Cut into the Thompson River Valley in the midst of sagebrush-speckled high desert hills, the historic village of Ashcroft is home to scenic adventures, wellness and relaxation. With a growing number of amenities to care for your mind, body and spirit, pamper yourself and reignite your sense of adventure while enjoying awe-inspiring scenery.
Originally part of Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) territory, the Aboriginal people living in the area relied on the bounty of fish in the Thompson River to sustain their communities. Ancestors of the Ashcroft Indian Band spent the winter months in pit houses near the Thompson River and Ashcroft Ranch.
Visitors to Ashcroft in the late nineteenth century would have witnessed the Gold Rush fever that led to the rapid development of the settlement. With the establishment of the railway, Ashcroft became a major supply centre for prospectors and miners travelling north on the trail to the goldfields. Ranching was also vital to the growth of the community, and in the early twentieth century Ashcroft became famous for its delicious crops of potatoes and tomatoes.
Originally a post office, the museum building dates back to 1917. Exhibits include First Nations and pioneer history, as well as the discovery of coal in the region. Open from May to October.
Beginning at the distinctive Fire Hall, visitors are guided by brass plaques that tell the story of each key location. Walking tour pamphlets are available at the museum. Train spotting enthusiasts can enjoy watching the activity on the CPR and CN tracks that run by the town.
Heritage Place Park
Located on Railway Avenue
Built in 2000 as part of the village’s Millennium Project, the park features a “walk through time” with displays outlining Ashcroft’s history. Keep an eye out for the waterwheel and railway caboose.
Jo Petty’s Studio
“Art is an energy that is alive and all around us”. Visit the internationally acclaimed painter at her studio by making a booking 48 hours in advance. Also of interest are several unique murals and award winning gardens. Mural locations include the Legion, Curling Rink, Heritage Place Park, and Railway Ave.
Mosaic Walking Tour
Ashcroft is a very diverse Arts community and throughout our community you will find stunning works of art that were created by two very talented individuals and many volunteers. A Mosaic Walking Tour Map was created to direct visitors to the various locations. Since the production of this map there have been many new mosaics added around town, the collection just keeps growing. A special thanks to Sun Country Community Futures for designing and printing the walking guides. You can view many of the mosaics here, you may also pick up a printed map of the mosaics at many locations in and around Ashcroft.
Cool down in the hot summer months by taking a dip in the Ashcroft Swimming Pool. Open from late-May to early-September.
Enjoy a lively game of tennis! There are two newly surfaced tennis courts on the Ashcroft Secondary School grounds located at 435 Ranch Road, free to use and open from 9:00 am to dusk.
Barnes Lake and neighbouring Willard Lake are both artificial, created prior to 1900 by pioneer ranchers. Once providing vital irrigation, Barnes Lake is now a popular spot for canoeing, rustic camping and fishing for rainbow trout.
Admire the spectacular limestone canyon and waterfalls that held special ceremonial and spiritual significance to local First Nations people at Oregon Jack Provincial Park. Look out for culturally modified trees and pictographs, and remember to keep a respectful distance in order to help preserve this heritage for future generations.
Barnes Lake and other surrounding areas offer excellent ice fishing, cross-country skiing, skating and snowmobiling opportunities. Don’t miss the Cars on Ice races.
Public Ice Skating
Public skating is available most weekends during the winter months at the Drylands Arena
MORE THINGS TO DO +
Treat yourself to a delicious steak, bakery favourites or a hot drink in a heritage teahouse. The Ashcroft Manor & Teahouse (Trans Canada Hwy #1 West. Phone: 250-453-9983) marks the original site of Ashcroft and has a 149 year history. Today, the site includes a museum, six original historic buildings, a gift shop and a restaurant. The Ashcroft Manor is open from May to late October.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy friendly service and freshly baked delights at the Ashcroft Bakery (303 3rd St. Phone: 250-453-9212). The UniTea tea room has baked treats, delicious soups and teas at 100 – 210 Railway Ave. The River Inn Pub and Restaurant features many delicious culinary choices! ( 50 1st under the bridge 250-453-2230).
