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.
Located southeast of Lillooet, Cliff and Gorge Vineyards offers amazing wine tasting and a beautiful scenic landscape including two signed walks to heighten your experience. Reviews: 5/5 star averageJeanette Freiberg5/5 stars 3 weeks ago"A hidden gem, a fabulous host, and the most breathtaking scenery! Eckhard was so welcoming and accommodating. He’s a great conversationalist and made us feel right at home. We took a 25-minute walk around the gorge (accompanied by the best dog!) and caught stunning views. Eckhard then joined us for a picnic (we brought our own food) and we stayed well into the night. A wonderful experience. Thank you!"Sulliman Aïad5/5 stars 11 months ago"Amazing views, amazing hike, amazing chat with the owner and overall amazing experience at Cliff and Gorge. If you're looking for a wine tasting where you can take your time, enjoy the sun, and have a leisurely chat with the owner, you've found the right place - and, I believe, one of the only places in BC where you can get this kind of personal experience."Brandi Read5/5 stars 2 years ago"My favourite winery experiences are those that feel like you've pulled up to someone's barn and then they surprise you by pouring a delicious glass of wine from their farm. Cliff and Gorge is no flashy big-time winery. It is local, thoughtful, delicious small batch wines cultivated in a rugged and beautiful part of the country. The whites and rose are perfume-y and I could sit all day under those big trees sipping and staring at the weather systems that roll along that beautiful mountain range. Worth the trek."Visit Cliff and Gorge Vineyards at18460 Texas Creek Rd, Lillooet, BC V0K 1V0250-256-8000www.cliffandgorge.com/#SupportLocal #ExploreGoldCountryBC #ExploreBC #Geocaching #GreenLake #70MileHouse #BigBarLake #LoonLake #ClintonBC #HatCreek #CacheCreek #Savona #Walhachin #Ashcroft #Lillooet #LoganLake #SpencesBridge #Lytton... See MoreSee Less
The Great Pond Snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) is a fascinating freshwater gastropod mollusk that can be found in ponds, lakes, slow-moving rivers, and marshes across Europe, parts of Asia, and North America. As a popular subject of study for biologists and nature enthusiasts alike, these snails boast a range of unique characteristics and behaviours. Let's dive into the world of Great Pond Snails and learn more about these intriguing creatures!The Great Pond Snail is one of the larger snail species, with adult individuals typically reaching a size of about 1.5 to 2 inches (4-5 cm) in length. They have a spiral-shaped, coiled shell that is usually a light to dark brown colour, with prominent growth rings. The shell serves as protection for the snail's soft body and can be withdrawn entirely inside when threatened.Great Pond Snails are primarily aquatic creatures, preferring still or slow-moving freshwater bodies. They are adaptable and can be found in various habitats, from clear waters to more nutrient-rich, eutrophic environments. This widespread species has been introduced to many parts of the world, sometimes unintentionally through the movement of aquatic plants or fish.These snails are herbivores and predominantly graze on algae, which they scrape off rocks and other submerged surfaces. They use their radula, a specialized tongue-like organ with tiny teeth, to rasp away at the algae. Additionally, Great Pond Snails have been known to eat decaying plant matter and detritus, contributing to the ecosystem's nutrient cycling.One of the most intriguing features of Great Pond Snails is their respiratory system. They possess a specialized structure called a "pulmonary cavity" that functions as a lung, allowing them to breathe oxygen from the air while being submerged. To facilitate this, the snails surface periodically and extend a small snorkel-like tube, known as a "pallial siphon," to the water's surface to breathe.Great Pond Snails are hermaphroditic, which means each individual possesses both male and female reproductive organs. However, they still require a partner for mating. During mating, both snails transfer sperm to each other, and each can lay eggs fertilized by the partner's sperm. The eggs are deposited in gelatinous masses attached to submerged objects and vegetation, providing protection for the developing embryos.Great Pond Snails play a crucial role in freshwater ecosystems. As algae grazers, they help to control algal blooms and maintain the ecological balance in their habitats. Additionally, they serve as a food source for various predators, such as birds, fish, and insects, contributing to the food web's dynamics.Though they lack eyes, Great Pond Snails have a well-developed sense of touch and chemical sensing. They utilize tactile and chemical cues to navigate their environment, locate food, and detect potential threats.While Great Pond Snails are generally abundant and not considered endangered, their populations can be affected by habitat destruction, pollution, and the introduction of invasive species. Efforts to preserve and protect their habitats are crucial to maintaining healthy freshwater ecosystems. Photo: Water snail Rex 1 Public Domain, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=219513#WildlifeWednesday #ExploreGoldCountryBC #ExploreBC #Geocaching #GreenLake #70MileHouse #BigBarLake #LoonLake #ClintonBC #HatCreek #CacheCreek #Savona #Walhachin #Ashcroft #Lillooet #LoganLake #SpencesBridge #Lytton... See MoreSee Less
The Paska Lake Paddle "Trail" is a 4Km long route excellent for paddle sports. Be sure to bring your kayak if you're headed to the beautiful Paska Lake.#TrailingTuesday #ExploreGoldCountryBC #ExploreBC #Geocaching #70MileHouse #GreenLake #BigBarLake #LoonLake #ClintonBC #HatCreek #CacheCreek #Savona #Walhachin #Ashcroft #Lillooet #LoganLake #SpencesBridge #Lytton... See MoreSee Less