Terrace is synonymous with the mighty Skeena River, the second largest river in BC, and the Kermodei bear, a rare black bear whose fur is white but isn’t a Polar Bear. Only a lucky few – locals and visitors alike – get to see these rare creatures.
Terrace, at the heart of Northwest BC, is a choose-your-own-adventure community. With the Hazelton Mountains to the East and the Kitimat Ranges to the west, the area’s mountains and forests offer accessible walking paths and trails for hiking, single-track mountain biking, golfing, backcountry skiing and snowmobiling.
Walk through old growth forest and follow the flat 2.8-kms circle route around Ferry Island in town. The path is bathed in different colours depending on the season; vivid green during summer months, and red, yellow and orange when the leaves are changing colours in the spring and fall. While walking, keep your eyes open for faces, animals and houses carved in the tree trunks along the path by a local artist.
For a harder hike, head to Terrace Mountain. The most popular hike here is a 4.5-km trail that leads to a viewpoint overlooking all of the city and the Skeena River. Terrace Mountain is also part of a network of 60 km of natural, technical mountain biking trails. Try out the new expert-level trail, Shangri-La, or the new beginner trail, Heyyy Bear!
A major summer activity that draws visitors to Terrace is its fishing. Many anglers choose to camp at one of the 103 sites at Ferry Island on the shore of the Skeena River, but anglers can choose from other locations including the Exchamsiks, Chindemash and Kitimat rivers. Depending on the time of year, anglers aim to catch wild Chinook, Sockeye and Coho Salmon and Steelhead.
Downtown attractions include a variety of tasteful shops where you can buy local books, arts and crafts – including locally made Indigenous jewellery and carvings. A popular local hangout is the Sherwood Mountain Brewhouse alongside Highway 16, and on the other side of town is the Skeena Bar, which is a newly built, modern version of the Skeena Pub, which burned down almost two decades ago.
A large part of travelling to Northwest BC, and Terrace, is learning about the area’s First Nations people.
Kitselas First Nation is approximately 20 kms east of Terrace. There, the Kitselas Canyon, a National Historic Site, showcases four traditional longhouses, each with a totem pole, representing the four Kitselas Clans. Call ahead to book a guided tour. Kitsumkalum First Nation is directly west of Terrace. Here, the beautifully painted House of Sim-Oi-Ghets sells modern and traditional items such as First Nations jewellery, clothing and mukaluks – beaded, leather footwear.
In the winter, head to Shames Mountain, past Kitsukalum, 35 kms west of town. Famous for its wide-open and accessible backcountry skiing, the annual snowfall here averages 40 feet.
Beach and water lovers will want to head to Lakelse Lake and choose from the family-friendly picnic site, dog friendly Gruchy’s beach, or Furlong Bay Campground. Approximately 20 kms south of Terrace, this 156-spot campsite is enveloped by cedar, hemlock and Sitka spruce trees. The campsite has an amphitheatre, several walking trails, a playground, a sandy beach, and a dock.