To ensure that the wetlands are cherished, protected and enhanced, they need first to be made accessible. So, imagine a circular walk starting at The Exploration Place. You'd first have a fine view of the Fraser River before heading to a footbridge taking you over the channel draining the Hudson’s Bay Wetland into the river.
The footbridge, kept open all year round, gives fine views of much of the channel.
To the east, you can see the stretch leading to the confluence with the Fraser.
To the west, you can see some hundred and fifty metres of the upstream channel.
As you look from the footbridge, you are likely to see ducks, shorebirds and osprey, and unless the water is extremely high you’ll see tracks indicating the presence of coyote, deer, fox, muskrat and others.
Once across the footbridge, you’ll have the option of two ways on. There was once just the paved Heritage Trail, but now a new side-route has been added, with a universal-access path leading to an observation deck. Look
The channel will also be an important location for learning about, for instance, salmonid habitat. In future years, you are likely to spot activities here connected with learning about, or taking action on, the numerous issues of wetland protection.
Having traversed the south of the channel, walkers can head to the lake by crossing Queensway Street.
The route then continues along the south side of the lake, following a section of the Heritage Trail.
The walk in this section is very pleasant, but will be made even more pleasant by the addition of an Overlook, which had been proposed in an earlier report for the City of Prince George.
Heading past the Overlook, the walk continues to be pleasant, but currently concludes in a residential area. This seriously limits its appeal. Imagine, instead, that where the lake begins to narrow, boardwalks and a footbridge are added, allowing walkers to cross to the northern side of the lake. The bridge and boardwalks would themselves be attractive destinations for naturalists, photographers and walkers, but more important, they are key elements in creation of a circular walk.
Unknown to many, there is in fact a path on the north side of the lake that continues all the way back towards The Exploration Place. More boardwalks will be required in certain spots, and the informal paths improved, and an observation blind is also planned.
The return route travels through a number of habitats, further increasing the value of the route as an interpretive trail. After a circuit of a little more than two kilometres, walkers will be back in the environs of The Exploration Place.