Fort Nelson is the center of the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality that runs from the Alberta Border on the east to the eastern slope of the Rockies on the west, to the border of the Northwest Territories in the north and to Prophet River, a community along the Alaska Highway about 87 km south of town. The entire Regional Municipality makes up about 10% of the Province of BC and has 2 major highways, the famed Alaska Highway and the Liard Highway that joins BC to the Northwest Territories.
Our town is a rather young town both in terms of the town and in the age of its population. The town was originally a trading post located in settlements along the river or near the present town. The community finally established in the present location during the building of the Alaska Highway. It was incorporated as a village in 1972.
The present population varies from 5,000 to about 5,500. In the center of a substantial natural gas field, when the industry is going full out there is probably an additional 5,000 people scattered throughout the Regional Municipality in temporary camps that house the industrial workers.
We are also a community of first generation farmers who have successfully developed their productive farms from the raw landscape of timber and swampland and now boast great hayfields and herds of cattle, horses and other livestock. Young Living Essential Oils spotted an opportunity among these fledgling farms with acres of black spruce and are now processing the oil from the black spruce needles and branches.
As a relatively small community which also encompasses the Fort Nelson First Nations we have fantastic services including a hospital, two elementary schools, a middle school, high school and a branch of the Northern Lights College. We have a phenomenal recreational facility with an indoor swimming pool, walking track, racketball court, curling rinks, 2 hockey rinks and a small skating pond, community hall, numerous meeting rooms plus a visitors centre and the Chamber of Commerce office. Also, a spray park, outdoor basketball and tennis courts and an incredible golf course. A visit to the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality website will direct you to further information of these great facilities.
A beautiful walking trail runs through the forest around the community and the Community Forest boasts a fabulous cross country ski trail in the winter months. Quad and sled trails criss cross through the nearby forests.
The Alaska Highway passes right through the center of our community and we strive to encourage the travellers to linger and visit our incredible museum, an in-town campground plus a "dumping" facility with potable water for the large amount of RV traffic that we see. We also have a wide range of hotels to make the traveller comfortable while enjoying our town. It pleases us when travellers extend their stays to enjoy all that we have to offer.
We are within view of the Northern Rockies and within a half hour drive we are climbing towards the summit of the highway. The Alaska Highway begins in Dawson Creek and ends near Fairbanks, Alaska. As we pass over the Muskwa River on our way into town we are at the lowest point of the highway and 2 hours west we reach the highest point of the entire highway. Needless to say, we have some of the most spectacular vistas within 2 or 3 hours of driving in either direction of town.
In town we are often treated with the sight of deer or bears with their young and when we venture outside of the community it is rare not to see deer, moose, elk, caribou, stone mountain sheep, lynx, coyotes, wolves, black bear and grizzly bear and two main herds of wood bison that frequent the roadsides of the Alaska Highway.
Perhaps best of all is our easy access to the Liard River Hotsprings which most locals treat themselves to a visit year around, during the summer months with the large numbers of highway travellers or in the depth of our winter months when not as many travellers choose to walk the 300 m boardwalk into the fully natural pool. The water temperature can reach 120 F degrees. Personally, that winter soak is the best!
Whether you like hiking (our hiking trails suit all levels and are simply beautiful outings), camping, sledding, quadding, birding, hunting or fishing you will fall in love with every corner of our great Regional Municipality. The pictures on this website are all my personal photos and are just a small sample of what the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality has to offer you!