By early November, the Bulkley Valley will just be heading into winter, but in Smithers there’s always something to keep you active or out and about town. The following is a list of facilities and activities to take part in during your conference downtime; or, even better, extend your stay and spend some time in this “town for all seasons.”

Google Map of some locations in Smithers.

Morice River Late Fall
Morice River in the fall


Fishing
Northwest B.C. is world-renowned for its fly-fishing and November marks prime steelhead season. There are many great steelhead rivers within the Bulkley Valley and beyond. Local retailers like McBike & Sport (www.mcbike.ca, 250-847-5009) and Oscar’s Source for Adventure (www.oscarssports.com, 250-847-3377), both on Main Street, are available to get you started if you’re interested in fishing the area before or after the conference dates (depending on water conditions and weather).

Hiking
The Smithers area has no shortage of trails, whether your preference is a gentle stroll along the river or setting out into the mountains. In town, visitors can walk the Perimeter Trail, which skirts the Bulkley River at Riverside Park and makes its way through forested areas. Also close to town (and less likely to be snow-covered in November) are the Bluff Trails, Seymour Ridge, Call Lake and Malkow Lookout.

Walking
The Bulkley Valley Museum has a culture crawl of Smithers. Starting at the Museum, the crawl takes visitors on a remarkable and fascinating stroll. The culture crawl explores the Swiss and Dutch migratins to Smithers, the history of the Fire Department, the Queen's Jubilee and unique Aladdins and Eaton kit homes. Culture Crawl Brochure

Paddling
With its beautiful rivers and lakes, the Bulkley Valley is a northern destination for kayaking and canoeing. Along with moving water paddling on rivers like the Bulkley and Telkwa, Smithers boasts several lakes that are great for canoeing within a 10-kilometre radius, including Lake Kathlyn, Seymour Lake and Tyhee Lake.

Located across from Smithers Airport and right on the shores of Lake Kathlyn, Aquabatics is a great place to take the plunge if you’re interested in a little paddling. The store rents kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards and is offering 50 percent off rentals for conference participants that want to paddle on Lake Kathlyn. For more information contact Aquabatics at www.aquabatics.com or call ahead to book, 250-847-3678. Also on the premises is the Eddyline Bistro Cafe which offers wonderful local food (eddylinecafe@gmail.com, 250-877-0122, on Facebook).

Skiing
If fishing, hiking, and paddling don't appeal, due to cold weather conditions, then you might be lucky that it is possible to do some skiing.

The Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre, located only 10 minutes from town, features over 45 km of ski trails. For information go to www.bvnordic.ca or stop in at McBike & Sport on Main Street (www.mcbike.ca, 250-847-5009). For alpine skiing continue another 20 minutes past the nordic centre to Hudson Bay Mountain (www.hudsonbaymountain.com, 250-847-0258). If you are interested in backcountry skiing, contact the Bulkley Valley Backcountry Ski Society (www.bbss.ca, bbskisociety@gmail.com).

Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre
Buchfink Lodge at the Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre


Bulkley Valley Regional Pool and Recreation Centre
If the weather drives you inside, there’s always entertainment to be found at Smithers’ local pool. The rec centre has a sauna, hot tub, climbing wall, gym, squash courts and a four-lane, 25-metre pool plus children’s area. For more information visit www.bvpool.com or call 250-847-4244.

Smithers Public Library
Smithers’ library is more than just books — it’s a community meeting space. It offers Internet and computer access, children’s programs, presentations and community events. For more information about the library or to see what’s scheduled in early November, visit www.smithers.bclibrary.ca.

Bulkley Valley Museum
Smithers’ local museum is located within easy walking distance of the conference venue, at the intersection of Highway 16 and Main Street in the Central Park Building. Learn about the valley’s aboriginal pre-history, the arrival of Europeans and the fur trade, and the creation of Smithers by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1913. The museum has both a permanent collection and rotating exhibits. To learn more about what is currently showing, visit www.bvmuseum.com or call 250-847-5322. Admission is by $3 suggested donation.

Smithers Art Gallery
Also located in the Central Park Building, Smithers Art Gallery represents the heart of the local arts community. Exhibitions change monthly and showcase the work of local and regional artists in solo and group shows. The gallery offers free artists’ talks and demonstrations, art classes and workshops, community art events and activities for kids. To find out what's on at the gallery, email info@smithersart.org or visit www.smithersart.org. Admission is by donation.

Smithers from the Bluff
Smithers from the bluff


To find out more about what is happening in Smithers please go to Tourism Smithers.