Follow the signs north of Vanderhoof on Hwy 27 to Fort St. James, and then on to your choice of two provincial parks on the 100 km Stuart Lake; Paarens Beach Provincial Park or Sowchea Bay Provincial Park. Most parks in this region do not officially open until late May, once the snow has melted and the ice is gone from the lakes.
Fishing is centred around Stuart Lake, try your luck for rainbow trout, lake char, burbot or kokanee. Sowchea Bay Provincial Park has a boat launch – beware the high winds on this vast lake.
Nearby attractions include Fort St. James Historic site. The fur trade history lives on at the Fort St. James National Historic Park, where original log buildings have been restored and furnished in the style of the late 1890s, and interpretive and interactive exhibits are on display. Park staff in period costumes spin stories of old and carry on life much as it was in the late nineteenth century. Listen closely for the phantom whispers of days gone by, and relive the colourful past of trappers, traders and Native people.
Sowchea Bay Provincial Park provides 30 campsites with basic facilities. The campground is open from May to September and fees are collected during this time. Check-in is 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Check-out time is 11 a.m. Gates open 7 a.m., close at 11 p.m.
Sowchea Bay Provincial Park is located on Stuart Lake, west of Fort St. James in Northern British Columbia. From Prince George travel 100 km west on Highway 16 to Vanderhoof. From Vanderhoof travel 55 km north on Highway 27 to Fort St. James. From Fort St. James travel 20 km west on Sowchea Bay Road.
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