McLeese Lake is located 45 km (28 miles) north of Williams
Lake and 75 km (47 miles) south of Quesnel
on Hwy 97.
McLeese Lake is named after pioneer Robert McLeese who, in the late
1800's, served for 25 years as the local postmaster of Soda Creek.
Robert McLeese died in 1898,he was also a member of the British
Columbia Legislative Assembly, plus owned the store, hotel and Fraser
River sternwheeler boat.
The facilities in the small community include the McLeese General
Store located right on Hwy 97. The store sells groceries, convenience
items and has a liquor outlet but, unfortunately, has no fuel. McLeese
Lake also has a small library and community hall.
The community is very small with approximately 300 inhabitants and
is spread along Hwy 97 and is sparsely populated for the length
of the lake. The majority of the population is quite involved in
outdoor activities that include fishing, hunting, hiking with snowmobiling,
cross-country skiing, hockey and snowshoeing in the winter.
One of the nicest resorts along the lake is the McLeese Lake Resort
located right off Hwy 97 on the north side near the rest area. The
resort features private cabins, lakefront campsites for both tenting
and serviced RV sites, most having a southern exposure.
Pub & Kitchen
If you do stay awhile or are passing through, there is entertainment
at the Oasis Pub & Kitchen situated across Hwy 97 from the McLeese
General Store. The pub has a nice view of the lake and the Oasis
Motel and Café is conveniently located next door if you need
a room for the night or something to eat.
There is an annual fishing derby in McLeese Lake. The event happens
on the long weekend in May and is helped sponsored by the McLeese
Lake Resort. Bring the kids for the nice trout fishing and make
it a memorable family event.
If you are travelling on Hwy 97 and require a rest stop, there is
a really nice one on the north side of the community. The rest facility
includes a picnic area, beach access and flush toilets and is right
next door to the McLeese Lake Resort.
The main employer around McLeese Lake is the Gibraltar Mine located
east of town. Presently owned by Taseko Mines Limited and operated
as a copper-molybdenum mine, the Gibraltar Mine has seen a number
of owners who started first with Placer International, the company
who developed a copper-gold mine.
For adventuring off Hwy 97 at McLeese Lake, you can try taking the
road to Gibraltar Mines or farther to Beaver Creek then to either
Likely or Horsefly.
Likely, at the end of Quesnel Lake and start of the Quesnel River,
and Horsefly is close to Horsefly Lake where there are other recreational
activities out of Horsefly Lake Provincial Park including kayaking,
fishing and canoeing.
Just remember if you are enjoying the countryside around McLeese
Lake, 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.
on McLeese Lake