The northeast region of British Columbia is served by the town of Fort St. John. It is an excellent destination for those wanting a base from which to explore this isolated region of the province. The town sits of the edge of a vast and rugged wilderness and is home to some of the best farmland in the province. Native settlement has been recorded in the area for more than 10,000 years, and it has a long history of European settlement, reaching back to the arrival of Alexander Mackenzie in 1793.
For those seeking an easily accessible and hospitable place to enjoy the outdoors nearby, Beatton Provincial Park in the midst of rolling foothills with stands of poplar, spruce trees and aspens, is a great choice.
Situated on the west site of Charlie Lake, only 13 km north of the city, this 312 hectare park is a popular summer recreation destination for swimming, fishing and hiking. There are over 12 kilometres of wilderness trails, broken down in beginner and advanced sections based on fitness and ability. All trails start from the same trailhead near the parking lot and day use area.
The lake supports walleye, northern pike and yellow perch. Summer winds can make for good windsurfing, and wintertime brings excellent cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. There is a shelter provided in winter with a woodstove.
The park is home to deer, chipmunks, beaver, rabbits and muskrat, as well as the occasional moose, bear, and elk. Bird species using the lake area include the American redstart and northern oriole.
There are 37 vehicle-accessed campsites. The campsite is set on the lakeshore in a pleasing aspen forest and is well serviced with boat launch, picnic tables, sani-station, playground and baseball field. Of the 37 campsites, 11 can be reserved through www.discovercamping.ca
Location and access
From Fort St. John, travel north on Highway 97 for 13 km. Look for signs to 244 Road. Turn right onto the 244 Road and continue for 15 minutes to the parking lot and campsite.