Little Lake Lillian
Paddling in B.C.
Driving west of Invermere on the way to Panorama Ski Resort, you come across the sweetest little lake. It won’t give you paddling for a day, but a few tranquil hours are there for the taking. There’s clear signage on the highway, announcing a public park, which offers a small boat launch and parking lot for easy access.
We found this piece of water in a serendipitous moment. Driving into Invermere, late morning of June 3rd, we had every intention of paddling Windermere in the afternoon. We found white caps bounding down the length of the lake, racing before a wind gusting 40 kph wind. Concluding we wouldn’t get a warm-up paddle (first of the year for my companion), but rather a hard pull, we looked for something less demanding. Checking our maps, we discovered Lake Lillian.
Nestled at the base a mountain, where the Purcell Range meets up with the Rockies, the little lake is well protected from the wind. A few cabins dot its shoreline, but a great deal of the edge is swamp. The water appears brackish; but, I was surprised by the stretches of sandy bottom, clearly visible. Big schools of good-size minnows swam among the reeds at the north end, explaining why the locals brag about the fishing.
Along the east side there is a protected nesting site, extending back into the woods. We circled the lake several times, enjoying the clean pine-scented air and glassy water.
Some unique fungus growing from downed trees caught our attention, as did a soaring eagle.
For the first of our four day, four lake B.C. paddle, Lake Lillian proved a stimulating amuse-bouche, sharpening our appetites for the next course in the meal.