Lake dream within reach
Osprey Landing on Lake Koocanusa, B.C., within four-hour drive of Calgary
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
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.
A view of Lake Koocanusa from the site of the Osprey Landing development in southeastern B.C.