Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Located approximately 112 kilometres east of Prince George, BC on Highway 16 is located a large inland rainforest. This rainforest is home to magnificent cedar trees which are hundreds of years old, a giant tree named Treebeard, a great waterfall, and a continually improved trail system. - thanks to all of the hard work of the Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Club.
The trail can be considered an easy hike, with easy-to-moderate sections of slight inclines and changes in elevation. Thanks in large part to the hard work of the Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Club, a 400 metre section of the train is wheelchair accessible, constructed from wooden walkways. These hard working and dedicated hikers have made the Ancient Forest Trail accessible to more people because of these great upgrades.
For a number of years, a portion of this highway corridor, including the area in and around the Ancient Forest, had been on the chopping block. This section of trees was of high value and interest to those operating within the forestry industry. Fortunately, after many years of hard work from various dedicated groups and organizations, this section of Highway 16 and this giant cedar rainforest was taken off the chopping block; thus preserving this magnificent inland rainforest. According to the Tourism Prince George website here, in "2016, 11,190 hectares of the Ancient Forest was designated as a Class A Provincial Park and given an additional name Chun T’oh Whudujut."
The Ancient Forest is a year-round hiking trail system, with different things to see during each of the four seasons. During the winter, the trails are great for a light hike or snowshoe, and summer and autumn provide spectacular views, and changing colours of leaves. The spring can be a little wet with the in-between stages of the melting snow and warming ground, but still provide a great hike. As a suggestion, it’s wise to bring bug spray as the mosquitos can sometimes be a lot.
If you haven’t made it out to the Ancient Forest yet, I recommend that you plan to visit. It’s a little over an hours drive from Prince George heading east on Highway 16, so I recommend that you make a day of it and bring some snacks or a lunch to enjoy. As a reminder, whatever you choose to bring out with you, that means that you should plan to bring the garbage back out. We need to continue to protect such an incredible ancient cedar rainforest.
The Caledonia Rambler include a number of adventurous and fun outdoor hikers that explore the forests and trails around Central and Northern British Columbia. The group is based out of Prince George, and lead numerous hikes and walks around the region. This group has documented and outlined trails and hikes across the region; allowing those like myself and many others the chance to learn about the trails, the plants and animals that live in the region, and experience more of the great outdoors in this beautiful country. Many books have been written with contributions from their members, with one such being the Central Interior Trail Guide, which can be found in various book stores. These books help the amateur hiker and outdoorsman, like myself, find the best hikes available at varying degrees of difficulty. To take part in one of their group hikes, or for more information on who they are, visit their website: http://caledoniaramblers.ca
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