Prince George : The Hub of Northern British Columbia

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Prince George is a city in the northern part of the province of British Columbia, Canada. During the First Nations times, the region was known as Lheidi T’Enneh which means the ‘people of the confluence of the two rivers’. This is because it is located at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako rivers. The confluence of Highway 97 and Highway 16 in the town has seen it retain its role as a vital crossroad in the region. The city is the largest in the northern part of British Columbia with a population of around 75,000 residents. The city has a rich history which coupled with its natural beauty and many attractions, make it a coveted holiday destination worldwide.

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Prince George : The Hub of Northern British Columbia:table of contents

1. The Exploration Place

The Exploration Place Museum and Science Center is a history and science museum located at the scenic Fort George Park in Prince George. The museum was opened in 2001 becoming one of the most popular family destinations in the province. This is courtesy of its innovative displays, kid-friendly galleries, and hands-on-experience enabling both adults and children to learn thoroughly about a wide range of subjects. The museum is home to a vast collection housed thematically in various galleries including the Natural History Gallery, George Philips Exhibit Gallery, Ted Williams History Hall, First Nations Gallery, and the Paleontology Gallery. Open year-round except during select holidays, it is a fantastic place to visit with family and friends as you learn more about history, science and the region.

2. Prince George Railway & Forestry Museum

Photo by William Davies

The Central BC railway and Forestry Museum is one of the most fascinating places to visit while in Prince George. It is the custodian of one of the largest collection of vintage locomotives, historic buildings, rail cars, and other artifacts from the steam and diesel railway eras. These date back as far as the late 1800s providing visitors with a rare glimpse into the past. At the forestry section, you will find early communication, logging, and firefighting equipment. There is also a photo gallery that features vintage photographs taken in the region dating back to the 1950s. Visitors can also rent some of the facilities in the museum adding to its allure.

3. Two Rivers Gallery

The Two Rivers Gallery is an art gallery in Prince George run by the Prince George Regional Art Gallery Association. Its goal is to provide a place for artists to exhibit their work as well as promoting the arts in the region. The gallery traces its roots to the 1940s when a group of art enthusiasts started to organize art exhibitions throughout the community. The gallery acquired its first permanent home in 1969 before moving to another location in 1976 where it was based for two decades. The current building was opened in 2000 and is home to one of the largest permanent collection of art in the province. Covering around 16,000 square feet, the complex also has three distinct spaces where temporary exhibitions and other functions are held making it a hub of activity all year round.

4. Cottonwood Island Nature Park

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Cottonwood Island Nature Park is a popular recreation park in Prince George. The park is an outdoor lover’s paradise with fantastic views of the Nechako River. There are lots of walking trails meandering through the park making it an ideal place to walk or run as you enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife including otters, foxes, deer, beavers, and many more. The natural oasis is also a popular bird watching spot as it is home to a variety of bird species including eagles, chickadees, and ospreys. There are also carvings done by a local artist scattered throughout the park adding to its allure.

5. Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park

The Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park is a popular public park in Prince George, British Columbia. Previously known as Fort George Park, it was renamed to recognize the region as the traditional home of the First Nations. The park is frequented by locals and tourists alike making it the best place to meet new people in a relaxed atmosphere. It is also home to the rotary playground and a waterpark where you can take your little ones to enjoy themselves. It is a popular picnic site with tennis courts and other recreation grounds where you can mingle and play with the locals, friends, and family. Many community events take place in the park making it a hub of activity all year round.

6. Purden Lake Provincial Park

Photo by John Freeland

The Purden Lake Provincial Park is an awesome nature park on the northern shores of Purden Lake. From the beautiful park, one has wonderful views of the Rocky Mountains to the north and the Cariboo Mountains to the south. The untouched wilderness of this park makes it a perfect habitat for a variety of animals including beavers, squirrels, hares, porcupines, and a variety of bird species. The park is a popular launching point for recreation activities on the lake including canoeing, fishing, swimming, and boating. The densely forested park also has playgrounds and camping sites where you can relax, play, and explore this beautiful wilderness.

7. Huble Homestead Historic Site

The Huble Homestead is a heritage site located 40 kilometers north of Prince George. The homestead paints a vivid portrait of life in the early 1900s when miners, settlers, and trappers shared the land. The site was established in 1989 covering around 50 acres which encompass the homestead as well as other pioneer buildings like the Salmon Valley Post Office, Animal Shelter, and the Giscome Heritage Trail. Once the family home of Al Huble and Anne Mary Hart, the homestead has been well restored as has Al Huble’s famous General Store which was moved to the site adding to its allure. The homestead is also used as a venue for community events making a must visit while in the region.

8. Connaught Hill Park

The Connaught Hill Park is a public recreation park located at the center of the City of Prince George. It sits at the top of Connaught Hill offering visitors a 360° view of the city and the surrounding landscape. The park is open from April to October and features vast well-manicured lawns, carefully spaced trees, and colourful flower beds. It is a popular local gathering place which coupled with its strategic location make it the best place to meet new people. Easily accessible while in the city, the park has paved walkways, picnic tables, and benches making it a perfect relaxation spot.

◎ Closing

The City of Prince George is a fascinating place to visit courtesy of its natural beauty and the variety of attractions and activities keeping you entertained throughout your stay. It is also rich in history and culture with a thriving arts scene to match. There are plenty of accommodation facilities to suit any taste and preference and its elaborate transport network makes it easy to explore with little hassle. Due to its location at the highway crossroads, it is likely that you will find yourself around the city while in British Columbia. Find a place to stay and enjoy exploring the city before carrying on your journey. Trust me, it will be worth your time and money.