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Get to know Prince George from a local point of view.

Hiking Mount Pope with my dog

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From city walks to mountain legs

You know how all those cliché movies, songs and books about finding yourself start with a small town girl or guy? They get in their car and drive until they hit the bustling metropolis looking for adventure. For the most part, movies and TV have done a heck of a job romanticizing moving to the “big city”. But my story is the opposite: a born and bred city slicker from Toronto, ON moving to Prince George, BC.

How did I get here?

It was easy. I finished up my post-secondary education and wanted to expand my career experience. Prince George is home to many high-caliber employers and the opportunities are diverse. An opportunity presented itself and the rest was history. Within two months, I packed my bags to head to Central BC. Cue the melancholic music.

The opportunity for adventure

Summiting Kristi Glacier Trail

Summiting Kristi Glacier Trail – an 8 km trail east of Prince George near McBride.

I didn’t really know anyone when I got here, so I joined a hiking group: the Prince George Backcountry Babes. If anyone here knows anything about Toronto, there are no mountains. I was completely out of my element when I showed up to my first hike. I learned something about myself that day: I was as slow as molasses and needed to invest in some proper hiking boots. I also learned something about Prince George’s community: they were inclusive, friendly and helped me every aching step of the way.

Building up my hiking resume

Group photo on the Chilkoot Trail

Hiking the Chilkoot Trail – a 53 km trail that crosses the international boundary between Canada and the USA.

Fast forward three years, and here I am: I have completed over 300 kilometres of backcountry hiking in British Columbia, Alberta and the USA. Some of my favourite hikes within two hours of Prince George are the Viking Ridge Trail, Mount Pope Trail, and Mount Murray Trail. The Caledonia Ramblers, a Prince George hiking club, are also a great resource to help you with all your local hiking needs. The Ramblers schedule many different activities for all ages and skill levels including day hikes, snowshoeing, and overnight trips.

As my adventure continues, my legs get stronger, and my passion for Prince George and its surrounding areas grow.

Why do I continue to stay?

Carvings in a tree at Cottonwood Island Park

Carvings by local artist Elmer Gunderson in the bark of a tree at Cottonwood Island Nature Park.

My sense of community for Prince George was cultivated through many opportunities: work, relationships, and adventure. The ultimate reason that keeps me in Prince George is the outdoors. There is so much to explore within a few hours of the city centre; the world is really your oyster!

So if you’re moving from a bigger city to Prince George or looking to do your first hike this year, take that leap of faith! You are only one decision away from finding your own mountain legs.

What are your favourite hikes in the Prince George area? Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

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