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Trip 138 - July 14, 2018 (Saturday)

Barkerville National Historic Site

Near Quesnel in Central British Columbia, Canada

Distance From Vancouver
: Approximately 735 kilometers via Hwy 1 West, Hwy 97 North, and Hwy 26 East.

Liked: Historical buildings and artefacts. Period-dressed interpreters. Available gold rush-related entertainment options.

Of Note: Horse manure on the ground from horse-drawn carriages - watch your step. It could get somewhat crowded on busy weekends.

Related Website: Barkerville NHS Official Website.

Other Trips in Wells and Barkerville Area: Two Sisters Trail, Mount Murray Hike.

Other Historic Sites Trip Reports: Quesnel Forks Historic Site, Fort St. James National Historic Site, Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.


Barkerville National Historic Site is located in Central British Columbia, not too far from the City of Quesnel, and is a great place to visit for anyone who wants to experience the feel of a former gold-rush town. There are numerous buildings, both authentic and restored, and thousands of artefacts to see, as well as several thematic entertainment options, from a horse-drawn carriage, to a "variety" show, to gold-panning, to observing a blacksmith at work. The highlight of Barkerville experience are actors dressed in what the residents of the gold-rush era Barkerville would wear. There are children, adults, and old folks role-playing all over the place. They go around their daily business as if it were mid-1800s, and interact with each other and the visitors. The actors are so good that one can totally forget that these are our contemporaries engaged in a town-wide theatre play. It is entirely possible to feel guilty for being too nosy about what these colourful characters are doing, despite the fact that their "lives" are meant to be observed by the Barkerville visitors.

1. We are on BC Highway 26 at Bowron Lake Road turnoff. Turning left here would lead to Yellowhawk and Jubilee trails, described in the previous (Mount Murray Hike) trip report. Going straight would lead to Barkerville in 1.6 kilometers. Check out our previous trip report for directions up to this point from BC Highway 97 in Quesnel. This is the same photo as photo #5 of that trip report.

BC Highway 26 at Bowron Lake Road turnoff near Barkerville British Columbia

2. Having gone straight at the junction, we have reached Barkerville 1.6 kilometers later. Parking is plentiful and free. The Visitor Centre (pictured below) is located at the end of the parking area.

Barkerville Visitor Centre British Columbia Canada

3. Inside the Visitor Centre. This is where you buy a ticket, valid for two days. There just might be enough to see and to do in Barkerville that a two-day ticket is a very good idea. An adult ticket with tax is $15.25. Additional charges may be applicable for extra entertainment options, and there are also several eateries serving visitors, once you enter the town.

Visitor Centre for Barkerville National Historic Site

4. We just entered Barkerville, with the visitor centre behind us. And that's where we saw an aboriginal dancer in a traditional costume. There was an aboriginal show in the building seen straight ahead.

Barkerville British Columbia Canada

5. The main street is about 300 meters long, and contains all the major attractions. There are a few side streets too, and a cemetery, which is about 800 meters away. Here is the beginning of the main street.

Main Street Barkerville BC

6. First, we visited Tregillus family house.

Tregillus House Barkerville British Columbia

7. Inside the house. Just about all the exhibits in Barkerville are behind a glass, a fence, or a rope.

Tregillus House Exhibit in Barkerville National Historic Site British Columbia Canada

8. Tregillus family photo.

Tregillus Family Barkerville British Columbia

9. And this is the miners' boarding house, where they would return after looking for gold.

Barkerville National Historic Site - Miners' Boarding House

10. Inside the house.

Inside the miners' house in Barkerville National Historic Site

11. Barkerville Anglican church is a prominent building. Note an actress in a dress on the right side of the photo.

Barkerville Anglican Church

12. Inside the church.

Barkerville National Historic Site - Anglican Church

13. Back on the main street of Barkerville.

Main Street Barkerville British Columbia Canada

14. Barkerville Hotel.

Barkerville Hotel British Columbia Canada

15. Ground floor of the hotel.

Barkerville National Historic Site - Barkerville Hotel Ground Floor

16. This photo of 1868 Barkerville is located on the second floor of Barkerville Hotel.

1868 Barkerville Photo

17. Interpreters in the costumes of the mid-1800s era make Barkerville experience that much better. Here is one of them talking to a visitor.

Interpreter in Historical Costume in Barkerville BC

18. Interpreters go around their daily business, as if it were still 1868, and interact with each other and the visitors.

Barkerville National Historic Site Interpreter

19. Barkerville Chinatown is closer to the end of the main street.

Barkerville National Historic Site Chinatown

20. Kwong Sang Wing Chinese store.

Chinese Store in Barkerville National Historic Site

21. Looking back at the Barkerville's main street from Kwong Sang Wing store.

Barkerville British Columbia Canada

22. The interior of the store.

Barkerville National Historic Site - inside a Chinese store

23.Chinese miners' cabin interior.

Barkerville National Historic Site - Chinese miners' cabin

24. Sing Kee herbalist store interior.

Barkerville National Historic Site - Chinese herbal store

25. One of several additional entertainment options in Barkerville - a carriage ride. Note three child actors on the right side of the photo.

Carriage Ride in Barkerville National Historic Site

26. Looks like a fun experience.

Barkerville National Historic Site Visitors

Barkerville is a very interesting place to visit for children and adults alike.

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ihikebc.com Trip 138 - Barkerville National Historic Site (near Quesnel BC)