Column: There’s no place like home

There are many, undiscovered, vacation opportunities waiting to be discovered throughout B.C.

There are many, undiscovered, vacation opportunities waiting to be discovered throughout B.C. With wide open spaces, crystal clear rivers, hiking and outdoor vehicle trails abound – the Cariboo-Chilcotin offers an amazing space to explore and connect with nature.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere new or getting reacquainted with an old favourite — the Cariboo is full of many vibrant communities and landscapes to explore. It is a place with a soul-nurturing and hospitable environment that connects those from near or far to its natural beauty. Why pack your bags to go overseas when we have so much to discover right here at home?

On July 4 and 5, the Anahim Lake Community Association is hosting their annual Anahim Lake Stampede where cowboys and riders will participate from all over B.C. and Alberta. The Stampede will have activities such as the rodeo, a parade, beer gardens, dancing and a barbecue. If you are unable to make that one, there is also the Redstone Rodeo held in mid-August that you can’t miss!

Surrounded by the Coastal Mountains and rolling grasslands, Nimpo Lake is a beautiful place to go hiking, bird watching, fishing, canoeing and flightseeing. Tweedsmuir Provincial Park to the west, Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park to the north, and Tsyl’os Provincial Park to the southeast are also breathtaking areas that offer unique treasures and views found nowhere else. With remote lakes and green backcountry forests, the community of Alexis Creek is also a spectacular place to go camping, backpacking, horseback riding or relax in one of the remote lodges or guest ranches.

The gateway to three major mountain valleys: West branch, Chilko and Tatlayoko — is the gorgeous Tatla Lake, with majestic mountain views and fixed-wing and helicopter flightseeing tours that overlook the joined forces of the rivers and lakes that canoers and kayakers can explore. I encourage everyone this summer to challenge themselves to try something new and local to enjoy with friends or family that will bring out that pioneer spirit our beautiful region was built on.

To check out more staycation ideas, feel free to visit www.hellobc.com.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.