The park is located in an area now known as Athalmer, which, along with the northern end of the lake, contained First Nation settlements in the pre-colonial period. These settlements were frequented during salmon runs in the Columbia River salmon beds (called Kwataqnuk, meaning ‘where the water leaves the lake’). Unfortunately, the salmon beds are now gone, due to the damming of the lower reaches of the river.
Just 14 hectares in size, this little park offers a wealth of recreation for the family. A broad sandy beach rims the shore of the lake for great swimming and water play. There is an adventure playground and volleyball court in the open grassy play area, providing hours of fun for every member of the family. Clean, wheel-chair accessible washrooms, change rooms and cold running water, as well as picnic tables, make this an ideal spot for family adventures. There is also plenty of RV-accessible parking.
The large, open lake is popular for more than swimming, though. Boating, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, fishing, kayaking and windsurfing are enjoyed by many.
The adjacent Columbia Wetlands is a great place for paddling, bird and wildlife watching and photographing. In the park, the short, 350 m wheelchair-accessible Dragonfly Boardwalk is an interpretive pathway which takes the visitor very close to the wetland marsh. There are information signs placed along the trail, explaining the wetland habitat and wildlife.
So, pack up the kids, the towels and plenty of sunscreen and plan to make some great family memories at James Chabot Provincial Park.