Sitting on the banks of the scenic, and sizable, Okanagan Lake, Fintry offers a unique blend of natural beauty, local history and recreation opportunities. The park was the site of a turn of the century settlement and trade-center; together, they comprise the Fintry Estate, a property so-named by settler James Cameron Dunwater in 1909. A stately manor, a packing house and a unique octagonal barn are among the many buildings preserved and managed at this heritage site.
Nature-loving visitors to Fintry can take the self-guided tour to a spectacular waterfall set in a deep gorge, or they may look for some of the area's diverse wildlife among the park's woodlands and fields. Paddlers, sailors and windsurfers can all access and enjoy the clear, sparkling waters of Okanagan Lake, while anglers can cast for Kokanee, barbot, rainbow trout and more.
The sizable campground at Fintry offers many great amenities and provides close, easy access to most of the park's recreational opportunities. Unlike some other provincial parks in the region, Fintry has many long (90+ foot) campsites that can accommodate very large RVs and trailers. Most of Fintry's sites are reservable during peak-season, and reservations can be made through the British Columbia Provincial Parks website. Indeed, as the Okanagan is a popular summer destination, and as the park sits close to the cities of Vernon and Kelowna, reservations are highly recommended.
Fintry's main road and campground are accessible off of the aptly named Westside Road, which winds its way along the western shore of Okanagan Lake. Westside connects with BC-97, also known as the Okanagan Highway, in two locations: near Vernon, at the northern end of the lake, and near Kelowna, at the middle of the lake. Westside, which is paved and well-maintained, is relatively flat and does not have any challenging turns or switchbacks. Reaching Fintry, then, should be a breeze even for those driving larger rigs or trailers.
If you're looking to resupply, there are several small stores along the western coast of the lake. Two cities are also nearby; Kelowna is about a forty-minute drive to the south, while Vernon is about a forty-five minute drive to the north.
All camping spots at Fintry are back-in, and if you are driving a very large rig, some may require some patience to maneuver into. Even very large rigs can be accommodated, however, as some sites are over 90 feet in length. Additional parking is available at the manor house, the boat launch, and at several points where the walking trail intersect's the park's main road.
Because of the campsite's central location, almost all of the park's amenities and recreation sites are within walking distance.
Fintry's large, scenic campground sports 101 sites, almost all of which are suitable for RVs and trailers (and many of which can accommodate even very large rigs). Sites are divided among three loops; one of these loops sits within a stand of lofty pines, while the other two are in more open, bucolic areas, though some individual sites do have smaller aspens and birches on their margins. There is also a group camping area with three reservable pods - the largest of these can accommodate up to sixty campers. All sites are just a stone's throw from the park's sandy beach along Okanagan Lake.
No hookups (electric, water or sewage) are available. However, there are several potable water spigots spread across the campground. Also available are modern restrooms and showers.
Located in the heart of the park, the campground offers easy walking access to two swim beaches, a playground, the manor house, and self-guided tour routes.
The majority of sites are reservable during peak season, which lasts from mid-May through the beginning of September. Sites are first-come first-served during the rest of the open season, which lasts from early April through mid-October.
Fintry occupies a prime piece of beach-front property on the northwestern shore of Okanagan Lake. The massive Okanagan, carved out over millennia by the retreats and advances of glaciers, is over 80 miles (130 km) long and several miles wide. For paddlers and watersports enthusiasts alike, the lake is a massive, scenic playground; windsurfing, waterskiing, sailing canoeing and kayaking are all popular pursuits on the Okanagan.
A boat launch located conveniently within the park offers easy access for visitors.
On a warm summer day, when a brilliant sun shines on the cerulean waters of the Okanagan, it may be hard to resist the temptation to take a dip in the lake. Near Fintry, high July temps average about 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 Celsius), and they routinely go higher than that; the lake's crystal clear waters become all the more inviting on such days. Luckily, Fintry sports a lovely, natural sand beach, and visitors are welcome to swim. If you're going with young kids, make sure you keep an eye on them - the park does not staff any life-guards.
The pristine waters of the Okanagan are host to several species of sought-after fish, and the lake's great scenery and easy accessibility make it a popular angling spot. Rainbow trout, pike, Kokanee, lake whitefish, and burbot are just a few of the species anglers routinely pull from the waters. Take a stroll along the sandy shoreline or head out onto the water to find the perfect spot to cast. Wherever you end up fishing, make sure that you have a proper British Columbia fishing license.
One of the park's main draws, and the source of its name, is the Fintry Estate. Built at the turn of the 20th century, the estate is composed of a handsome Manor House along with a series of other agricultural and industrial buildings (a unique, octagonal barn and a historic packing house are among them). The heritage site provides visitors with a sense of what British Columbian like was like nearly a century ago, and the bucolic grounds make for lovely walking.
Fintry and its surrounds bustle with the activity of native fauna. Larger denizens of the park's forests and slopes include black bears, grizzly bears, moose, California bighorn sheep and deer (both mule and white-tailed). If you're on a stroll through the woods, look for the dashing pileated woodpecker, or search overhead for circling goshawks or bald eagles. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the noble great horned owl. Marten, ruffed grouse, porcupine and coyote are among the other critters you may come across during your visit.
Though Fintry lacks hiking trails of any considerable length, there are a couple of excellent self-guided walking tours, which showcase the parks natural and historic features. The Delta Tour offers a leisure stroll past many of the park's turn-of-the-century buildings, including the park's namesake manor, an octagonal barn, a bunkhouse, a pump house, a granary and more. The far more challenging Waterfalls tour, which involves climbing a strenuous series of 150+ stairs, rewards intrepid visitors with a magnificent view of a tall waterfall set within a dramatic gorge.