Historic Canyons, Railways and Reaction Ferries

Many Prince George residents have lived in this area for a long time but have never explored in their own backyard.  Here is a perfect opportunity to learn about our history and view some of the most iconic historical sites in the region.  Reaction ferries, Canyons, Railways, Goat Island, Bollards, Rapids, and hopefully some local wildlife will make this a memorable trip! May 15 or June 17, 2017

Reaction Ferry
The tour will commence with a 30 minute jet boat ride up the Nechako River to the site of the Miworth Reaction Ferry. In Miworth two hulls of the ferry still remain, plus a wooden derrick tower. This ferry operated from 1922 to the mid 1940’s. Reaction ferries were common in the interior for crossing many of our river systems. The ferries consist of two pontoon hulls and a cable across the river. The energy of the river current is used to angle the pontoons across the river. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit this historic site.

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Bridge
From the Miworth Reaction Ferry site, we will journey to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Bridge. This iconic Prince George feature is over 100-years old and is still the longest railway bridge in B.C. While viewing the Bridge from below, Jeff will provide a historic perspective of the bridge. On this stretch of our journey a stop will also be made at Goat Island, where this island’s contribution to the building of the GTP Railway Bridge and the stories of Jim Johnson’s goat farm will be told.

Fort George Canyon
The last destination on our tour is Fort George Canyon where the sternwheelers of the early 1900’s attempted to navigate and winch themselves through the rock outcropped islands and fast flowing rapids and whirlpools of this narrow pass in the Fraser River. We will learn and experience why it was so difficult to bring these boats through this extremely treacherous section of the river. Don’t miss this chance to experience the rich history of our local rivers!

All you ever wanted to know about Sternwheeler Cordwood

A big part of the history of the Skeena River and Upper Fraser River involved the use of Sternwheelers to transport people, equipment, supplies, furs and food up and down the rivers which were the main transportation routes.  Almost all of the sternwheelers used wood to fed the boilers which in turn powered the large paddles at the rear of the ship.  Wood was a readily available resource that grew adjacent  to the river and could easily be cut and split into 3-4 ft sections and piled into cords by local contractors.  The term Cordwood became part of everyday language as it was a necessity for every day travel.  The cordwood cutters would get around $3-4 a cord for each one that was used by the boats.  They would cut it and stack it next to the river at strategic points so that there was always an available supply along the routes that they traveled.  The sternwheelers could burn 1-3 cords and hour depending on the size of the boilers and how hard they ran the boat.  This was for upstream navigation only as downstream typically used a fraction of this as they used the current for most of their power.  Passengers were typically enlisted to help with the loading of the cordwood at the supply points. some boats could hold up to 10 cords of wood at one time.  It was one crew members job to continually feed the boilers with wood the entire time the boat was moving.

Ironically the Sternwheelers faded into obscurity in the 1912 -1920′s as the railway replaced the need for them.  The last use of the sternwheelers was the assisting with goods and supplies to build the railway.

On the Skeena River the last sternwheeler the “Inlander ” did its last trip in 1912. Why this is interesting is that there are still piles of old cordwood lying along the banks of the river that were never consumed.  In one location that we visit there are 6 piles lying adjacent to the river and they are in different stages of rot and decay but they can still be identified.  For some reason I find this fascinating that these piles are over 100 years old and are one of the only remnants of the historic Sternwheeler days.  If you want to visit these piles you can always join one of our tours that visits them or send me a note and I would be happy to provide you directions to them.

Checking out a pile of 100 year old cordwood
photo courtesy of @simonsees

 

100 year old Cordwood Pile
Sternwheeler with a load of cordwood on the front

 

 

 

Jet Boating with UNBC Adventure Tours

The jet boat is one of the most versatile modes for transporting guests into remote and otherwise inaccessible locations. These boats have alot of horsepower that allows us to carry 5 guests per boat and move them up rivers to amazing places with incredible  scenery.  Most of our tours utilize jet boats for a portion of the trip as we navigate larger rivers like the Skeena and Fraser and then smaller tributaries of the Skeena and rivers off remote ocean inlets.  Navigating up and down rivers provides an exhilarating experience as you never know what is around the next corner. They are great for photography as they can be stopped quickly and held in place to allow guests to get that shot of a lifetime.

Jet Boating remote rivers
Photographing the amazing scenery
Around every corner is another experience

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

2017 Historic Fort George River Journey

Historic Fort George River Journey
A jet boat journey exploring trains, ferries, and sternwheelers

May 15 or June 17 2017
Prince George, BC

Historic Ft George Canyon

Journey with us as we explore the rivers of Fort George and its iconic historical features via jet boat!

