Set in a pristine patch of sylvan wilderness, Eneas Lakes offers views and solitude to those intrepid enough to traverse the rough route into the park. Four small but beautiful lakes (including the Big and Little Eneas, which from one lake when water levels are high) are the centerpieces of the park, and each offers excellent opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and angling. Two cabins at the northern end of scenic Tush Lake provide rustic lodging for those who brave the area's thick forests and set out on hiking or paddling adventures.
Visitors will find no maintained facilities or trails at Eneas. There are some social trails to be found, but even these are rugged and can be quite difficult to follow. Adventurers planning on setting off into the woods should bring orienteering gear, extra clothing and plenty of food and water. Trekkers will be rewarded for the preparation, though; venerable pines and Douglas fir loom over a forest floor carpeted in ferns, flowers and mosses, and wildlife is abundant.
Of course, you can also just enjoy a relaxing paddle on one of the park's glassy lakes, or you may cast a line from the shore and pull a brook or rainbow trout from the water. Whatever your pleasure, you can expect to have a great deal of space to yourself at this infrequently-visited park.
Eneas has several undeveloped campgrounds which feature only a handful of flat spots for vehicles. There are no other amenities or facilities. The park and its campgrounds are open year-round, and all spots are first-come first-served.
Eneas Lake sits in south-central British Columbia, about 13 driving-miles west of Peachland, BC. Peachland itself is only a 30-minute drive from the city of Kelowna.
Although the park is not terribly far from civilization, as the crow flies, access can be extremely difficult. Many miles of rough, unmaintained forestry roads (the Munro Lake Forest Service Road is the commonly used access route) separate Eneas from Peachland. The route can only be traversed by 4x4 vehicles, and pulling any sort of trailer is not recommended. Rain and snow can make driving conditions even more difficult, so keep an eye on the forecast before making the drive out.
There are no parking lots or developed day-use areas at Eneas. There are several primitive "campgrounds" which feature handfuls of flat spots for parking vehicles. Access to the majority of the park can only be made on foot or by boat.
Eneas Lakes has several undeveloped campgrounds set in heavily forested areas. Each "campground" is fully rustic and features no amenities. Grounds feature level spots for parking vehicles - that's it! There are no restrooms, no hookups, no trash bins, no fire rings and no picnic tables. Visitors should bring all necessary supplies with them (the nearest place to stock up is the town of Peachland, which is about 13 miles to the east).
The park does also sport two small cabins on the northern end of Tush Lake. These are not accessible by road but are open to the public and may be used by hikers, paddlers and hunters on multi-day treks.
Eneas Lakes and its campgrounds are open-year round, though all routes in are non-maintained, so the park becomes totally inaccessible to most visitors throughout the winter months. All spots are available on a first-come first-served basis, but low visitation to the park means travelers will rarely have to compete with one and other for a spot.
Eneas has several "social" hiking trails - routes carved out by repeated visitor use - but no official, developed hiking trails. Trekking at this park is best suited to experienced adventurers who are no strangers to topographic map and compass. Intrepid hikers, though, who forge a path through the wilderness, will be rewarded with wonderful lake views and the quietude provided by ancient forests of pine and fir. Low visitation at Eneas means you may very well have hundreds of forested acres to yourself.
Mountain biking and horse riding are also allowed at the park, though these are both made even more difficult by the undeveloped conditions.
Each of the park's four lakes - Big Eneas, Little Eneas, Tush and Island - provide placid and wonderfully scenic settings for canoeing and kayaking. Explore the shores lined by towering walls of conifers, head out to a promising fishing spot or just enjoy a quiet paddle at sunset or sunrise. Pack your canoe with supplies and a tent and spend a night or two camping on one of the lake's far shores.
Because the park is remote and difficult to access, you'll find few (or no) other paddlers crowding the waters.
If you've made the difficult trek out to Eneas, you're probably no stranger to wild camping. Using the primitive campground as a home base, you can set out to explore the 2,500 acres (1,000 ha) or pristine sylvan landscape that Eneas has to offer. Trek underneath the moss-covered boughs of old growth trees, ford rushing streams and stake out a secluded spot under the stars. Those looking for a true wilderness experience in southern BC should find everything they need here.
Anglers looking for waters that are rich with fish, but not with other people, need look no further than Eneas Lakes. All four lakes sport healthy populations of rainbow trout, with some also supporting brook trout. The area is not known for huge specimens (indeed, most fish caught here fall within the 2-lb range), but the solitude and spectacular views afforded by the lakes more than make up for the trouts' petite size. Plus, on these high elevation lakes, fishing remains good even during mid-summer.
As is always the case when fishing in BC, make sure you have a valid permit before casting.
With its plentiful wildlife, its several scenic lakes and its shaded, richly green groves of old growth forest, Eneas is a boon to those photographers who are willing to make the difficult trek out to the park. Capture an eagle or goshawk as it dives for a fish, or snag a photo of the vibrant intermingling of reds, oranges, purples, and blues which grace both sky and water at sunrise and sunset. Being so far from the nearest settlement, Eneas is also relatively free of light pollution - a long-exposure shot of the park's brilliant night sky can yield fantastic results.
Wildlife viewing opportunities at this remote park are plentiful. Iconic species found within the park's thick forests include black bear, moose, beaver and marmot. Eagles, ospreys and other birds of prey can be found perched on high trees overlooking the lakes. If you venture into the woods, you may be lucky enough to come across the beautiful, red-listed Northern Goshawk.
Many species of migratory waterfowl and songbirds also use the lakes and their surrounds as a stopover spot; look for wigeon, teals, buffleheads and more on the water, and look for warblers, vireos and flycatchers flitting from bough to bough in the forest.