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 Home > Discover BC > Provincial Parks > Paarens Beach

Paarens Beach Provincial Park
Paarens Beach Provincial Park is situated on the south-west shore of Stuart Lake, near the community of Fort St. James about 65 km (41 miles) from Vanderhoof.

Getting Here
To get here from Prince George, travel west on Hwy 16 towards Vanderhoof; once past Vanderhoof, drive about 8 km (5 miles) to the turnoff for Hwy 27 to Fort St. James. After travelling 50 km (30 miles) north on Hwy 27, take the exit for Sowchea Road and go another 7 km (4.4 miles) to the park entrance.

Stuart Lake
The features found at Paarens Beach Provincial Park include the amazing, uncrowded campground on beautiful Stuart Lake (one of the largest natural lakes in British Columbia), easy access to the national historic site at Fort St. James, and an opportunity to explore recreational possibilities in an area of British Columbia where so few people attempt to visit.

Fishing
With the appropriate license, the fresh water fishing found in Stuart Lake and the area is perhaps some of the best you can find in British Columbia. Species of fish taken from Stuart Lake include Lake Char, Dolly Varden, Burbot (Ling cod), Kokanee, and Rainbow trout. The size of fish is varied but stories of 10 kilo (20 pound) Rainbow trout and Dolly Vardens are not unheard of. Also, if you include Stuart River, 90 km (56 miles) long, Tatla Lake, and the many other smaller lakes in the area, the endless fishing just keeps getting better and better.

Boat Launch
There is a concrete boat launch situated at the south end of Paarens Beach Provincial Park. Windsurfing, waterskiing, kayaking, canoeing, and exploring are also very popular on the 70 km (44 mile)-long Stuart Lake. A word of warning, though: keep an eye on the weather if you are boating. A sudden change can occur rapidly, turning a peaceful and calm lake into a nasty situation with plenty of strong winds and hazardous whitecaps.

Vehicle-Accessible Campground
The campground found at Paarens Beach Provincial Park offers 39 vehicle-accessible campsites of which 17 are reservable, with the rest being on a first-come, first-served basis. Many of the campsites found at Paarens Beach Provincial Park are very private, treed, with some having proper tent pads available and many being located on the shores of Stuart Lake. Each campsite has a fire-pit, picnic table, large parking area with fresh water taps, and pit-toilets close by.

Sandy Beach
One of the main highlights of the park has to be the beautiful sandy beach found at the day-use, picnic area of the park. Here you can find a roped-off section of the beach for swimming, picnic tables, log shelters, changing rooms, and a children's adventure playground. Just remember as with all areas in the BC Parks system, there are no lifeguards present, so please keep an eye on all children and non-swimmers. Another highlight has to be the small number of the campsites located near the shore of Stuart Lake, absolutely breathtaking and relaxing, especially on a clear summer night.

Mount Pope Provincial Park
Although there are no hiking opportunities at Paarens Beach Provincial Park, there are at nearby Mount Pope Provincial Park, located 7 km (4.4) miles north-west of the community of Fort St. James. Here you can find a 6.5 km (4 miles) long trail that takes you to the top of the mainly limestone formation of Mount Pope, where you can find a panoramic view of Fort St. James with Stuart Lake in the background, and of the mountains towards the north.

Bear Country
Just remember if you are enjoying the provincial parks and the countryside around British Columbia, please remember this is bear country. Try to avoid the rivers during heavy salmon spawning times unless you feel comfortable with bears around and take the usual precautions. There is also the possibilities of encounters with wolves or cougars so please play it safe.

BC Parks

 

Paarens Beach
Picnic Site at Paarens Beach

 

Stuart Lake
Stuart Lake

 

Paarens Beach
Tent Campsite at Paarens Beach

 

Concrete Boat Launch
Concrete Boat Launch

 

Campsite at Paarens Beach Provincial Park
Paarens Beach Provincial Park Campsite

 

Campsite at Paarens Beach Provincial Park
Paarens Beach Provincial Park

 

Kids Playground
Kids Playground

 
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