FULL LIST OF DINING OPTIONS
The Barnes Lake Cars on Ice races held annually in January and February are exhilarating. The Cars on Ice team also offer programs for new and experienced ice racers.
The Ashcroft Fine Arts Club Show & Sale, held in April, exhibits the works of Ashcroft’s thriving arts community, which includes both hobbyists and artists of international acclaim. The Ashcroft Fine Arts Club also hosts an Art Walk at local businesses during the summer months. Pick up an Art Walk map at the Tourist Info Booth.
September brings the Ashcroft & District Fall Fair. See, taste and delight in the wonderful variety of ‘locally grown’ fruits, flowers, veggies, crafts, art, lively entertainment and beautiful displays at the Ashcroft & District Fall Fair.
End the year while revelling in the spirit of Christmas when Ashcroft lights up to celebrate the season with the annual Santa Parade, Santa Madness shopping, craft sales, Christmas teas, Skate with Santa and a stop by the CPR Holiday Train.
The Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society hosts regular music, theatre and art events including a dinner concert series and Music in the Park.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN ASHCROFT
In the Interior of B.C. the fur trade had declined somewhat when gold was found on the Fraser River in 1858. In that same year, 25,000 people ventured inland to search for gold. Panning sites sprung up on all tributaries of the Fraser. Hudson Bay Company employees and Native people turned to prospecting. Settlements grew up quickly and fur trading forts started to supply miners as well as trappers. Fort Kamloops was moved to the North Shore to support routes for the gold rush and the movement of cattle. The Hudsons Bay Company’s Brigade Trail crossed the north shore and then the Tranquille River, climbed the hills across the Dewdrop Range, down to Copper creek, then up over the hills to Deadmans Valley and beyond to the Cariboo. The present site of Tranquille was on the route and a small settlement and some gold panning started at the mouth of the river, mostly by Natives from the area, including Jean Baptiste Lolo “St. Paul”, who went on to become a chief of the Shuswap people. Some minor trade in gold started in 1859, and a minor rush started soon thereafter. By 1861, hundreds of miners were working the creek. Production dropped by 1870 and many miners moved on to the construction of the CPR. Chinese miners continued on the Tranquille River until the 1890’s. At that time, hydraulic mining started with a company from the Coast building a 25 foot dam and a 1200 foot flume. A new mining boom started and continued until the 1930’s. Some platinum was found in the river and a number of miners continued to live off mining until the 1950’s. The Tranquille River is now known as one of three “18-carat rivers” in B.C. Today, we can still see evidence of the hydraulic mining along the river. Watching Creek is a tributary of the Tranquille River. From the mouth of the river, the canyons narrow down to a gorge with lava flows, hoodoos, slot canyons, and cliffs for 15 km. At that point two gorges meet at the confluence. Watching Creek flows down from the south end of the Bonaparte Plateau through Porcupine Meadows Provincial Park. Miners staked claims on Watching Creek too and worked the gorge. There are still two claims on the north side of the creek and recreational gold panners can still be seen from time to time. Rock hounds also access the canyon for green opal nodules and agate geodes. A rustic B.C. Forest Service Recreation sits on the west side of the river and the south side of Watching Creek is now part of Lac du Bois Provincial Park. This was the site of a homesteader named Paddy Docksteader. He was a horse trader who had worked for the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. He had many stories to tell his neighbors. Drive the short road down to a grassy bench where camping is permitted. Another trail leads down to the creek and along the edge of the bluffs. Hoodoos and lava flows can be seen at various points. Trails once led from the recreation site across the river on two bridges, but both are washed out now. Instead, a narrow road from Tranquille Crossing (at the 15km sign) follows the river back to Watching Creek over 2.5km. A trail network is used by hikers, gold panners, and rock hounds to explore the Watching Creek Valley or south along the east side of the Tranquille River. On your next trip up the Red Lake Road, stop at Watching Creek for a quiet spot to explore, gold pan, rock hound, hike, or geocache.@village of ashcroft | @Love Clinton | @village of cache creek | @district of logan lake | @savona activities | @Lillooet British Columbia#TrailingTuesday #AdventureToLearn#ExploreBC #ExploreGoldCountryBC #Geocaching ... See MoreSee Less