Fort St. James was founded by Simon Fraser in 1806 and is the gateway to about 400 kilometres of rivers and lakes. In addition to an established forest industry, the region is home to a growing mining sector and tourism industry.
Fort St. James is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading post. The fort, rebuilt four times, continued as a trading post well into the 20th century.
Looking for activities both indoor and out? How do hiking, biking, soccer, golf, fishing, hunting, waterskiing, canoeing, swimming, sailing and boating, alpine and Nordic skiing, skating, hockey, curling, snowmobiling, dog sledding and camping sound?
The Fort St. James National Historic Site, the ancient burial site of Carrier Chief Kwah, Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church and the monument to legendary bush pilot Russ Baker are of great interest to residents and visitors alike.
• 25km south of Fort St. James is the Talking Rock, an important landmark for the people of the area. This rock has been painted with messages hundreds of times over the last 28+ years to acknowledge special occasions and celebrations.
• Famed chainsaw artist Glenn Greensides has three of his early works prominently displayed in Fort St. James: A carving of an RCMP officer is located at the police detachment; a prospector is at the Visitor Information Centre and a logger stands as a workers’ memorial at the municipal office.
• Caledonia Classic Dog Sled Races, WinterFest, Snowmobile & ATV Club Poker Ride and last but not least, the Ladies Curling Bonspiel are all in the first two months of the year.
• Located in the commercial core of the town, overlooking Stuart Lake, Spirit Square is home to public artwork depicting the rich historical and cultural fabric of Fort St. James and area. Benches and picnic tables make this scenic park an excellent spot to relax. It’s also a key stop along the Ripples of the Past Interpretive Trail and home to a war memorial cenotaph and the Johan Pitka Memorial.
The summers are comfortable and partly cloudy and the winters are long, cold, snowy and overcast.
Destination BC is developing a new campaign to promote hyper-local travel where residents are “tourists-in-their own hometown,” while practising the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer. Many B.C. parks are now open, and national parks were to open as of June 1.
(Check this website for current details on travel.)
Driving: At a distance of 936.5 km (361 mi) from Vancouver, driving time to Fort St. James is close to 11 hours minutes via BC-97 N.