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Map of Quesnel and Prince George. Detailed map of the highway and local roads of Quesnel and Prince George with cities and towns

Quesnel and Prince George

Quesnel and Prince George, the two towns that bookend the Interior Plateau in central British Columbia, largely owe their origins to their pivotal location on rivers and the influx of gold-seekers from the days of canoes, wagons, stagecoaches, and stern-wheelers. When the precious metal ran out in the 1870s and 1880s, many fortune-seekers left, but others stayed. For many had discovered the Interior Plateau's other riches: its timber and its great outdoors.

Barkerville Historic Park [E8] This 65-hectare park meticulously restores a gold-rush town of the 1870s. The town was named for Billy Barker, a Cornish miner who found large quantities of gold on nearby Williams Creek in 1862. After the gold petered out, Barkerville became a backwater. In 1958, it was designated a provincial historic site and over 120 buildings were restored or reconstructed. Today the town is a living museum with such activities as panning for gold, live theater, street dramas, and stagecoach rides, and interpreters in period dress help bring back what life was like in Barkerville's booming bygone days.

Cottonwood House Historic Park [E6]

Twenty-eight kilometers east of Quesnel is Cottonwood House, a restored 1864 log road-house, barn, and gardens. Originally built to accommodate weary travelers on their way to Barkerville, today it is one of the few Cariboo roadhouses still standing. Nowadays, you'll find a coffee shop, gift shop, and picnicking facilities. Costumed interpreters give tours and work on the property, reenacting roles from the Gold Rush.

Prince George [A5]

Located at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako rivers, this lively and rapidly growing city began as an important fishing spot for the Lheit-Lit'en First Nation. Simon Fraser wintered here in 1807-08, and a replica of his fort can be seen in Fort George Park. Prince George retains much of its natural heritage in its 117 parks, museums, numerous manicured gardens, and nature trails. A symbol of modern-day Prince George, The University of Northern British Columbia was built on top of Cranbrook Hill in 1994. From this lofty setting you'll enjoy a wonderful view of the city as well as the interesting architecture of the university. ®The Prince George Railway and Forest Industry Museum features vintage rolling stock, logging and sawmilling equipment, a 1914 Grand Trunk railway station, and a refurbished first-class passenger coach.

Quesnel [E5] It wasn't until the Cariboo Gold Rush of the 1860s, when stern-wheelers brought supplies for miners bound for Barkerville, that Quesnel developed into a gateway to the goldfields. In Heritage Corner you'll see remnants of town history, including an 1882 Hudson's Bay Company Store, a steam-powered shovel, and a Cornish waterwheel, used to pump water from mine shafts. The Quesnel and District Museum and Archives is considered one of B.C.'s top museums. Ask about Mandy the haunted doll.

Wells [D8] Housed in the Island Mountain Mining Company office, the Wells Museum recalls the town's heyday years as a gold mining center in the 1930s. So do the wooden sidewalks, false-fronted stores and the Wells Hotel. The mines closed in 1967 but Wells is gaining a reputation as an artist's town with many galleries, studios, and an arts school.



Barkerville Cemetery Cornish Water Wheel Richfield Courthouse St. Saviour's Anglican Church Theatre Royal "Wake Up Jake" Coffee Saloon and Lunch House


Fort George Park Connaught Hill Park Cottonwood Island Nature Park University of Northern British Columbia Forests for the World Park Fraser-Fort George Regional Museum Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum Northwoods Exploration Hands-On Science Gallery Heritage River Trail System


Quesnel and District Museum and Archives Heritage Corner Quesnel River Footbridge Quesnel Fire Bell Riverfront Trail Park LeBourdais Park

Pinnacles Provincial Park


Wells Museum Wells Hotel Island Mountain Arts Summer School Jack O'Clubs Lake


Map of Quesnel and Prince George. Detailed map of the highway and local roads of Quesnel and Prince George with cities and towns