Long and narrow, Lake Koocanusa stretches 90 miles from Montana in the United States to British Columbia, Canada. The rural communities dotting the lake paired with the wilderness areas makes this the perfect place to get away from everyday life and recharge in nature. Enjoy boating, swimming, and hiking while reconnecting with your kids. Here are our top 10 favorite places to find the perfect Lake Koocanusa vacation rental.

1. Jennings

Kootenai River

Rent a vacation house in Jennings, on the south side of the lake between the Kootenai River. This rural area allows you the peace and quiet you need to reenergize yourself. Kayak down the river or boat in the lake. The nearby Souse Gulch Recreation Area provides public access to the lake.

2. Libby

Libby Dam
Source: Flickr / Spend A Day Touring, LLC

If you want to vacation around more people, go west of Jennings until you reach Libby. While this town is still within a short drive of the lake, it also contains all the amenities of civilization from shopping to eateries. Give your kids an educational experience by touring Libby Dam and the Libby Dam Visitors Center between boating sessions.

3. White Haven

Lake Koocanusa from the Kootenai Trail
Source: Flickr / Forest Service

White Haven might be a little further from the lake, but it, like Libby, offers some urban amenities, such as a charming downtown and access to hot meals. White Haven also lies by the Kaniksu National Forest, so you can take your kids hiking in the mountains and experience the wonders of nature.

4. Rexford

Lake Koocanusa Reservoir Bridge
Source: Flickr / Tony Webster

Located in the heart of the lake, Rexford’s a small community with the perfect location. Rent a house on the lake, or dock your boat at the public access Mariners Haven Campground. Relax with the locals, and dine at the Gateway Village and Cuisine or Koocanusa Cafe.

5. Eureka

Eureka
Source: Flickr / Forest Service

Just a few miles east of the lake and Rexford and nestled between some mountains, Eureka has a wide variety of rentals homes from which to choose. Stay nearby Dewey Avenue, and stroll to some local restaurants, or go hiking along Tobacco River. Make the short trip to the lake and spend an afternoon boating and reconnecting with the family.

6. Newgate

Lake Koocanusa
Source: Flickr / Bjorn

Newgate’s located on the Canadian end of the lake and boasts sandy shores where you can relax. Watch the kids splash in the shallow water and drowse in the sun, or opt for some waterskiing with the older children. Take a break from the water, and drive around the country roads for some scenic viewing.

7. Roosville

Glacier National Park
Source: Flickr / Emily Poisel

Roosville, which lies on the Canadian and United States border, is conveniently located by the lake and between the Kootenai National Forest and Glacier National Park. Go hiking in the mountains while teaching your children to value nature, or meander along the Trailcreek trails. Make the short drive up to Canadian Grasmere for a truly rural experience.

8. Kragmont

Mountains near Grasmere, British Columbia
Source: Flickr / Colby Stopa

Happily situated between three branches of the lake, Kragmont allows you to experience the best in water recreation. The Sweetwater Community offers a boat dock and lakeside homes, perfect for keeping your boat nearby for immediate use, while the central Kragmont area is a little more secluded, ideal for those seeking privacy.

9. Baynes Lake

Lake Koocanusa
Source: Flickr / Spend A Day Touring, LLC

Stay at Baynes Lake, a community surrounding a small lake a few miles from Koocanusa. Stay here for the privacy and safety of a small body of water, or jaunt over to the bigger lake for some waterskiing and kayaking. Because you’re situated close the Kikomun Newgate Road, you can take it across the river for a day at the city of Cranbrook.

10. Wardner

Lake Koocanusa
Source: Flickr / Colby Stopa

Wardner lies along the north end of the lake. The Wardner Provincial Park allows public lake access, ideal for spending an afternoon swimming, while the coves and inlets are fantastic for exploring in a kayak. Hike in the Lizard Range or along the Bull River, or grab a hot meal at Cranbrook.