What to do in Cranbrook?

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Image of a sign which reads Mountains of Opportunity. Cranbrook.

In the winter 2024 semester, Geography instructor Dr. Nic Kinar tasked his students with creating a blog post, exploring some aspect of the geography of British Columbia. We’re pleased to highlight some of those projects here, including this one, completed by Cassie, Lauren, Rose, Saige, and Evan.

We would like to acknowledge that while you are in the East Kootenays, you are living, playing, and learning on the traditional unceded territory of the Ktunaxa and Kinbasket Peoples. Five First Nations bands are located in the regional boundary of the College. Four bands are Ktunaxa
and one is Secwepemc, located in the Shuswap region.

The East Kootenay has more to offer than we are able to describe, so we have compiled a map
including the gems Cranbrook has to offer. To use the QR code,
open your smart device’s camera application and point and shoot over the QR code. A link will pop up on your camera screen which when you hit the link it will redirect you to a google earth site that is painted with local establishments, eateries, study spots, fitness centers, and outdoor excursions.

As you begin your academic journey in the Kootenays, we understand the importance of finding the perfect study spot for you. Whether you are in search of the tranquil ambient local eatery buzz, a nook in the wall, or the inspiring outdoors, we offer a variety of spaces to cater to your mental health and academic needs. Just scan the QR code or press the link and it will show you all of your options.

Need a place where you can finish that essay that is due tomorrow? Then look no further than some of the best study spots where you can not only work on your academics, but you can also grab yourself a coffee or even a bite to eat at some of our recommended study locations.

If you are looking to focus after forgetting you have an assignment due that night, the Cranbrook Public
Library is the ideal location as well as our very own College of the Rockies quiet area. These two places will ensure that you get that assignment done. If you are looking for a sip of coffee to help your study journey, Kootenay Roasting Company (KRC) and Kootenay Grounds are your places to be, and are both located downtown Cranbrook. Morchellas, Hot Shots, and Max’s Place are the places to go if you are looking for a plentiful meal on top of your beverage.

Push and Pull Factors:

Push and pull factors refers to a reason someone would immigrate or emigrate to a country, region, city, or town.

Some push factors that can be discussed when talking about the East Kootenay region are a lack of cultural opportunities which can push people to want to go to more vibrant communities. Another push factor could be that Cranbrook is not a very walkable community. There is a lack of sidewalks in areas of the city that make it harder for those who do not have vehicles. Biking is a good way to combat this; however, helmets are suggested as the bike lanes are poorly painted.

Some pull factors include outdoor recreation, atmosphere of community, affordable housing, and proximity to larger cities like Calgary. Additionally, College of the Rockies provides smaller classes which leads to more hands-on activities and more assistance from teachers.

Cranbrook Evening Happenings:

Step into the heart of our community, where local bars transform into lively hubs of music and
laughter. Enjoy personal live performances by talented local artists, savour artisanal cocktails
crafted with care, and dive into the welcoming atmosphere that defines our town’s nightlife.

Although Cranbrook is not known for its pubs and clubs, we have a few spots that have made names for themselves as local gems. If you are in town and looking for a place to grab a bite, a drink, and some entertainment on the side, Hideout, Encore Brewing, and Firehall offer live music from local artists, and up and coming bands. If you are looking to get involved in community events, Firehall has musical themed bingo on Tuesday evenings, and Encore offers trivia on Thursdays. If your legs aren’t sitting still and you’re egging to dance, Shotties Nightclub is the place for you to jig it all out under flashing lights and booming music.

Lakes and mountains:

Nestled among majestic mountains and serene lakes, our area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. As you explore our community, you’ll be captivated by the stunning vistas that surround you, inviting you to hike through lush forests, kayak on crystal-clear waters, and soak in the tranquility of our natural wonders.

Looking to beat the heat in the midst of our summer? Or looking to go on a hike to fit your experience level? Cranbrook area offers both from beautiful lakes that will cool you off during the hot summer days, to vast hikes that can take you to the highest peak in the Kootenay region.

Looking at lakes in the region, some of the most popular that are nearby are Jim Smith which offers a playground and picnic area, along with a large grass and beach area. Moyie Lake is also a local favourite with lots of grass and beach area. Wasa is also another hit for having a large beach as well as the lake is located in the town of Wasa so anything you need is a quick drive to the local store. If you are looking for a taste of mountains and lakes, Norbury is a beautiful lake with nice blue water, and it is located right beside the mountains.

If you are just looking for some hikes, there are many in the area ranging from the South Star Trails that can take you to the top of Mount Baker. There are hikes in the Wycliffe area that fit for anyone’s difficulty level, as well as in the Community Forest that is right next to the College. If you are looking for a real challenge, take on Fisher Peak which is the highest peak in the Kootenay region. The area has hikes for everyone, and a quick search on the All Trails app will help you find that hike that best meets
your experience.

Image shows a Google map of locations around Cranbrook, BC.
From picturesque parks to buzzing fitness centers, Cranbrook offers a plethora of options for individuals seeking to reset their mind, body, and soul. Whether it’s a yoga session at The Studio, a light walk or vigorous run though the Community Forest, or a relaxing day at Blush Medi Spa, our city provides a haven for wellness enthusiasts of all kinds. Explore the array of fitness and self-care spots that make this area a commodity for health and wellness.

In the East Kootenay region there is so much to do but may not be known to the public. We created this blog post to share some of the locals favourite spots for going out, studying, grabbing a bite to eat, and the treasures of Cranbrook, BC and the towns around us. Make sure to check out the QR code or link to acquire ideas for your daily activities throughout the year.