Quesnel is a neat little town located 108 km (67 miles) south of Prince George, British Columbia. The town has a lot of history, as it is located along the old gold mining trail known as the Cariboo Wagon Road and was once the commercial centre of the Cariboo Gold Rush in the late 1880s (hence the name “Gold Pan City”). I decided that I would spend the day and see what the town has to offer:
We parked our cars at Ceal Tingly Memorial Park, which is located along the river near the two bridges that cross the Fraser River over to the west side of the city. One of the things that I really like about Quesnel is that it’s so easy to explore the downtown on foot! I also like that there is a paved trail that follows along the river for quite a distance, giving you some awesome scenic views.
One of the two bridges that I mentioned is the The Fraser River Footbridge. This bridge is the longest wood truss walking bridge (253 metres/831 feet) in the world! It was built in 1929 and was originally used by pedestrians, horse drawn carriages, and some motor vehicles. In the 1970s, the Moffat Bridge, which could accommodate many more vehicles, was built next to it
There are many old buildings in Quesnel, but none as old as the Original Hudson’s Bay Trading Post, which dates back to 1882.
While walking around the downtown area, I discovered many neat murals, like the one pictured above. This one is part of the Deja-Vue Quesnelle mural on the back of the Integris Credit Union, and it was created by Ether Ore in 2010. They really make a boring wall very interesting! It reminds me a little bit of Chemanius, BC, which is famous for it’s murals.
We stopped at what I think is one of Quesnel’s best coffee shops, Granville’s Coffee. They serve delicious coffee, lunch, and desserts. I like how it is decorated inside, it’s very eclectic. Whenever I am hiking or geocaching in the area, I make sure to stop at this coffee shop for a treat.
After having a bite to eat at Granville’s, I explored more of downtown and discovered another old building, built in 1946. It has been continuously running as a hardware store and it was neat to see that it still has the original sign hanging outside.
A couple of blocks away, we found the St. Johns United Church which was built over 100 years ago. It reminded me a lot of the church that I recently saw in Vanderhoof, BC, with its castle-like bell tower.
There is a lot of history in the town, and I’ve only touched upon a tiny bit of it. If you want to learn more about the area and its history, I recommend visiting the local museum. Besides exploring the town and learning about its history, there are many other fun things that you can do in Quesnel like dogsledding, and river rafting.
Quesnel, British Columbia
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