One of the best things about Canada is that you’re never far from a perfect holiday destination. Chetwynd is one of those hidden gems in your own backyard that Canadians should know about! Located in the Peace Country in Northeastern British Columbia, Chetwynd is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountain foothills. Chetwynd is a year-round destination for every kind of family.
If you’re thinking of making your next get away to Chetwynd BC, we’ve put together ten things to know when travelling to Chetwynd. These travel tips are great for Canadians looking to explore their own backyard. If you’re from another country looking for what you need to know before visiting Canada, for a unique and authentic experience, go where the locals go!
Planning Your Trip
Book Chetwynd Accommodation and Travel in Advance.
Spontaneity makes for a memorable holiday, but for best results mix openness to trying new things with enough pre-planned structure to make sure everything goes smoothly. Unplanned stop at a stunning viewpoint you didn’t know about? All part of the adventure. Spending the whole first day of your holiday looking for a vacant room because you didn’t book ahead? Not so fun!
Pick the Right Time of Year to Visit.
July and August are the peak times to visit, when the weather is just right for hiking and enjoying nearby lakes. But, if you’re looking for a winter wonderland, there’s lots to do in the snow as well. Average Chetwynd weather tends to be mild, with summers peaking in the low 20s, and winters getting as cold as -13 degrees in December and January. It’s snowy in the winter, with about 30 cm of snow in December.
Make a Packing List.
While you’re planning your trip, make a list of everything you want to bring. If you’re a last minute packer (aren’t we all!) a well-thought-out list will ensure nothing important gets left behind. What you need for vacation depends on when you’re going and what you want to do while you’re there.
Pack for the activities you want to do.
If your focus is boating and picnics on the beach, you can probably leave the hiking boots behind but don’t forget swimsuits. If you’re looking for a more rugged outdoor experience, you’ll want to bring your hiking gear.
Check the forecast before you visit and pack the right clothes, whether that’s toques and mitts for the snow, a light summer jacket for cooler summer nights, or rain gear just in case.
Plan a mix of activities to suit everyone.
Nestled in the Rocky Mountain foothills, nature is a big draw for visitors to Chetwynd. Don’t miss the hiking trails or boating on our many lakes, but also make time for a less rugged outdoor experience with a round of golf, or unwind completely at a local spa.
Know the rules for hunting and fishing.
Wildlife is abundant in the Chetwynd District and hunters can try for deer, moose, elk, caribou, black bears and grizzly bears. There are limited entry draws for other species. If you’re interested in hunting or fishing, make sure the season is open when you plan to come. Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased at the Chetwynd Visitor Centre.
Things to do in Chetwynd
Visit a Beautiful Provincial Park.
Nearby provincial parks include Gwillim Lake Provincial Park, Moberly Lake Provincial Park and Pine le Moray Provincial Park. Spend a night at a campsite, or visit for a day to hike a mountain or canoe on a pristine lake.
Use the Trail System to get Around.
Get to know Chetwynd by taking one of the many nearby hiking trails created through a series of community projects. The Community Forest features an interpretive hiking trail and a set of snowshoe trails used in the winter. The Baldy Trail takes hikers on a scenic route to the summit of Mount Baldy. The Connector Trail leads from the Little Prairie Heritage Museum to the Baldy Trail — you can take in nature and local history in one day! To see beavers and many types of birds, explore the creek on the Centurion Creek Trail System.
Look out for Chainsaw Carvings!
Chetwynd’s number one attraction is its unique chainsaw carvings. Look for intrciate carvings of animals and local scenes throughout the town, and all along mainstreet. It’s hard to believe these detailed works of art were made out of logs with nothing but chainsaws, but they were! You can pick up a map of all the carvings at the Chetwynd Visitor Centre. Or better yet, visit in the second week of June to see the annual International Carving Championship in person!
Learn more about Chetwynd – Formerly Known as Little Prairie.
Chetwynd was originally known as Little Prairie by the Indigenous people who lived and travelled through the area. In 1919 a log cabin Trading Post opened and the community of Little Prairie began to grow and was eventually renamed Chetwynd in 1958 when the Pacific Great Eastern Railway arrives. Little Prairie Heritage Museum is made up of five buildings and a caboose full of fascinating artifacts from Chetwynd’s past. The museum is open in the summer, but guided tours are available in the off season.
Try a winter sport.
Summer time outdoor adventures get a lot of attention, but winter is a chance to try something new. Along with skiing and snowboarding at Powder King, winter-time visitors to Chetwynd can try ice fishing on one of nearby lakes or snowshoeing through snowy woods. For those looking for a little more adrenaline, there are snowmobiling trails for riders of all skill levels.