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Autumn in the Similkameen — Ripe with Possibilities

Take the time to pause and play in the Similkameen in fall. The days may be shorter, but they’re still nice and warm. Mountains, dotted with larch, cottonwood and sumac light up in shades of gold and amber as they pose for your camera’s lens. You can smell the sweet scent of grass as the last cut of hay is baled in the fields. Watch the cowboys as they herd cattle back down to the valley.

Top ways to experience fall

  1. Gather your grandma’s recipes and shop our fruit stands and markets for fresh produce, ready for canning
  2. Eat and drink your way through the valley at winery and harvest events celebrating the Similkameen’s bounty
  3. Inhale the heady scent of the crush then taste why Similkameen wines are gaining so much attention (and awards)
  4. Gain a new appreciation for light, photographing the Similkameen in fall’s early morning light
  5. Enter your favourite hot pepper recipe in the annual Sear Factor hot pepper challenge
  6. Visit an orchard, thank a farmer, discover just where your food comes from
  7. Hike the golden forests of Manning Park, walking in the footsteps of history
  8. Ride the historic Kettle Valley Rail Trail through autumn landscapes you’ll want to frame
  9. Discover the legends and legacy of Similkameen pioneers at museums in Princeton, Hedley and Keremeos
Picking ripe fruit
Picking Ripe Fruit

Organic orchards hang heavy with fruit. Picking is a daily occurrence in the fall. A visit to Cawston and Keremeos’ fruit stands and farmers markets throughout the Similkameen Valley will leave your mouth watering. Bring your recipes and preserving plans as you’ll find plenty of fresh produce that you’ll want to take home!

Visit us in September and you’ll discover why the Similkameen sizzles and come back for the October crush. Come and rekindle your love for all things wine. There’s no better way to pause, play, rewind and repeat!

Sunset at Stemwinder Park
Sunset at Stemwinder Park

A Photographer’s Dream

The Similkameen is a photographer’s dream in the fall. The whole valley glows in shades of gold, green and amber, creating the kind of light photographers dream of. Manning Park is a “must” for landscape and wildlife photographers this time of year. Grab your camera and see if you can capture Clark’s Nutcracker birds alighting your hand. Hike any portion of the 18-km Kettle Valley Railway trail between Princeton and Tulameen. Your reward is postcard worthy landscapes, suitable for framing!

Getting ready for market
Getting Ready for Market

Fall Harvest

We grow good eats in the Similkameen and autumn is one of the best times to visit when our fruit stands and farmers markets are bursting at the seams. You can’t miss them; dozens of fruit stands, brimming with seasonal displays create a rainbow of colour along the highway between Keremeos and Cawston. Pop out of your car and into our open-air markets and you can smell the freshness of just-picked fruit perfuming the air. Grab a basket and start loading up on whatever is in season. You’ll rub shoulders with growers who are more than happy to point out where the fresh picked produce is.

Fall harvest market
Fall Harvest Market

Harvest Events

Some like it hot, but here in the Similkameen, we like to sizzle! There are more than 200 delectable varieties of peppers grown organically in the Similkameen, so it just makes sense that we’d throw a party in their honour each year! Held each September, the Similkameen Sizzle is a quintessentially Canadian celebration dedicated to the Similkameen pepper harvest. Bring along the kids for a day of family friendly fun, music and great eats, culminating in the signature event…the Sear Factor hot pepper eating contest. Bring your bottle of antacid and put your taste buds to the test…can you stand up to the little hot pepper?

Come, taste our valley — that’s both an invitation and the name of the event! Held every October, Taste our Valley is a harvest celebration of all things grown or handmade in the Similkameen Valley. Bring a hearty appetite, we’ll satisfy your hunger for artisanal foods and hand-crafted treasures.

Enjoying the latest vintage
Enjoying the Latest Vintage

Wine Crush

Ah, your first crush, there’s nothing quite like it, and there’s no better place to experience it than right here in the Similkameen. Each fall the family run wineries harvest their grapes, crushing and pressing them down in the first step of the wine-making process. The heady aroma of fermenting grapes lingers in the air. While they’re busy creating new wines, step into our tasting rooms to sample the fruits of previous years’ labour. It will leave you with moments that turn into memories as you savour vintages just a few years in the making.