Peace River Wildland Provincial Park
|Peace River Wildland Provincial Park|
The confluence of the Smoky and Peace rivers in the Peace River Wildland Provincial Park
|Location||Birch Hills County, Northern Sunrise County|
|Nearest city||Peace River|
|Governing body||Alberta Community Development|
Peace River Wildland Provincial Park is located in the valley of the Peace River stretching from Dunvegan Provincial Park to the Smoky River confluence and 30 kilometers upstream of the Smoky River valley. Also included in the park is the Spirit River valley at the confluence with the Peace. While most of the park lies in the Birch Hills County, some of it is in the Northern Sunrise County immediately south of the Town of Peace River.
The Peace River Wildland Provincial Park preserves the forest and grassland habitats within the Peace River valleys since these areas are important wildlife corridors for deer, elk, wolf, bears and is also home to a wide variety of birds.
National Historic Site, Fort Fork Site is also located in the park on the east bank of the Peace River. The fort was built in 1792 by the North West Company. Explorers Alexander Mackenzie and David Thompson spent the winters at Fort Fork in 1792 and 1802 respectively. The fort was abandoned in 1805 and has since been almost completed eroded by the Peace River. A flag planted at Fort Fork's former site is all that remains. Mackenzie Cairn was erected on River Lot 19 along Shaftesbury Trail in the Municipal District of Peace No. 135 in 1929 to commemorate Fort Fork.
The confluence of the Peace and Smoky is dotted with small islands, some of which create slow moving waters and good fishing opportunities. Fish species include: Arctic Grayling, Brook Stickleback, Bull Trout, Burbot, Emerald Shiner, Flathead Chub, Goldeye, Kokanee, Lake Chub, Lake Trout, Lake Whitefish, Longnose Dace, Longnose Sucker, Mountain Whitefish, Ninespine Stickleback, Northern Pike, Northern Pikeminnow, Pearl Dace, Prickly Sculpin, Rainbow Trout, Redside Shiner, Slimy Sculpin, Spoonhead Sculpin, Spottail Shiner, Trout-Perch, Walleye, White Sucker and Yellow Perch.
Road access is limited although the Peace River Wildland Provincial Park features a number of trails for hiking, off-highway vehicle riding and snowmobiling. There are also viewing points located strategically in the park.
Tangent Park is a municipally owned park located 24 kilometres south of the Town of Peace River on Highway 740 (Shaftesbury Trail) within the Peace River Wildland Provincial Park. It is adcent to the Peace River and offers full hook ups, kitchen shelter, group picnic area, group camping area, tenting area, horse watering stations, concession, showers, hiking trails, horseshoes, playground, fishing.
The Shaftesbury Ferry operates on the Shaftesbury Trail (Highway 740) crossing over the 325 metre long Peace River crossing from the M.D. of Peace to the Birch Hills County. With a 38 T capacity, the 22.56 metre long by 12.12 metre wide by 1.22 meter hull depth ferry was built in 1962 and has a rated capacity of 2 crew, 46 passengers and 8 mid-size cars. Access to Tangent Park from the Town of Peace River involves a ride on this ferry. It is operated by Grimshaw based LaPrairie Works.
In winter, an ice road is built across the Peace River at this crossing location.
The Smoky River from a view point in the Peace River Wildland Provincial Park
The Shaftesbury Ferry on the Peace River