On this one day tour, led by Jeff Elder from the Prince George Heritage Commission, we will travel by jet boat to explore some of the regions most inaccesible historic sites. The Nechako River and Fraser River will be our classroom for the day. Our small group of 5 participants will allow plenty of time for discussion and questions. We will go to shore throughout the day and explore at our leisure. Space is very limited so don’t delay!

Old Miworth Reaction Ferry Pontoon

Reaction Ferry
The tour will commence with a 30 minute jet boat ride up the Nechako River to the site of the Miworth Reaction Ferry. In Miworth two hulls of the ferry still remain, plus a wooden derrick tower. This ferry operated from 1922 to the mid 1940’s. Reaction ferries were common in the interior for crossing many of our many river systems. The ferries consist of two pontoon hulls and a cable across the river. The energy of the river current is used to angle the pontoons across the river.

Ring bolt in Fort George Canyon

Fort George Canyon
The last destination on our tour is Fort George Canyon where the sternwheelers of the early 1900’s attempted to navigate and winch themselves through the rock outcropped islands and fast flowing rapids and whirlpools of this narrowing in the Fraser River. We will learn and experience why it was so difficult to bring these boats through this extremely treacherous section of the river. Don’t miss this chance to experience the rich history of our local rivers!

Grand Trunk Pacific Bridge

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Bridge
From the Miworth Reaction Ferry site, we will journey to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Bridge. This iconic Prince George Feature is over 100 years old and at and is still the longest railway bridge in BC. While viewing the Bridge from below, Jeff will provide a historic perspective on the bridge. On this stretch of our journey a stop will also be made at Goat Island, where this island’s contribution to the building of the GTP Railway Bridge and the stories of Jim Johnson’s goat farm will be told.

Save

Save

2017 Northern B.C. Adventure Tour Dates Just Released

2017 UNBC Continuing Studies
Northern B.C. Adventure Tours

NOW OPEN  FOR REGISTRATION!

A one-of-a-kind experience. Since 2014, UNBC Continuing Studies has been offering awe-struck adventurers rare access to seldom-visited historic sites, wondrous wildlife, and stunning natural scenery that is distinctly Northern British Columbia. See our list of past and new tours that are now open for registration.  Check back daily for blog posts on all of the tours!
 
Sturgeon caught for research purposes Fraser River White Sturgeon Tour

Upper Fraser White Sturgeon Biology Experience
May 4-5, 2017
Prince George, BC

Canneries of the Northcoast
May 8-June 11, 2017
Cassiar Cannery, Port Edward, BC

Cassiar Cannery Canneries of the North Coast Tour

Historic Fort George River Journey
May 15 or June 17, 2017
Prince George, BC

Historic Ft George Canyon Historic Ft George River Journey Tour

The Port Essington Experience
May 27, 2017
Terrace, BC

The Port Essington Experience Tour

“The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration
June 3-4, 2017
Terrace, BC

The Anyox Powerhouse “The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration Tour

Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour
June 6-10, 2017
Terrace, BC

Grizzly Bear walking the shore Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour

Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey
August 1-6, 2017
Hazelton – Port Edward, BC

Navigating the 200 km trip down the Skeena River Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey Tour

Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
August 20-26, 2017
Terrace, BC

The Ghostly and Abandoned Kitsault Shopping Centre Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour
Combining the knowledge of local experts with unique destinations and activities, Continuing Studies’ jet boat tours will provide you a spectacular story all your own.
 
“It was indeed one of the best travel and educational experiences that I have encountered.”
–          Ron Paull
For more information check out our Blog or our website http://www.unbc.ca/continuing-studies/courses-workshops
or contact Rob Bryce at (250) 960-5982 or rob.bryce@unbc.ca

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

UNBC Educational Adventures Promotional Video

Our 2016 lineup of Educational Adventure Tours are all scheduled and filling up. We Have an amazing promotional video highlighting a couple of the tours. Check it out some of the amazing sites and scenery Northern BC has to offer.

Canneries of the Northcoast – May 29-June 3, 2016
Jet Boat Photography Tour – June 5-11, 2016
Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey – August 5-10, 2016
Ghost Towns of Northwest BC – August 21-27, 2016
Historic Transportation Methods of Fort George – May 6 or 15, 2016
Upper Fraser River White Sturgeon Biology Tour May 7-8 2016