Lake dream within reach

Osprey Land­ing on Lake Koocanusa, B.C., within four-hour drive of Calgary

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - CLAIRE YOUNG

Sum­mer­time on Lake Koocanusa.

Out on the wa­ter in a boat on a warm long week­end. Open the throt­tle and go. A quar­ter of an hour can go by with­out see­ing an­other boater.

A new de­vel­op­ment of­fers a year-round launch pad for week­end and hol­i­day ad­ven­tures in and around the south­east cor­ner of B.C. — and it’s within a 3.5- to four-hour drive from Calgary.

Osprey Land­ing is a 50.5-hect- are par­cel of land on Lake Koocanusa be­tween Fernie and Cran­brook, B.C. The north­east­fac­ing slope has 81 ser­viced lots, from 0.2 to 0.8 hectares, to build sin­gle-fam­ily homes on.

There are 36 ridge­front/ wa­ter­front lots and 45 view lots. About a third are sold, with seven homes built and ready for their va­ca­tion­ers.

They are pic­turesque lots, with tama­rack and pine trees pro­vid­ing plenty of pri­vacy while still main­tain­ing great views of the lake and moun­tains.

Lots range from 80- to 120-feet wide, with nat­u­ral slopes per­fect for walk­out base­ments and views of the lake and moun­tains.

“I own maybe the fifth or sixth small­est lot in the de­vel­op­ment, and it’s 80-feet wide and 360feet deep,” says Mark Tay­lor, mar­ket­ing man­ager for the de­vel­op­ment. “From my lot, I can prob­a­bly see 60 kilo­me­tres of moun­tains in ei­ther di­rec­tion. It’s just a spec­tac­u­lar view.”

Osprey Land­ing has its own wastew­a­ter treat­ment fa­cil­ity on site. Wa­ter, sewer and power ser­vices are un­der­ground to each lot.

The land of­fers a com­mu­nal grass beach ac­cess to the wa­ter.

“We have a plan in place to put in a float­ing dock sys­tem in the wa­ter, which we’ll prob­a­bly start next year once we get to about 50 per cent sold on the lots,” says Tay­lor.

There is cur­rently a handy place to put in next door.

“Osprey Land­ing is next to the provin­cial park, which has easy ac­cess to a pub­lic boat launch,” says Nancy McNay of Re/Max Fernie, which is han­dling sales of the de­vel­op­ment.

Plans for a stun­ning recre­ation cen­tre that gives an ar­chi­tec­tural nod to the name Osprey Land­ing are drawn up, and the build­ing has a prime lo­ca­tion within the com­mu­nity.

“A rec cen­tre will be go­ing in right on a cliff over­top of the

C MVisit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Properties,’ for more pho­tos and sto­ries. wa­ter­front — the pre­mier view lot of the whole prop­erty,” says Tay­lor.

The rec cen­tre en­com­passes a pool, gym, lounge area, pool ta­ble and ex­te­rior hot tub. Con­struc­tion will be­gin on the cen­tre when 90 per cent of the lots have sold. Osprey Land­ing’s web­site, osprey-land­ing.com, of­fers a video fly-through of the rec cen­tre plans.

Osprey Land­ing is on the Koote­nay River next to Koocanusa Lake. The wa­ter is at river level from Septem­ber to about April. Af­ter the spring runoff slows down, the Libby Dam in Mon­tana is closed to fill the lake.

By the end of June, the lake is 10 to 15 me­tres deep in front of the Osprey Land­ing prop­erty and about a kilo­me­tre and a half across.

In the win­ter, when the wa­ter is down, Osprey Land­ing is still wa­ter­front, with about two kilo­me­tres of river be­fore it opens onto the smaller Koocanusa Lake.

“The main amenity (of Osprey Land­ing) is the val­ley it­self, the views of the val­ley and the lake. The lake is a play­ground,” says Tay­lor.

Peo­ple launch for the day on Lake Koocanusa, tak­ing a pic­nic lunch with them and ex­plor­ing the fine sand beaches.

“There’s nu­mer­ous nat­u­ral beaches with that white, flour pow­der sand that you get in Can­cun. You day-trip around the lake and you can go on th­ese beau­ti­ful sandy beaches which are on Crown land,” says Tay­lor, adding it’s still a rel­a­tively undis­cov­ered area.

“You get on Koocanusa on a long week­end and you might go 10 to 15 min­utes boat­ing full speed and not see an­other boat. It’s just that kind of at­mos­phere,” he says.

While thoughts of cool­ing off in the lake are fore­most in the sum­mer, Tay­lor points out that Osprey Land­ing is a four-sea­son re­sort area.

“We’re about a 30-minute drive to the Fernie ski hill, we’re about a 35-minute drive to the Kim­ber­ley ski hill. If you drew a cir­cle of a 40-minute drive around Osprey Land­ing, you hit 14 golf cour­ses, in­clud­ing Trickle Creek and St. Eu­gene, the golf cour­ses in Eureka, Mont., and the Cran­brook area,” he says.

Hik­ing, cycling, horse­back rid­ing, quad­ding and snow­mo­bil­ing are other pop­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties in the area. “What can you get to from Calgary, in that three-and-a-half hour to four-hour win­dow that you can still do week­ends — re­al­is­ti­cally, that’s the big ticket from the stand­point of our pur­chasers,” says Tay­lor.

“If you’re look­ing for lake­front prop­erty within four hours of Calgary, in the moun­tains, you’ve got Lake Win­der­mere, Columbia Lake, and now you have Koocanusa. It’s a new play­ground and al­most un­charted area.” DI­REC­TIONS: The turnoff to Osprey Land­ing is about a three-minute drive south of the Ham­let of Ward­ner on High­way 3. IN­FOR­MA­TION: Visit os­prey­land­ing.com

Osprey Land­ing

An artist’s ren­der­ing of a pro­posed recre­ation cen­tre at Osprey Land­ing on Lake Koocanusa in south­east­ern B.C. The pro­ject is be­tween Fernie and Cran­brook.

Osprey Land­ing

A view of Lake Koocanusa from the site of the Osprey Land­ing de­vel­op­ment in south­east­ern B.C.

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