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    Great Northern Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    11.1 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    368 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The Great Northern Trail is an 11.1 km out-and-back hiking route that will take you from the city of Nelson along an abandoned rail line to the sandy beaches of 5 Mile Point. Hikers will make their way along a well-maintained and easy-to-navigate trail that is surrounded by beautiful forests and scenic views of the surrounding area. This hiking route is a fantastic way to explore the natural beauty of the landscape surrounding Nelson.

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    Route Description for Great Northern Trail

    The Great Northern Trail is a beautiful hiking route along some easy-going terrain that will take you to a fantastic lookout along the beaches of 5 Mile Point. The trail begins near the Selkirk College campus and heads to the north along an abandoned rail line that runs parallel to Svoboda Road. Along the trail, you will be surrounded by a charming forest setting with intermittent views overlooking Kootenay Lake. As you hike along the edge of West Arm Provincial Park, you will cross over the Hermitage, Bossuet, and Bose creeks, before eventually arriving at 5 Mile Point. Here, you can explore the surrounding area, including the white sandy beaches that offer a perfect viewpoint to watch a sunset over the lake. After experiencing the views, make your way back along the same trail to return to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Great Northern Trail Trailhead

    To get to the Great Northern Trail from the BC-3A highway in Nelson, turn off the highway onto Elwyn Street and follow it for 1.0 km. Turn left to stay on the road for another 110 m, where you will find the trailhead on the left.

    Route Information

    • When to do


    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Great Northern Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Great Northern Trail Reviews

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