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The scenic lakeshore community of Fraser Lake has roots dating back to the pioneering days of fur trading. In 1806 Simon Fraser established a fur-trading post near the east end of Fraser Lake and named it Fort Fraser. During the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway the town of Fraser Lake was officially established in 1914 and was incorporated as a village in 1966. This area is renowned for being the first cultivated land ever recorded in British Columbia, the east end of the Fraser Lake. The Fraser Lake Sawmill began in the early 1900's and is known as one of the worlds most innovative sawmills. The Endako Molybdenum Mine, close to Fraser Lake, was once the second largest Molybdenum Mine in the world; it still employs many Fraser Lake residents. Today the community of Fraser Lake is a popular destination for tourists, who enjoy the exceptional outdoor recreation and warm northern hospitality.
The Village of Fraser Lake is situated on Yellowhead Highway 16, the northern Trans-Provincial Highway, at the eastern edge of the Lakes District. Prince George is 160 km (99 mi) east of Fraser Lake; Highway 97 connects Vancouver to Prince George and Northern British Columbia.
The Fraser Lake Museum, located at the Visitor Information Centre, displays some beautiful artifacts of the Carrier Indians and other antiques of Fraser Lake and the surrounding areas. Spend time here learning about the rich history of Northern BC.
White Swan Park is a day use park with a beach area, playground and washroom facilities. The area has 170 lakes within a 50-mile radius of the Village, and is the temporary home to over 1,000 Trumpeter Swans, making Fraser Lake the Swan Capital of the world.
Fort St. James is located some 120 km (75 mi) northeast of Fraser Lake, 62 km (37 mi) north of Vanderhoof. The Fort St. James National Historic Site is a fully restored Hudson's Bay Company post commemorating the partnership between the fur traders and First Nations from 1806 to 1952. The site includes the largest group of original wooden buildings representing the fur trade in Canada. The historic structures are located on spectacular Stuart Lake, in Fort St. James. Allow several hours to explore the fort. Stop in at the Visitor Reception Centre, watch a video and stroll through the interpretive displays. Meet costumed interpreters working in the buildings and garden.
Located just off Highway 16, 25 minutes east of Vanderhoof at Bednesti Lake Resort is the Cultural Arts Centre. This Centre opens in May and offers unique native crafts such as baskets, beadery, masks, blankets, wall carvings and plaques. Be sure to look closely at the gallery as it is a piece of artwork in itself. Surrounded by Totem Poles carved by local artists and with soaring whitewashed beams that has to be viewed to be appreciated.
Fraser Lake and the surrounding area are abundant with wildlife. Wildlife enthusiasts can frequently spot moose, black bear, deer and fox. Other wildlife which is less commonly sighted includes grizzly bear, wolves, lynx, cougar, the elusive albino moose, caribou, elk, owls, blue heron and eagles.
Visitors to the Fraser Lake area can enjoy a vast range of outdoor activities, both in the summer and the winter. Some of the many activities include hiking, fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and downhill skiing.
Fraser Lake can claim to be the swan capital of the world; it is the temporary home to over 1,000 Trumpeter Swans, the world's largest bird. The swans nest on the Nautely River as well as the area between the Stellako River and Fraser Lake. Spend a relaxing afternoon watching these magnificent birds in the natural habitat.
Hikers can access Mouse Mountain from the Village of Fraser Lake. This mountain, which resembles a mouse, has many hiking trails and cross-country skiing in the winter.
The extinct Red Rock Volcano is over 25 million years old; hikers can climb the old lava beds and the volcanic cone. Red Rock which is also known as Table Top Mountain can be accessed from the Stellaq'o Village.
Paddling enthusiasts can enjoy the many lakes and rivers in the Fraser Lake region. The more experienced paddlers take on the challenge of the Stellako and Nechako Rivers.
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Background Photo Credit: Tourism British Columbia