Salmo is in the West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, located where Erie Creek flows into the Salmo River, just east of the junction of #3 with BC Highway #6. Salmo grew up along the historic Nelson/Fort Shepherd Railway right-of-way in the 1800s, where it was known as Salmon Siding, for the original name of the Salmo (Salmon) River, which was teeming with fish. Mining and logging were the major industries in those early days, producing gold, silver, lead, zinc, and tungsten.
The Salmo-Creston highway (now part of Highway 3) was built in the late 1950s as a shortcut to the long route north to Nelson with a Kootenay Lake ferry crossing between Balfour and Kootenay Bay.
Before the dams on the Columbia River were built, the Salmo River was teeming with large salmon and the names were changed to Salmo to avoid confusion with other places bearing the same name.
Salmo Municipal Campground
201 Riverside Ave, Salmo, BC V0G 1Z0
Between Sayward and Riverside Avenue, in KP Park
Open seasonally from mid May to early September.
This quiet shaded campground has walking access to Salmo’s downtown core. The park has a children’s playground, baseball diamonds, a small BMX bike skills track, gazebo and numerous picnic areas. The campground and park areas have washrooms and hot shower facilities.
434 Ski Hill Road, Salmo
Located at the bottom of the ski hill, has something for everyone. Weekly local races are all about fun and learning and there’s plenty of time to practice and just cruise the track. The sport is for boys and girls of all ages including 2–5-year-olds on balance bikes to 61 years and older. There is also a small BMX bike skills track in town at KP Park.
Great Northern Rail Trail Network
Salmo on the Great Northern Rail Trail network, running about 48 km (30mi) between Salmo and Nelson. The rail line was an important connection for West Kootenay mining towns for efficient shipping of rich ores to the US. Passenger traffic between Nelson and Spokane ran from 1893 to 1941. All train traffic into the region ceased in 1989, and in 1998 the rails and ties were removed. It’s now part of the TransCanada Trail multi-use recreation trail suitable for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.
Access: Cedar Avenue in Salmo
Springboard Park has old-growth forest running along the Salmo River’s exceptional natural beauty. Hike the 0.86 km trail through the forest to see the remains of Salmo’s early logging heritage, with huge cedar stumps from the valley’s former old growth forests, harvested near the turn of the century. Further along the trails you will come to overlook the meandering Salmo River located at the base of Bakken Road.
Salmo Valley Farmer’s Market
KP Park Salmo, BC, V0G1Z0
Thursday evenings from late June to mid-September
Find local produce, fresh baked goods, cottage foods, locally made artisanal items, music and entertainment, the farmer’s market is a wonderful way to connect with the community and experience the best of the Salmo Valley.
Salmo Arts and Museum Society
corner of Fourth Street & Railway Avenue
P.O. Box 69, Salmo V0G 1Z0
The Salmo Arts and Museum Society was established in 1970 which showcases archival material relating to Salmo and area, including Ymir, Sheep Creek, Pend O’Reille, and Erie. The holdings include maps, reference books, business records, miscellaneous documents and photographs related to the mining history of Ymir, Sheep Creek, Pend O’Reille, Erie and the businesses, people and community activities in Salmo and satellite communities.
World’s Largest Penny
Highway 6 North in Salmo by the information sign
Salmo is home to the world’s largest penny which stands 8 feet tall. It was dedicated on July 1, 1995, Canada’s birthday, in honor of Penny Power, a campaign to hoard pennies to help pay down the national debt.
World’s Oldest Phone Booth
110 Motel Avenue, beside Sal-Crest Motel
Salmo is home to the world’s “oldest phone booth”. A long-standing local attraction, the phone booth is made from a hollowed-out cedar tree from the Trout Lake area. The phone was placed in the tree in 1977, and when employees of the Ministry of Forests counted the rings, they estimated the tree to be 465 years old.