Quesnel is ideally situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Quesnel rivers, a launch point for outdoor adventures, including mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, cross-country and downhill skiing, and snowmobiling getaways with wide-open trail touring.
Abundant urban green spaces include Alex Fraser Park, the ‘Petunia Mile’ and the Heritage Rose Garden’s 200-plus floribunda and tea roses. There are over 12 kilometers of walking trails including the Riverfront Trail System which provides a scenic tour through downtown Quesnel. From the world’s longest wooden truss pedestrian bridge built in 1929, catch a unique view of the Fraser River. Enjoy a healthy lifestyle with your own personal walking guide visiting these and other sites – ask about it at the Visitor Centre.
European settlers flocked by the thousands into this city that served as the gold seekers’ supply depot during the Cariboo Gold Rush. Today, the North Cariboo’s main urban centre is popularly known as the ‘Gold Pan City,’ a claim to fame written large across the 5.5m/18ft high Gold Pan at the town’s northern entrance. Many intriguing reminders of the city’s gold rush heyday are scattered throughout downtown’s 30 heritage sites including the original 1862 Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post. More historical curiosities can be viewed at the Quesnel and District Museum and Archives (next to the Visitor Centre), rated one of the top community museums in B.C., with one of North America’s most significant collections of Chinese artifacts.
Quesnel’s ‘living history’ is on display during its famous Billy Barker Days, commemorating the rowdy era of the 1860s. The 150-plus events over four days include pie-eating duels, stage shows, free outdoor concerts, stock-car racing, a colourful parade, children’s festival and the sights and sounds of the Quesnel Rodeo, the largest amateur rodeo in B.C.
Modern marvels capture spectators’ attention during the bi-annual Quesnel SkyFest Airshow. Aerial performers dazzle the audience with tricky maneuvers that show off their skills. The Canadian Snowbirds, Canadian Forces F-18 demo team and many other adventurous and highly entertaining aerobatic pilots have been part of the Quesnel SkyFest Airshow.