One of my favourite things about Prince George and its surrounding area has to be that despite living here since the ’90s, I am still learning of new places of beauty and wonder around us all the time. I feel extremely fortunate to have relatively easy access to so many spots that allow us to get immersed in nature. Places that help create a feeling of being miles away from it all when we really haven’t traveled far. One of these places that I was recently introduced to is Dahl Lake Provincial Park.
To get into Dahl Lake one must either hike from the east end of Norman Lake or launch a canoe or kayak from that point. My choice for this adventure into Dahl was to kayak. As you follow the shore of Norman Lake about 300 metres up the shoreline the reeds become thicker and you can see a channel open. Once you enter the almost tunnel-like channel of greenery growing from the water keep your eyes open for an Eagle at his favourite perch atop one of the tall trees lining the shore.
As you begin to navigate further, the channel begins to feel like your very own portal to another world. There is a very remote and wild feel in the air. Dense forest grows to the water’s edge, with trails beaten down from the activity of busy beavers. Patches of Lily pads poke their way out of the water with bright yellow blossoms acting like runway lights directing you into Dahl Lake. Around each corner, wildlife makes its presence known, ducks scurry from their perch on a half-submerged log, a pair of flicker woodpeckers chase each other from branch to branch, fish jump and eagles and osprey both make their call.
I would not be shocked if I was the only person on the lake that day. The lake has enough size though that even with multiple people out there is a good chance you may not notice each other. Only non-motorized vessels are allowed on Dahl Lake as well which helps to maintain the feeling of total solitude. As you delve further into the arms of the lake you will discover a couple of small islands that could make for some fun exploration or even an ideal spot for lunch.
Daylight is fading fast and I decide to return into the channel and head back towards the access area on Norman Lake. I give myself one more chance at catching a fish while I watch the sunset. The sky lights up and sun rays burst through the clouds. Once the sun drops below the horizon, a distinct line of blue cuts across the sky upwards like old fashioned spot lights at the theatres entrance. I take a few more casts just to give me more reason to soak it all in and then I head in.
Dahl Lake is accessed from the Norman Lake Rd which is approximately 43 km west of Prince George on Highway 16, then follow Norman Lake Rd approximately 14km. A sign to the left side of the road marks the entrance for Dahl provincial Park. Access to Dahl is gained from the east end of Norman Lake by either boat or a short hike along the shore.