I was fortunate enough to hang out with the Google Trekker in Prince George while it spent time in Northern BC this summer. We went on many great adventures and got well acquainted...
Our first trek was the Ancient Forest, 113km East of Prince George. This is the only known inland rainforest in the world and thanks to thousands of volunteer hours, the entire trail has a wooden boardwalk, and long, wide, flat sections suitable for wheelchairs and mobility devices. The trail is an easy-moderate hike marked with interpretative signage, and is home to a beautiful waterfall. In 2016, 11, 190 ha of the Ancient Forest was designated as a Class A Provincial Park and given an additional name, Chun T’oh Wudujut.
Teapot Mountain Recreation Park is north of Prince George 50km past Summit Lake. The hike is a short but steep (and hard!) but only for about 1km (straight up hill – there’s even a rope to assist your ascent at one point…) until you reach the summit. There are four viewpoints providing 360-degree views of the surrounding lakes, rivers, forests and wetlands from the top. The hike is worth the view, there are even teapots placed by some hilarious hikers along the trail to compliment the name of the mountain.
Two well-known city parks are Cottonwood Island and Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, and both are part of the 30km Centennial Trail. The parks are located on the banks of the Nechako & Fraser Rivers and allow for some wonderful human-wildlife interaction. We had the unique experience of having fledgling chickadees land in our hands to eat sunflower seeds in Cottonwood Island. There are also unique spirit faces carved by local artist Elmer Gunderson in some of the trees throughout the park for added entertainment. Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park is one of the City’s signature parks, including the Rotory Spray Park, a playground, the Exploration Place, and the Lheidli T’enneh burial grounds.
We had the great pleasure of being escorted through the Great West Life Mobility Trail by Ken & John, two dedicated local volunteers who are devoted to developing and managing the trails throughout the Tabor Mountain Recreation Site. The access to this trail is located off of Highway 97 south on Buckhorn rd. I loved the off-roading portion of this trek, through the Jack Kinsey Crossing (a metal bridge we had to duck to get through!) and up to the Yamaha Cabin where we had a great view and a good spot to stop for lunch. There is 407km of trail system included within the Tabor Mountain Recreation Society boundary, obviously too many trails to trek in one day, but a lot of miles can be covered on an all terrain vehicle!
UNBC Continuing Studies Coordinators Rob and Brock, took us out the historic Fort George Canyon by Jet Boat, which they called “our secret mission”. What a day for a jet boat — the weather turned out beautifully and we got to catch a black bear, coyote and eagle on camera. This journey is superb by jet boat because you get a view from a new perspective, being on the water as opposed to hiking along the rivers edge. Fort George Canyon Provincial Park is rich with local history, it was once known as the highway in and out of north central British Columbia and the canyon was an obstacle many sternwheelers faced, forcing them to navigate dangerous rapids, whirlpools and massive jagged rocks.