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Home / Northern British Columbia / Yellowhead Highway 16 / Fort Fraser

Fort Fraser

A Step Back in Time

Fort Fraser is one of the oldest European-founded settlements in British Columbia. Established in 1806 by Simon Fraser, it's also where the last spike was driven, in 1914, into the railway which opened up central BC - the Grand Trunk Pacific. 


Fort Fraser is located 37 km (22 mi) from Vanderhoof on Yellowhead Highway 16.

Things to See and Do
  • White Swan Park

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.

  • Beaumont Provincial Park

Beaumont Provincial Park is located on the southeatern shore of Fraser Lake, 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Fort Fraser off Highway 16. Camp, picnic, swim and fish in this scenic park.

  • Fort St James National Historic Site

Fort St. James is located 62 km (37 mi) north of Vanderhoof on Hwy 27. This fully restored Hudson's Bay Company post commemorates 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. 

  • First Nations Culture - Saik'uz First Nation

Located just off Highway 16, 25 minutes east of Vanderhoof at Bednesti Lake Resort is the Cultural Arts Centre. This Centre opens May 1 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.

  • Wildlife Viewing

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.

  • Swan Viewing

Fraser Lake can claim to be the swan capital of the world; it is the temporary home to over 100 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.

  • Red Rock Volcano

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, for more information visit the Information Centre in Fraser Lake.

  • Canoeing & Kayaking

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: Destination British Columbia

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