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Lake Cowichan view from our dock.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Castlegar - Zuckerberg Island and the Millennium Pools, June 9

Our last day in Castlegar we decided to take a look at Millenium Park and take a walk around Zuckerberg Island downtown. You reach the island via a 473 foot suspension bridge to wooded island where you can sit on the river bank and see the confluence of two of the greatest rivers in British Columbia the Columbia and the Kootenay.

On the river shore take a walk around our Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park and discover a heritage of human and natural history unique within the Columbia River Valley. Your visit will take you back several thousands of years when the Lakes Salish Indian people first fished and built their winter pit houses here; almost 200 years ago, in 1811, David Thompson canoed down the Columbia River past this island; and 60 years ago Alexander Zuckerberg built his unique Russian Orthodox Chapel House. For the young and young at heart there are over 8 hectares of woods and a variety of paths to explore on Zuckerberg Island. 

By 9:30 the sun had started to peak out so we thought it safe to go for our excursion. Freya was left home to guard the rig. First we stopped at the Millennium Ponds to have a walk around. I can imagine all the kiddies really enjoying it on a hot summers day. They even have  a dog beach further along for the 4 legged kids.

No animals allowed on the beach/grass near the pools ... I guess geese do not read!

The river next to the ponds.
Next it was off to Zuckerberg Island. We traipsed around the island for about 1/2 an hour and then the skies opened up with torrential rain. Ray and I huffed it back across the suspension bridge back to the car post haste and got soaked. We only did a few of the trails due to the weather and Ray's limitations, but may come back another time on another trip when the weather is better.

Park History: After Alexander Zuckerberg’s death in 1961, the island and its buildings deteriorated for 20 years until it was purchased by the city in 1981. In the spring of 1983 the Castlegar Rotary Club began developing it as a park. 

Rather shaky suspension bridge.

Built as a field exercise project in 1984 by the 44th Field Engineer Squadron, the bridge was allowed to remain in place as a connection to the island. The 473 foot bridge won the coveted Canadian Militia Herztberg Award. All materials for the bridge were donated.
 The house below was supposed to be open to tour according to the website but it was closed and all locked up. Oh well.
This was called Chapel House.

"Influenced by Russian Orthodox country chapel architecture, this house is built in its style and setting as a reflection of the painting ‘Beyond Eternal Peace’ by the Russian mystic and painter Isaac Leviton. Alexander Zuckerberg was an Estonian, educated in Czarist Russia as a civil engineer, a self-taught cabinetmaker and sculptor."

Here is another view of the cottage.

Stump Woman an unusual sculpture of a seated woman carved from a stump is one of Zuckerberg’s best known works. He had many sculptures lining island pathways.
 And that finishes up our week in Castlegar. On the road tomorrow am for the Trail area.


  1. Man you guys have been busy. The cottage looks very cool, Ray's pictures are great. I absolutely love the one he took of Tulip Falls!

    1. Looks like you guys have been pretty busy too. Love the expanses of nothingness ... absolutely stunning.