Exploring the dried river bed underneath the train bridge in Prince George is the it thing to do right now. This wanders out to Goat Island and back, watching the trains and the highway whiz by is one of my favourite adventures in Prince George during the Fall.
This year, 2018, the river has been incredibly low due to the drought in Northern BC which is giving us the unique opportunity to explore. It is pretty common for the river to shrink down this time of year and to be able to walk out, but this year it’s incredibly low and gives such an incredible perspective of the landscape.
There’s a lot of space to explore at the Prince George River Bed. You can find rocks. You can find shells. You can find litter from the river. It’s just a really neat opportunity.
Where is the River?
It’s not that hard to find the parking lot, trail, and river bed.
If you’re coming from town, get onto First Avenue and head out of town towards McBride. Before going over the river, take a left onto River Road. River Road goes over the train tracks and as you hit the crest of the overpass, you’ll catch a parking lot on the left. The turnoff is just in the curve, and you can find a parking spot. There is a stop sign to designate this area. Unload, and follow the trail.
The trail connects onto the Centennial Connector Trail Loop around Prince George. If you were to go left along the paved trail you would hit Cottonwood Park. If you were to go left then you would hit Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park. Maybe that gives a frame of reference? It’s an easy walk from Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park if you live in that area.
- Check out some great stroller-friendly trails in Prince George.
What will I need?
It’s so dry this year, you just need a good pair of shoes for scrambling over the river rocks and through the sand.
Boots are helpful for children who can’t resist splashing in the puddles that remain, and for adults who have to chase kids out of puddles.
You could bring a stroller but it is sandy and rocky, and this will be a challenge if you are expecting to actually go anywhere.
We did bring our stroller out because I had a ton of gear with me, and it was easy, but I wouldn’t bring it if I was on a leisurely explore. Instead, try a baby carrier.
Kids will likely need a change of clothes because it is sandy and wet. The chances of them falling into a puddle, exploring a puddle, or rolling in the sand is high. Be prepared, and bring an extra set of clothes, maybe even shoes if you have other plans afterwards.
Sand toys make for a great play experience!
Don’t forget a snack, water bottle, and maybe a camera. It’s gorgeous, but the walk out to Goat Island can be far for tiny legs and it’s helpful to be prepared.
Best Time to Go?
Probably anytime after 11 am. The sun is fully up in the sky and the riverbed is nice and warm. Before then it’s pretty chilly, so just dress for the weather.
This is a popular spot and can get quite busy on weekends, but there’s so much space to explore.
There is no outhouse or bathroom. There is no garbage cans.
There is cell reception, but there is no water.
Pack it in, pack it out.
Be respectful of this place, we only get one Earth.