighorn sheep and deer.

2. Wilmer Wetlands

The Wilmer Wetlands hiking trail loops along the western edge of the Columbia Wetlands, an essential habitat of the Pacific Flyway. (As many as 19,925 birds were counted in a single day throughout the wetlands!) This is a great family hike with plenty of sights to see.

3. Columbia River

Immerse yourself in this nesting, feeding, and resting ground by renting a kayak or canoe and exploring the marshes and river at a slow pace with a float from Invermere to Radium. You’ll see plenty of bird varieties along with fish and other wildlife.  

4. Fairmont Hoodoos  

Hike up the landmark sandstone cliffs in Fairmont to see white-throated swifts and other forest birds along with unique views of the Fairmont range.

5. Columbia River Trail (Canal Flats)

See where it all begins: Columbia Lake and the wetlands form the mighty river in Canal Flats. Walk this short, interpretive trail with elevated boardwalks that allows you to see unique birds along the wetlands.

If you aren’t already a birdwatcher, spread your wings and give it a try on your next visit to Radium! If you are, take a stroll or roll at one of these locations and see how many varieties you can identify.

Bonus Spot: Greywolf Pond (Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail)

The Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail is a multi-use, non-motorized, paved recreation trail that joins the communities of Invermere and Fairmont. Segment 4 has parking, scenic benches, and a pond with interpretive signage that boasts many birds and other wildlife such as frogs and dragonflies. Walk, run, or take your bike and explore the trail further for views of Lake Windermere and make sure to stop at the Greywolf Pond to read the interpretive signage and watch for birds.

There is no shortage of birdwatching experiences in the Columbia Valley!

Explore the Columbia Valley Bird Trail to experience the renowned birdlife of the area.

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