British Colombia is a western province of Canada that is famed for its thick forests, rolling mountainside and wide variety of flora and fauna. Thousands of tourists descend upon British Colombia each year to indulge in a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, kayaking and paragliding. The vast wilderness of British Colombia is crisscrossed by a network of gravel roads that were once used by the first mining and railway companies over one hundred years ago. Today, the dirt roads have become a haven for off-roading enthusiasts, and many regard the trails as some of the best in the world. Each trail offers panoramic views, deep valleys and hidden lakes as well as a variety of different terrains to challenge even the most ambitious off-roader.
Duck Lake is located in the Powell River area and, as the name suggests, is an ideal place to spot many different species of birds that make their home here. This picturesque location is a favourite haunt of hikers, mountain bikers and even canoers, and you can expect to see a number of people fishing, swimming or just stopping for a picnic along the clear, blue waters. Many dirt roads lead into the thick forest making it an ideal spot for some serious off-roading. As the terrain can be quite difficult in places, a four-wheel drive vehicle is essential.
Experienced off-roaders can test their skills against the Whistler, Harrison, Nahatlatch and Lilloet loop, a 422 mile off-road circuit that takes a full day to complete. This trail takes visitors past the stunning Grizzly Falls waterfall as well as Nahatlatch Lake. The circuit provides plenty of safe places for families to camp along the way although visitors are advised to carry spare food and fuel when travelling the circuit. If you prefer a guided off-road Jeep tour, there are many companies that offer tours around Whistler that include stop-offs for lunch and dinner.
The Okanagan Valley stretches along southcentral British Colombia and offers a wide variety of entertainment for visitors. Small backroads that connect a number of lakes including Okanagan Lake, Wood Lake, Swan Lake and Osoyoos Lake are made up of many different terrains for both professional off-roaders and amateurs. The valley is also home to some of the most beautiful golf courses in Canada, a selection of sandy beaches and a number of wineries. Certain parts of Okanagan Valley are protected, so it is important to stick to the paths to avoid damaging the surrounding wildlife.
Off-roading is an exciting hobby that is suitable for the entire family. However, it is important to observe certain safety guidelines to ensure the comfort of you and your passengers. Make sure you are familiar with the four-wheel drive system of your vehicle and the location of the spare tyre. Pack an emergency supply kit equipped with food, water, fuel and a first aid kit along with plenty of warm clothing. Always check the weather forecast before heading out, and let someone know your planned destination.
Roger Connolly worked as an Army training officer and now spends his time following outdoor pursuits. He likes to share his experiences online and has already previously written for a number of relevant websites.