We just spent the summer in Northern BC and here is what we discovered!
The best proximity with true wilderness is here in Northern British-Columbia. You can smell it, see it, hear it, and feel it. People here live on a slower pace. It almost like if they were living on an island time frame, if you know what I mean. It is very laid back, shops are close after 5 pm, Sundays and Holiday which changes the beat compare to the big cities.
Everyone does their work during the week and enjoy the weekend in the nature. I had never seen so many camping cars and boats on the road before. It feels like everyone has one or another, and often both with the kids and one dog or two in the back of the car. They take every occasion; long weekends, holidays and vacations to go enjoy the nature.
Things to do
There are so many possible adventures around and for all level of fitness. We have been working a lot, so we haven’t done as much as we wanted but we still managed to explore the surroundings a little bit. To quickly summarise, we hiked, biked and paddle boarded. We saw black bears, eagles, deer, moose, beavers, rabbit, salmon and a coyote. All within an hour drive from town. Surprisingly, we also came across many free provincial camp ground site around in the parks. It seems like anyone can just show up, mind their own business for a day or two and move to the next place. I so wish I’d had time for some more camping hiking adventures.
However, all summer we enjoyed exploring the surroundings on our mountain bike. There are trails just everywhere. Boer Mountain in Burns Lake was a great spot we tried. Only a few kilometers from town it took us 45min to bike up to reach Kager Lake free campground site, where most of the trails begins. The trail around the lake was my favorite: a pretty view and a wide enough trail for inexperienced biker like me. But they also have some other trails for experienced rider and a 5$ shuttle service.
We also found some great trails in Smithers; the Bluff park and the perimeter trail which goes around town for bikers and people walking. It also brought us along the peacefully fast flowing Bulkley river, on a smooth rocky beach shadowed by the Hudson Bay mountain and its glacier in the evening. We ventured as well to the twin falls, a very easy 5 min hike from the parking lot, with the choice to go on a more difficult 3 hours hike up. This 550m falls coming from the glacier side is a must see if you ever go to Smithers. There was some many other trails, but we lacked in free time and when we got some free time to spare the weather was not good enough for hiking. I guess it will wait ’til next time we get around here.
I saw some people walking barefoot in town. Everyday, it seems to be a camping car paradise; of every kinds and of every vintage. They have amazing local fresh food, great local coffee shops. My favourite was the Bugwood Bean; an outdoor trendy coffee shop which is the busiest place in Smithers. And there is well enough outdoor activities to satisfy the most outdoory people. Can you tell I really enjoyed the vibe there? Don’t be shy to go check it out one day and let the natural rhythm of mother nature surprise you!