Nature shaped British Columbia’s future when gold fever hit in 1858. The flood of prospectors to the area prompted Britain to name BC a British colony. Paths were trekked that connected the province and a flash of riches saw new communities flourish.
Today, adventure seekers follow BC’s Gold Rush Trail for a taste of adrenaline and history.
The Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park has 150-km (93-mi) of hiking trails. For short hikes, stay in the lower valley. The park protects an intact watershed and preserves the First Nation’s history of the area (keep an eye out for pictographs and petroglyphs).
The boom of the Gold Rush created instant towns in BC. Many were abandoned for the next big gold find, leaving intact historic towns for visitors to experience today.
At the junction of Highway 97 and 99, you’ll find Hat Creek Ranch. Here you can catch a stagecoach for a ride along Hat Creek and visit a traditional First Nation’s village. Continuing north, you’ll find Barkerville with over 100 heritage buildings (you can even stay the night in some of them).
Early settlers blazed trails with dynamite and determination, and journeyed with everything they would need to get through a winter. Today, you can pack light and break to eat along the way.
Featured Image: Barkerville historic town. Photo: Rob Lloyd
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