Staying active is easy in every season

South Cariboo is a playground for people of all ages

The Cariboo Challenge Jack Gawthorn Memorial Sled Dog Race at the 108 Mile Ranch attracts mushers from around the province. It has a huge local fan base who love the canine athletes and the action.

The Cariboo Challenge Jack Gawthorn Memorial Sled Dog Race at the 108 Mile Ranch attracts mushers from around the province. It has a huge local fan base who love the canine athletes and the action.

The South Cariboo can pride itself in being a four-season playground for people of all ages.

When it comes to fishing derbies, they are almost as abundant as the lakes and you can find one somewhere on just about every weekend in summer, fall and winter.

The great thing is anyone can participate; you just need to show up with their licence, gear and entry fee. Be prepared for some great fishing and meeting new friends.

Horses are a trademark of the South Cariboo and when spring and summer roll around, the 100 Mile Outriders Club becomes very active hosting horse shows, gymkhanas and various riding clinics. The Wild and Woolly schooling show in May is usually the first of the new year and just one of many.

Carriage driving and mini horses are also becoming more and more popular, and there are several events that feature this equine group.

Not much has changed over the years for a couple of down home gymkhanas held on the second Saturdays in July and August at North Green Lake. They are an annual tradition of the Watch Lake/Green lake Community Association, dating back to the 1950s.

Rodeos are a big draw and each new season kicks off with the Little Britches Rodeo and South Cariboo Rodeo Association Rough Stock Rodeo on the May 24 long weekend. Take in the big parade through downtown first, then get on over to the Outriders Arena behind the South Cariboo Rec. Centre for some great entertainment packed full of thrills and spills.

On the July 1 long weekend, book time for the Bridge Lake Rodeo – longest running rodeo in the South Cariboo.

Grab your cowboy hat and enjoy the Interlakes BCRA Rodeo on the August long weekend.

The Village of Clinton hosts its two-day British Columbia Rodeo Association-sanctioned rodeo at the end of May, and all of the rodeos feature a floor-stompin’ Saturday night barn dances.

Square dancing is a popular activity in both 100 Mile House and in Lac la Hache where local clubs offer weekly sessions and jump on any excuse to hold a dress-up dance party and potluck dinner. The annual South Cariboo Square Dance Jamboree is a highlight, and in mid-June, dancers will mark its 55th anniversary.

Area archers always have somewhere to shoot as members of the Big Horn Bow Hunters Club. They host weekly get-togethers and several 3D shoots throughout the year.

Rod and gun clubs are also very active in Lone Butte and Forest Grove.

Model airplane aficionados have the 100 Mile Model Flyers club and clubhouse at 99 Mile to share and enjoy their passion.

Softball, fastball and slo-pitch all have a place with the local sports culture. Games are played wherever there is a ball diamond, with Lumberman’s Park and Robinson Park near the arena being busy throughout the season.

Interest in the game of soccer continues to grow by leaps and bounds, with more than 300 players registering each season with the 100 Mile House Soccer Association. Weekday evenings and Saturdays see a lot of action at the new four-pitch field complex located at the north end of town.

In July, the 100 Mile House & District Soccer Association will host the 2011 U13 and U15 Provincial B Cup, featuring 32 teams from all over British Columbia.

We also take pride in having the 100 Mile House Chapter of BC Special Olympics, which allows people of all abilities to compete in sports like bowling, golf and rhythmic gymnastics.

Creekside Seniors Activity Centre offers year-round recreation with carpet bowling, whist and bridge among several other activities.

Our large, crystal clear lakes are perfect for tubing, water skiing, wakeboarding or swimming and most are buzzing all summer long with activity. Pack a picnic lunch and plan to spend the day on a clean, uncrowded beach.

If you like loud engines and lots of action, the annual Mud Drags and Tough Truck Competition held each summer at 105 Mile is the place to be. Several of the top vehicles from the North West Mud Racing Association compete for trophies and bragging rights.

For duffers, there is an 18-hole golf course at 108 Mile and a nine-hole track in the middle of town at Marmot Ridge.

Biking enthusiasts have an endless choice of trails to cycle, including the 99 Mile cross-country ski trails, which are open to bikers and hikers in the off-season. There’s also a world-class technical bike park, designed by Jay Hoots, located just beyond the west end of Seventh Street.

The simplest of all activities – walking – can be enjoyed anywhere. Expect to spot at least a handful of different birds along the way and don’t be surprised to have a deer, moose, coyote or fox cross your path.

Fishing is just as hot in the winter as it is in the summer, with easy access to an abundance of stocked lakes where you can drill a hole through the ice and drop your line.

If the fishing is slow, just enjoy the scenery or share a fish story with a fellow angler.

Winter I the South Cariboo has a special place in the hearts of our outdoor enthusiasts.

If skiing is your thing, try Mt. Timothy, a family hill just east of Lac la Hache where dry snow and groomed runs suitable for all abilities await you. The cozy log lodge, with its wood stoves, offers a perfect place to warm up, eat your lunch or enjoy something from the well-stocked concession.

The season wraps up with hilarious Dummy Races and 2010/11 also wrapped up with Mt. Timothy Ski Society being presented with the Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Tourism.

Just south of 100 Mile House at 99 Mile, the Nordics cross-country ski club manages a huge network of groomed, rolling ski trails. They are hard to match anywhere for the quality of snow and the beautiful surroundings.

The Cariboo Gold Rush Marathon is among the premier winter events in the South Cariboo, drawing cross-country skiers from all over to participate in one of the longest running ski marathons in B.C.

It takes place in mid-February on a beautiful trail system that is second to none, and local volunteers go beyond the call of duty to make this an enjoyable event for all ages.

108 Mile Ranch is the home of the Cariboo Challenge Jack Gawthorn Memorial Sled Dog Race, where four-, six- and eight-dog teams from all over North America come to race on scenic trails that are so abundant in this neck of the woods.

Spectators can meet the mushers and play with sled dogs when they’re not watching and cheering from the sidelines.

For a variety of winter recreation options in one easily accessible place, check out The Hills Health Ranch at 108 Mile. People can cross-country ski on the extensive trail system, tube in Avalanche Alley, ski or snowboard in the down-hill park or skate on a frozen pond.

Hockey is one of the premier sports in the South Cariboo and we have Canada’s official winter game covered, with leagues and teams for everyone from pre-schoolers to old-timers. Almost any night and weekend in the winter months, you can find a game going on at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre in 100 Mile House or at the Rolf Zeis Arena in Lac la Hache.

The beautiful log Rec. Centre in 100 Mile also hosts several hockey tournaments each season, featuring everything from Initiation to high-performance divisions, such as the BC Hockey Female U16 BC Cup that was held here in 2011 and the Male U17 Cup in 2010.

Figure skating is big in the South Cariboo and every second year, the 100 Mile House & District Figure Skating Club stages a spectacular ice carnival in early March, complete with rocking music and dazzling costumes.

For those who just want to get a little exercise, the Rec. Centre offers public skating and drop-in hockey sessions among their long list of programs.

The many lakes in this area also provide opportunity for making picturesque outdoor arenas for a game of pond hockey or a few laps and twirls.

Curling is Canada’s sport and the 100 Mile Curling Club is very active with nightly league play for all ages and the hosting of several bonspiels each year.

The South Cariboo also has a network of endless trails, making snowmobiling an easy-access sport. There are several clubs in the area that host weekend rides through some of the most beautiful country around.

From snow and ice sports to recreation on the water, or maybe one of the many western events that truly define the area, we have it all.

Whatever your idea of recreation may be, look for it in the South Cariboo.


100 Mile House Free Press