Quesnel is a Winter Wonderland
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By DOC POW
Quesnel, B.C. – It takes passion and priority to see a vision come true, and for the folks in Quesnel, their winter wonderland of experiences has been years in the making.
As in most destinations across Western Canada, people have the quest to explore and within the Cariboo Region of B.C., home to Quesnel, that thirst for discovery led to one of the largest gold strikes ever made – anywhere on the planet. That gold strike was in the late 1800s and ever since, Quesnel’s menu of opportunity has been expanding ever since, except now, it's winter opportunities and the gold is white.
Hallis Lake Ski Centre, 15 minutes from downtown Quesnel, is the product to some of that “go get it” attitude that is the norm across this region.
Quesnel is a city of around 10,000 people or so and is the heartbeat to the Cariboo region, and as Gruene explained for those who visit. it's the chance to connect with locals and unearth experiences that will leave them with a sense of winter wonder.
The Cariboo Ski-Touring Club is a volunteer group who has been running the Hallis Lake Ski Centre and its four backcountry cabins for over 40 years now. The club includes over 300 members, promoting Nordic, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing by maintaining trails and expanding experience potentials.
“At Hallis, we have a welcoming and warm day lodge, made from the blood and sweat of the volunteers, offering rental skis and snowshoes and a hot lunch on the weekends for people aged two through 92 years old.”
Here are Gruene’s top three Quesnel-based winter activities you need to uncover:
Nordic ski at Hallis Lake Ski Centre with on-site rentals seven days a week; accessible and easy trails for anyone in your crew. www.CaribooSki.ca
Explore the snowshoe trails in the West Fraser Timber Park, easy to get too and easy to take in.
Troll Ski Resort for its terrain and its charm (trust me, Troll is way bigger than you think.)
Bonnie Grenon from Throughout Time Photography at Troll Ski Resort.
For Quesnel born and raised photographer, Bonnie Grenon from Throughout Time Photography, it’s this community spirit that keeps her and her family here.
“It’s a remarkable spot. The trail system at Hallis is so well maintained and with the night skiing, rentals and its overall set up, this club has built the ski centre into a top-notch destination.”
In talking with Grenon, you get the sense that Quesnel is very connected to Hallis Lake and what they have built here.
“As a mother, I love bringing my kids to anything that is outdoors and includes exercise,” explains Grenon, who is also the social media manager at Troll Ski Resort, which is just 40 minutes up the road.
Grenon encourages families or anyone keen on winter adventure to not only experience Hallis Lake, but also West Timber Fraser Park for its well-maintained fat biking, or snowshoeing trail network. From West Fraser Timber Park’s base, Grenon recommends you work your way up to the top of Plywood Hill for a view of the downtown and the region, understanding that from there, it could also make it easy to spy your next Quesnel adventure.
When you Go
For more inspiration on Quesnel, this “48 Hours in” piece may just be what you need to book now.