While there are lots of activities, and points of interest within Prince George — there’s also a ton of great day trips within a relatively short distance from the city. Yes, my children sometimes drive me nuts in the car. However, it’s always worth the short-lived, en route torture once we actually get to explore and experience some of the awesome places on the outskirts of the city.
I ventured to Huble Homestead on their opening weekend, “Spring on the Homestead,” with a good friend of mine. With our four kids and my fur baby in tow, we had a great day exploring this historic site. My kids took part in the May-pole dance, planted flowers and decorated little pots, watched the blacksmith at work, built scarecrows for the scarecrow competition, had a bite to eat from the concession, and had a blast burning off some (seemingly endless) energy!
The Homestead is located within Giscome Portage Regional Park, along the Fraser River. It’s open from May long weekend through to September long weekend. You can even host a birthday party or hold a wedding at this beautiful historic site.
Admission is by donation, with a suggestion of $10 per family, well worth it I think. It’s located only 30 minutes north of Prince George, perfect for antsy kids. I only heard, “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?” maybe ten times.
Goodsir Nature Park – 22825 Old Summit Lake Rd
During my brief encounter with owner Jim Good at my visit to Goodsir Nature Park — I have to say he was an incredibly kind, calm, dedicated, and generous individual. There has been lots popping up on my social media feed recently about him, with efforts to collect donations via a Go Fund Me page to improve his living conditions.
Jim has dedicated (and recently celebrated) 30 years building this beautiful park. He’s spent his life studying native plant life, and has traveled across Canada in doing so. Throughout the park there are carefully hand-painted signs describing varying plant and tree species he’s collected on his travels, to bring back to this acreage.
There are tenting sites, and a user-maintained cabin on-site, right next to the lake on the property. Admission is by donation, and a must-see, short trip from the City of Prince George.
I grew up on Vancouver Island and frequently visited family in Quesnel as a child. With those summer trips, there often was a drive out to Barkerville. I enjoyed every visit as much as the last. I’m thankful to now to experience this historic site with my own two children.
Re-connecting with family I hadn’t seen in what seemed like forever, we ventured to Barkerville for their Old-Fashioned Victorian Christmas celebrations. We rented kicksleds, went on a horse-drawn carriage ride around the town, and enjoyed treats from the amazing bakery (well worth the lineup wait!). It was great to spend time with family, and re-visit this historic site as an adult. I look forward to returning this winter, and perhaps trying out the tub-run. I see a summer trip with our kids in the near future as well.
It’s about a two-and-a-half-hour trip, so yes, I did hear my favourite, “Are we there yet?” too many times on this drive. Road trip games, entertainment, pit stops, snacks, etc. are a must on this one!
The Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Park and Protected Area
Admittedly, I visited the Ancient Forest too early in the year. I give my husband extreme credit for backpacking our 2.5-year-old on this trip while sinking into thigh-deep snow along the way! We drove an hour out of town, and somehow felt committed to checking out as much as we could — not knowing just how much snow would remain in early spring.
This park protects a section of the only inland, temperate rainforest in the world. From what we could see, it was beautiful. There’s a great, Universal Access Trail that spans 450 meters into the forest. An additional Ancient Forest Boardwalk Trail is 2.3 km and accesses the largest old growth cedar within the park, a cascading waterfall, and other notable large-growth trees along the way. For more experienced hikers, there is a 15.5 km loop trail which brings you to the ridge-line on the south side of the park. My family will be camping this summer near the Ancient Forest Park, and will definitely head back to fully experience what this beautiful forest has to offer, without sinking in the snow.
I’m wrapping up some much needed West Coast beach time on Vancouver Island — but look forward to heading back to Prince George and continuing to explore in and around the city. What are some notable day trips from Prince George I should check out? Enjoy your summer, and keep exploring!