Fishing is legendary in 200m-deep (656-ft.) Kootenay Lake, which has 500km (311 miles) of lakefront. For guided trips and advice, contact Split Shot Charters (tel. 877/368-FISH ; www.split-shot.com).
Granite Pointe Golf Club, 1123 Richards St. W. (tel. 250/352-5913; www.granitepointe.ca), is a hilly 18-hole, par-72 course with fantastic views of Kootenay Lake. Greens fees are C$54; rentals, a clubhouse with dining, and a driving range are available.
Accessible right in town is a 9km (5.6-mile) rails-to-trails system on the old Burlington Northern line that follows the southern edge of the town along the flanks of Toad Mountain. You can join the path at a number of places; from downtown, follow Cedar Street south to find one entry point. The closest wilderness hiking is at Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, 21km (13 miles) northeast of Nelson on Hwy. 3A, then 16km (10 miles) north on a gravel road.
For rentals or a guided half-day tour (C$79), contact Kootenay Kayak Co., 579 Baker St. (tel. 877/229-4959 or 250/229-4549; www.kootenaykayak.com).
The visitor center has a free map of old logging roads and rail lines that are available for biking. The Burlington Northern rails-to-trails system is also open to mountain bikers. For rentals and trail conditions, contact Gerick Cycle & Sports, 702 Baker St. (tel. 800/665-4441; www.gericks.com).
Sixteen kilometers (10 miles) south of Nelson off Hwy. 6 is the Whitewater Ski Resort (tel. 800/666-9420 or 250/354-4944; www.skiwhitewater.com), with some of British Columbia's best snow conditions. The ski area is in a natural snow-catching bowl below an escarpment of 2,490m (8,169-ft.) peaks. The average snowfall is 12m (39 ft.), and that snow falls as pure powder. The mountain consists of groomed runs, open bowls, glades, chutes, and tree skiing; 80% of the runs are rated either intermediate or advanced. There are two double chairs and a handle tow; the vertical drop is 390m (1,280 ft.). Lift tickets cost C$57. Facilities include a day lodge with rentals, dining, and drinks. The Nordic Centre has 18km (11 miles) of groomed cross-country ski trails.
If you're looking for backcountry skiing, the Baldface Lodge (tel. 250/352-0006; www.baldface.net) is your ticket. A short helicopter ride takes you from Nelson to the backcountry lodge, where there are exquisite dining and accommodations, plus snowcat access to 14,568 hectares (35,998 acres) of powder snow terrain. The rates are very complex, but count on spending around C$800 per day in peak season, including unlimited guided snowcat skiing, all meals, and lodging. In summer, the lodge is open July 15 to October 15 for hiking and mountain biking.