School District 27 students practice boat rescue techniques at Scout Island, which offers water access to the lake as well as several walking trails with views of the city and the lake.

This tranquil oasis of nature awaits in Williams Lake

Scout Island is a true gem for Williams Lake residents and visitors. In a small area, you’ll encounter diverse habitats – from lake and marsh, through riparian zones to dry juniper and fir forest. This wealth of habitats attracts a wide range of wildlife for you to observe, track and photograph. You might catch a glimpse of the resident muskrat, turtles, beavers, deer or otters.

The plant life native to all these ecosystems supplies food, nesting materials and shelter to the creatures, as well as beauty and fascination for humans walking the network of trails. Devoted volunteers from the Williams Lake Field Naturalists have worked lovingly since 1978 to preserve this treasure and enhance it with trails, viewing platforms, interpretive signs and publications so you can enjoy nature to the fullest.

The Nature Centre is directly on the migration path of hundreds of bird species, including rare white pelicans, swans, eagles, many species of ducks, and smaller birds. Coming from as far south as Peru and Chile and heading as far north as the Northwest Territories and Alaska, these wanderers often rest and feed in the lush marsh before continuing their journey, making Scout Island a birder’s paradise in spring and fall.

In the Nature House, view interactive and live displays of plants and animals, ask questions of the interpretive staff, or peruse the nature bookstore and library.

In the summer, Scout Island offers a great little beach for swimming, a place to launch a boat, and a lawn with tables for picnics. Naturalists present frequent public programs in the warm months to share their knowledge of the island’s thriving web of life.

In the winter you’ll find locals skating or skiing on the lake and seasonal nature activities like tracking and astronomy for both adults and children.

Details:

• Gates are open year-round from 8 a.m. to dusk.

• The Nature House is open daily from May to August and weekends in April, September and October.

• Educational programs for children, families, school and community groups take place all year round, and the School District runs an innovative Nature Kindergarten during the school year.

• Contact 250-398-8532 for more information, or visit its website scoutisland.ca

Visit the Williams Lake Tribune to find out more.

BirdwatchingBritish ColumbiaCaribooTourismtravelWildlifeWilliams Lake

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