Prince George transforms into a snowy wonderland, creating fresh opportunities to explore the city and its outskirts. To help you #ExplorePrinceGeorgeLocal during the winter, we’ve put together a list of activities for the adventurous and some for those who prefer to take it easy over the holidays.
Strap on winter hikers or snowshoes and hit the trails
Prince George offers a vast network of trails within city limits and even more on the outskirts of the city. If you’re more of a casual walker, put on your winter hikers or boots and ice cleats and head to Cottonwood Island Nature Park for a stroll along the Nechako River. Bring some bird seed and try your luck with feeding resident chickadees. Or wind your way through Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park on paved trails during the day that are well-lit at night so you can enjoy walking during dark winter evenings. Prefer to snowshoe? Fill a thermos with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and head to Moore’s Meadow, Ferguson Lake, or Forests for the World, which are all within city limits. If you don’t mind a short drive, head to Eskers Provincial Park, Tabor Mountain Trails, or Livingston Springs. All of these locations are close to Prince George and offer excellent trail networks and fantastic views of snow covered trees, valleys, and lakes.
Spend a day at the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club
If you can’t decide whether to snowshoe or cross country ski, head to the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club and do both! The club offers membership rates or day-passes, lessons, and all of the rental equipment you need to have a fun day on the trails if you don’t own your own. The trails are lit at night and some are even dog-friendly. The club recently invested in a snow machine, so you can expect perfect snowshoeing and cross country skiing conditions every day of the season.
Hit the slopes at a nearby ski resort
If you prefer the rush that comes with downhill skiing or snowboarding, get ready to embrace everything from easy to expert runs at local and regional ski resorts. The Hart Ski Hill is located within city limits, making it the perfect spot to hit the slopes after work once a little more snow has found its way onto the ground. Once it’s open, check out Purden Ski Village on your weekends, and if you don’t mind a slightly longer drive, hit the slopes of Powder King. Like the name suggests, you’ll find some epic powder at this hill.
Bundle up and catch some fish
If active winter sports aren’t your thing but you want to spend time outside, why not try out ice fishing? You’ll need to get the right gear from a local outfitter and make sure to follow Canadian Red Cross recommendations for ice safety, but once you’re set, you can sit back and enjoy a peaceful day on one of the area’s many frozen lakes. Try out Eena, Verdant, or Shane Lakes to start. Then head home to fry up the day’s catch for dinner.
Spend a day shopping local for holiday gifts
Prince George is home to a large range of local retail stores and boutiques that offer something for everyone. So if you’d rather stay warm inside instead of heading into the great outdoors, spend a day at local stores fulfilling all of your gift buying needs or getting a little something for yourself to brighten your spirit. For ideas on where to shop, check out this blog about shopping local for the holidays or search for businesses on the Support PG Open Now Directory.
Make some hot chocolate and drive by local holiday displays
If you want to get into the holiday spirit, hop in your vehicle tour three major light displays before checking out a holiday window display. The Northern Lights Estate Winery has gone above and beyond this year decking out their orchard with light displays. Walking tours are not availble this year, but you can view the display from the road in front of the winery or on River Road.
The trains and forestry machinery at the Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum have once again been strung with over one hundred thousand lights for its annual Celebration of Lights fundraiser. This event is a drive thru only event, make sure to book a tour before you go.
Remember to check out Candy Cane Lane, which is in the area near Upland Street between Wilson Crescent, McKenzie Avenue, and Aitken Crescent. If you weren’t already, you’ll definitely get into the holiday spirit after viewing the at times entertaining, at other times whimsical, Christmas displays and the strings of lights decorating almost every home and many trees in this neighbourhood.
Wrap up your holiday display tour by stopping at the Exploration Place to peek through the windows at a wintery display featuring decorations donated to the museum.
Article contributed by Christina Doll, City of Prince George