Hudson’s Hope

Hudson’s Hope, playground of the Peace

Summer fun for families

2 cabins on a bluff next to the river.
The Hudson's Hope Museum trapper's cabin on the bank of the Peace River. — Photo courtesy of museum assistant manager Christian Eschenburg

Hudson’s Hope Museum

If you’re looking to add a little educational value to fun, quality time spent with the family this summer, the dinosaur history at the Hudson’s Hope Museum may make this municipality in northeastern British Columbia your destination of choice.

Privately run by the Historical Society of Hudson’s Hope, the Hudson’s Hope Museum offers 200 years of history from the local area, including dinosaur footprints and bones that were locally discovered.

According to assistant museum manager Christian Eschenburg, dinosaur bones were found during the construction of the local Peace Canyon Dam.

“A lot of the area here was at one time flooded, and that’s why (the dinosaurs) used to live here,” said Eschenburg. “The reason we found them was because they built the Peace Canyon Dam; they diverted the river and then they found the bones in the bed of the Peace River.”

While the original bones are in museums in Toronto and Victoria, Eschenburg said the Hudson’s Hope Museum is home to original size replicas.

“It is very unique,” said Eschenburg. “There is only one more place in the area, in Tumbler Ridge, where you can see them. “It’s nice to see for the kids. Kids like dinosaur stuff, and they can see all these nice footprints and replicas here. And we also have a little sandbox where the little ones can dig for fossils.”

In addition to opportunities for dinosaur discovery, Eschenburg said the museum is home to turtle exhibits, exhibits on the old outfitters, hunters and miners, and old buildings such as a trapper cabin and packhouse that “show the way of living for people in the late 1800s.”

He said the museum also annually features a special exhibit and that this year it will be “about all the old families which started the community of Hudson’s Hope.”

Opening in the middle of May, he said “every month will be a new exhibit from a family out of the area, which is interesting because we still have people living here from those families.”

Starting on the May long weekend, the year-round museum will extend its hours to be open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is by donation.

Cameron Lake

After making your dinosaur discoveries and learning about the lifestyle of the original settlers of the area, try your hand at going back to the basics at the Cameron Lake municipal campground.

According to District of Hudson’s Hope clerk Johanna Dupuis, on a hot day Cameron Lake “is the local place where people will flock, because you can’t swim in any of the other lakes near here.

“We’re surrounded by lakes that are glacial water, so you can’t swim in them,” said Dupuis. “But (Cameron Lake) is a little lake and it’s not very deep, so it warms up pretty good in the summer time. It’s a really good lake for the kids to swim and play in.”

At $15 per night, which includes an armload of firewood, the no-service, first-come, first-served Cameron Lake campground is very popular.

“The weekends are usually pretty busy,” Dupuis said. “But during the week is usually a lot slower, so you’d have a good chance.”

Cameron Lake is located between Hudson’s Hope and Moberly Lake, about 15 minutes out of town towards Chetwynd. The campground will officially open on the May long weekend and close on the September long weekend.

Hudson’s Hope Pool

For an in-town cool-down, Dupuis suggested bringing the family to the centrally located Hudson’s Hope Pool, an L-shaped pool with a shallow play area for small children and a six-to-eight-foot deep end.

“This outdoor pool has been here forever, since the 70s," said Dupuis. "It’s been refurbished from the original pool but it is in the same location. It’s very popular, especially on a hot day. They have a lot of toys that they put in the pool, lots of other kids are there, the park is right there and the tennis courts are right there.”

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