Attractions and History
From our humble mining beginnings, the town of Kimberley has transformed into a true four-season destination that continues to salute our roots as we grow. We celebrate our past as a real working town in the attractions and sights that tell our story, highlight the natural beauty of the area, and nod to our history. Sprinkle these attractions throughout any visit, and get ready to fill your vacation with a healthy mix of history, wonder, and fun.
Kimberley’s Underground Mining Railway
Head underground on Kimberley's Underground Mining Railway to discover our town’s origin story, which began with Pat Sullivan’s discovery of lead and zinc in the surrounding hillsides in the late 1800s. The resulting Sullivan Mine operated for nearly 100 years, closing in 2001. It is now home to a fun-for-all, interactive retelling of our mining roots. Hop aboard a 9-ton locomotive to enjoy a 2-hour journey into the Underground Interpretive Centre and through the picturesque Mark Creek Valley.
Check out this interesting article from our local newspaper, The Kimberley Bulletin, titled "Sullivan Mine and Railway Society's Year In Review"
Wonder what all the muck is about? Ask real-life local miner (turned tour guide), Bill Roberts, about popular mining terms like “bootleg” and “hot muck”, and then see if you can spot these terms around town. And while you are here, be sure to uncover the additional historic attractions like the Orpheum Theatre and the North Star School House, both on the Railway’s grounds.
The Mine Tour runs 3 times daily from Thursday-Monday from June until September. Additional 10am Express Tours can be enjoyed Saturday, Sunday and holiday Mondays. Mine Tour admission fares help to support the Sullivan Mine and Railway Historical Society.
The Kimberley Heritage Museum is a non-profit museum that showcases local stories, historical artifacts, and a rotating feature exhibit. Come here to learn about the Sullivan Mine, the Marysville Smelter, or the 1916 Mark Creek flood, then find wonder in the gramophones, war-time paraphernalia, and bygone photography on display. With over 10,000 artifacts and over 11,000 historical pictures, our Heritage Museum is a must-see for any visitor. Plus, legend has it there’s a grizzly bear waiting to greet you who has a good story to tell.
A small fee is required to enter the Heritage Museum, with all admissions helping to support the Kimberley District Heritage Society. The museum is open year-round.
Note: while the Heritage Museum and Underground Mining Railway mainly focus on town history from the days of the Sullivan Mine onwards, the longstanding indigenous history of the region can be gained by a visit to the Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre at the St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino. This is a short 20-minute drive away from Kimberley and is a great side-trip to any stay here.
With over 10,000 artifacts and over 11,000 historical pictures, our Heritage Museum is a must-see for any visitor.
Established in 1927, Cominco Gardens is a 5-hectare property that boasts over 45,000 flowers annually, expansive views of the Mark Creek Valley, and surprising links to our mining history. During its operations, the Sullivan Mine, which was acquired by Cominco/Teck Resources, began producing its own brand of fertilizer from ore by-products. The gardens were designed as a natural way to show off the effectiveness of that fertilizer while creating a space of beauty for residents and visitors to enjoy. In 1987, the gardens were offered as a gift to the community, and remain a visual legacy today. They are now maintained by the non-profit Kimberley Community Development Society, and are a beloved part of any visitor’s itinerary here. The gardens bloom from spring to fall and are best enjoyed during the peak season from mid-July to mid-September.
The Cominco Gardens can be visited 7 days a week, are wheelchair and stroller accessible, and can be entered for free or by donation.
Marysville Falls and Eco Park
The Marysville Falls are a spectacular natural feat, accessed by an easy, 10-minute walk. Enjoy the stroll down a wooden walkway and along Mark Creek, before reaching the penultimate viewpoint overlooking a 30-meter waterfall. Opposite the trailhead is a community Eco Park dedicated to the west-slope cutthroat trout: a native species that returned to Mark Creek following extensive watershed restoration. Marysville Eco Park includes picnic tables, flower gardens, and a sculpture of a west-slope cutthroat, and is a great place to rest or enjoy a picnic. The stroll to Marysville Falls can be done in any season, but can be icy during the winter months, or slippery in the spring when the cascade is flowing quickly. This walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels and is beloved by walkers, bird-watchers, and nature enthusiasts alike.
During your stay here, take advantage of the heritage experts and historians who add so much heart to Kimberley and have many great stories to tell. Our activity providers love sharing local knowledge and make it easy to discover our unique roots in fun and interactive ways.
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