I had the unique opportunity to come to Prince George from a place where you can be connected 24/7. In the concrete jungle of Toronto, there’s Wi-Fi access in every mall, restaurant, community centre, bus stop, and even in the underground subway trains. It’s not uncommon to have a conversation open with “what’s the Wi-Fi password?” rather than a simple greeting. The connection to the outside world is never lost and this is an accepted norm to the way we as humans live. It’s tiring and we all need a break.
Connecting to nature without your device
Anyone who knows the areas around Prince George knows there are ample places to connect with nature without competing provocations (oh but that famous googly-eyed dog on Instagram, what’s she up to today?!). Want to get off the network? Here are a couple of my favourite places around Prince George to do that:
- Purden Lake Resort – A popular resort 60 km east of Prince George that offers camping, boating, swimming and fishing opportunities. This resort is favoured by many locals as it’s close to the city, overlooks a beautiful lake, and has spotty cellular networks and no Wi-Fi.
- Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park – Head another 30 km east of Purden Lake and you will find yourself nestled in this Wi-Fi-less provincial park. The Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park is home to many alpine hiking trails including the Raven Lake trail, Grizzly Den trail, Viking Ridge trail, and Sugarbowl trail. There are three cabins available for overnight use. Since this area has no network or Wi-Fi, it will be important to have experience, knowledge and gear to travel in the backcountry. There is a reason why it’s called the Sugarbowl-GRIZZLY Den Park.
- Fraser Lake Area – There are so many great campgrounds and walking/hiking trails around Fraser Lake, approximately 160 km west of Prince George. My favourite Wi-Fi-less campground in this area is the Hallett Lake campground.
Disconnecting is beneficial for your well-being
I’m not suggesting that we should all go and live in caves on top of Fang Mountain, but I am an advocate for ensuring we have opportunities to disconnect. Often at the summit of one of my favourite hikes close to Prince George, the Viking Ridge Trail, I am reminded of how the photos I took the year before never do the view justice. It’s a humbling experience that no “Like” on Facebook could ever make me feel. While my legs feel like Jell-O at the end of the trip, I find I have a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for the beauty that surrounds me. Research confirms that deepening our relationship with the natural world has tremendous personal benefits, many of which are reported by the Canadian Parks Council.
Living in Prince George has really opened my heart to the transformative power of unplugging. There are so many wilderness escapes in Central BC; I urge you to try even one this summer. If a born and bred city slicker like me can get something out of disconnecting, then you might too!