Box Lake Nature Trail

Box Lake Nature Trail

Rating: Easy 
Distance: 1.3 km 
Trip time: 1 hour return
Surface: Compact dirt 
Modes of Use: Hiking, biking

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Trail Description

Box Lake Nature Trail provides a gentle walk through a second growth cedar/hemlock forest typical of most valleys in this area. The path winds from the Recreation Sites & Trails BC camping area (GPS Point 1 on the map) for 500 metres through the mature, moist forest. Very little sunlight reaches the forest floor here, so the undergrowth is sparse. A thick carpet of step moss covers the ground, and patches of boxwood, mushrooms and devil’s club are present. Look for stumps from original logging many years ago and dead snags where birds and small animals have made their homes. 

The trail winds near the marshy creek inlet, to the left of the trail. The marsh affords perfect riparian habitat for ducks, frogs, eagles, and larger mammals and can be observed best from the little spur leading off the trail to the left, about 200 metres along the main trail (GPS Point 2). After observing the lively marsh, hikers can return to the main trail and follow it to the Box Lake Forest Service Road (GPS Point 3). Turn right onto the road, which will continue the loop for 700 metres back to the campsite parking lot. 

Box Lake Nature Trail provides excellent introductory hiking for children, as it not only holds the allure of interesting forest and marsh habitat, but also a lake for swimming or tossing stones and campsites for a picnic. Roasting marshmallows, exploring the Box Lake Trail, and playing at  the lakeshore provide an easily accessed morning or afternoon of delightful adventure.


From Nakusp, head south on Highway 6, toward Nelson, for about 10 km. After passing Box Lake on the right, a brown sign marks the Box Lake Forest Service Road, also on the right; follow this well-kept dirt road for 2.2 km until you switch back toward the lake to arrive at the Recreation Sites & Trails BC campsite. Walk, ride or drive to the last campsite, where the gentle Box Lake Nature Trail begins.

Modes of Use

You can travel Box Lake Nature Trail easily on foot or bicycle.


The Box Lake Nature Trail was developed as a nature walk over the years by campers using the Recreation Sites & Trails BC campsite. The campsite is often user maintained, so be sure to clean up after yourself.

Trail & Access Condition as of February 24, 2024

The Box Lake Trail is accessible most of the year. Due to warm conditions the Box Lake Rec Site access road is clear of snow and accessible by normal vehicles. The trail may have some snow but will otherwise be clear but wet in places.

If You Liked This Trail

If the Box Lake Nature Trail appealed to you, try the Wrap Around Nakusp Trail, Cedar Grove Trail or portions of Nakusp to Summit Lake Rail Trail; all are relatively short, easy hikes.

Stay Safe Out There!

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The Trails of Nakusp brochure series was originally produced for the Nakusp & District Chamber of Commerce, by Hailstorm Ridge Environmental Services & Kootenay Virtual Tours, who jointly retain copyright.

Project funding came from a 2003 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Grant. 

Many thanks to True North Forestry Consulting Ltd., Pope & Talbot Ltd., Slocan Forest Products and the Ministry of Forests for their various contributions to the project.

Nakusp & District Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre, 92 – 6th Ave NW

Box 387, Nakusp, BC V0G 1R0

2023 Updates provided by the Nakusp and Area Community Trails Society