Summer is redeeming itself in Prince George this year! And with that comes lake time, and PG offers plenty of opportunities to paddle. Whether you’re kayaking, canoeing or SUP’ing, it’s amazing to be able to grab your gear and dip in before or after work, or spend the day paddling at an area lake. What makes PG special is the proximity to so many local gems, just minutes from town.
My top five local paddles are within 30 minutes of the city:
- Ness Lake: This beautiful lake is 20 minutes from downtown. The lake access can be tricky, but we like to use the boat launch near Eskers Provincial Park. Ness Lake is fun to paddle, and with more than one arm to explore, it’s an interesting adventure. The water is warm in the summer, making a dip in to cool off so nice. The boat traffic can be heavy on the weekends, but most folks are respectful and watch for paddlers. Grab a charcuterie-to-go from Birch and Boar before you head out, and have a tail gate post paddle snack!
- Nukko Lake: This lesser known lake is also approximately 20 min from the city, down Chief Lake Road. The access is from the Community Hall, with a nice little sandy beach area, and a grassy picnic spot. Evening paddles on Nukko Lake offer amazing sunset views! With less boat traffic, it’s a fantastic paddle along this lake, which is actually quite long. Pick up some take-out from the Alpine Pub and enjoy the picnic tables and lake views, or stop in to this great local pub for some eats on their patio!
- Berman Lake: Out west of Prince George, Berman Lake Regional Park offers a great picnic and swim area, and also a nice place to launch and load your vessel with a dock. Berman Lake is quiet, and calm and it has a nice little bay to paddle if the wind picks up. Bring your fishing rod, and drop in a line on this little lake. Another bonus to Berman lake is the opportunity to spend the day, and paddle up the creek to Bednesti Lake to the infamous “Pirate Island”. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with the family! I recommend stopping in at the Marble Slab Creamery on your way back into town for some much needed treats!
- Norman Lake to Dahl Lake: Dahl Lake Provincial Park is approximately 30 min from College Heights. It’s worth the drive for this paddle, with a 2-for-1 lake trip. Starting out on Norman Lake, you can spend the days paddling the edges, then take the creek into Dahl Lake. If it’s windy on Norman Lake, Dahl lake is usually calm. There is also a short trail to Dahl Lake that is completely do-able carrying your vessel. This is such a beautiful paddle in the evening, or even during the day with your family. Pack a lunch and sit at the lake shore picnic tables to enjoy looking out over the water. Grab some homemade sandwiches from Homesteader Meats before you leave town. Made with fresh bread from the Pastry Chef Bakery, drool worthy.
- West Lake: West Lake Provincial Park is just down the Blackwater Road, 15 min from College Heights. With a large parking lot and easy lake access from the beach, this is a fantastic place to paddle. West Lake catches nice sunset views, and the water is so warm if you take a dunk. Be cautious on windy days, and pay attention to the skies. West Lake can blow up quickly and it can be difficult to get off the water when at the far end. A great spot for after paddling eats is CrossRoads Brewing. With the best patio in town, and delicious pizzas, I highly recommend as a place to refuel.
Whether you’re just starting out, or an experienced paddler. These lakes are great places to go for some water time with friends or the whole family. Take advantage of the sunny Prince George summers, and take the opportunity to adventure locally.
Stay wild PG!
Pretty Wild Adventure Co.