To take in the striking scenery of the Lakes District, put on a pair of comfortable hiking boots and head out on one of more than two dozen trails maintained by the Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society.
One of the most spectacular trails in the area is the Nourse Creek trail. This 6.5 km trail treats hikers to the impressive Nourse Creek Falls. The first falls are 1.5 km from the start of the hike and the second falls can be found 3.4 km along the hike. From the parking lot, the trail winds upstream along the banks above Nourse/Allin Creek. As the trail climbs into the hills, there are great views southward over Francois Lake. Along the creek there are scenic hoodoos, waterfalls to admire and, if the weather’s right, some good swimming holes. The trail grade is fairly gentle with just a few short steep sections. To get there from Burns Lake, drive south on Hwy 35. Pass the Francois Lake Ferry terminal and continue along the north shore of Francois Lake for about 15km to the Henkel Forest Service Road. Turn right here and drive about 1.5 km to the trail parking lot.
Cheslatta Falls is another magnificent waterfall. A campground is located about 500 meters from the trail head on the opposite side of the road. The trail is 1.2 km long (one way), there are hiking diamonds on the pathway. The trail goes through a peaceful pine forest on a ridge overlooking the roaring Cheslatta River below. It winds around and finally stops at the edge of a cliff directly beside Cheslatta falls, allowing for a spectacular view. Warning: the trail can be slippery when wet, as well as on the cliff by the falls. It is not suitable or safe for young children or pets. To get there from Burns Lake take the Francois Lake Ferry to the southside, head towards Takysie Lake, turn left on Eakin Settlement Road, approx 8 km south of the Nechako Reservoir.
Rock hounders and gem hunters will love the Shelford Opal Bed Trails, a 3.8 km trail that takes hikers along one of the few known opal and agate beds in British Columbia. This trail also includes a secondary trail, the Lookout Trail. This trail forms a short loop and winds past several stunning viewpoints of Eagle Creek Valley, the community of Burns Lake and Tchesinkut Lake. To get there from Burns Lake, drive south on Hwy 15 toward Francois Lake. About 1 km south of the bridge over Burns Lake turn right onto Eagle Creek Road. Follow this road for approximately 7 km to the recreation site on the main trailhead. Junctions on the Eagle Creek Road are marked with directions to the Opal Bed trails.
If you are looking for a hike that is suitable for the whole family, the 2.1 km Rod Reid Nature trail, with its easy, wide, level-ground path is ideal for children and seniors. The trail circles around the astonishing Loch Lomond wetlands and offers hikers a chance to examine wetland plants and observe the area’s extraordinary birds from one of several viewing platforms. Loch Lomond is also known as Beaver Pond since it was created by a beaver dam, which is still visible at the mouth of the pond. It can be easily reached by driving up 8th Ave. then connecting to 9th Ave. until you reach the parking lot or by following the Eveneshen Trail from the Chamber of Commerce on Hwy 16.
The Eveneshen Nature Trail is another easily accessible trail in Burns Lake. This trail one km trail winds along a creek through the heart of the Burns Lake. Hikers needing more of a challenge can connect with the Rod Reid Nature Trail at the end of the Eveneshen Nature Trail. This trail can be easily accessed from the Chamber of Commerce on Highway 16.
The Kager Lake Trail is a 3.3 km easy and flat hiking trail around Kager Lake suitable for all ages. Hikers can observe some of the area’s native plant species in this secondary pine and spruce forested area. There are also picnic tables and fire pits along the trail for visitors to enjoy. The trail proceeds along the lake in both directions, continuing around Long Lake. There are some secondary trails at the south end of Kager Lake, providing viewpoints of the surrounding area. To get there from Burns Lake take 5th Ave. from Hwy 16 to meet up with Gowan Road. Once on Gowan Road, continue until you reach Boer Mountain Lookout Road. Turn left. Follow the road to the trailhead, located on the right (Kager Lake is visible from the road). You will pass the Burns Lake Mountain Bike Park on the way to Kager Lake.
Star Lake Trail is located further up Boer Mountain Road, near the top lookout. It’s 1 km down to the lake and a 4.5 km loop around the lake. Easy to moderate trail with some steep sections on descent to Star Lake. There are unmanaged tenting areas on both the north and south ends of Star Lake. To get there follow the above directions for Kager Lake but keep going past Kager Lake, almost to the top of Boer Mountain.
The Lakes District is not only home to the smallest provincial park, Deadman’s Island in Burns Lake, but also one of the largest protected areas, Tweedsmuir Park. Deadman’s Island is only accessible by boat. Tweedsmuir Park is accessible by float plane or boat, for more information contact the Chamber of Commerce at 250-692-3773.
Eagle Creek: Is a great place to hike. Two km hike to opal/agate beds and you will get to see a spetcaular view of Burns Lake and area.
Visitors to Burns Lake and the Lakes District area should be aware of the bears in our region. Black bears are common in our region and hikers are cautioned to stay alert. It is important to make noise to alert bears of your presence. A bear bell tied to a backpack is an easy way to let bears know you are in the neighbourhood. Remember to bring a can of bear spray. Have fun hiking and be safe. Visitors are asked not to litter and to carry out whatever garbage they bring with them on their hike.
For more information about hiking trails in the region, visit the Visitor’s Information Centre at 250-692-3700.