STONY LAKE: A NEW TRMF – WNMS PROJECT

Thanks to welcome funding from BC 150, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation (TRMF) and Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society (WNMS) are teaming up to develop trails and information on Stony Lake. This lake has seen some of the most interesting history in the area, including northeastern BC?s first tourist resort in the 1930s, and the discovery of natural gas in Canada. It is situated 55km south-east of Tumbler Ridge along the Boundary Road. It is popular for camping, boating and fishing.

TRMF is developing a new permanent exhibit in the Community Centre to celebrate this history. This includes current photos as well as historic photos, and reproduction of paintings by renowned pioneer artist Euphemia McNaught. Brochures along the same lines are being published and printed by Tumbler Ridge News, and are available at the Tumbler Ridge Visitor Centre and at the lake and the trailhead (thanks to Mike Ekins for constructing the brochure boxes).

Some of the best preserved sections of the old Monkman Pass route are near Stony Lake, and there are tantalizing relics to be seen of the heroic work of the pioneers. WNMS has been reopening this stretch of historic trail, and an application has been submitted for Heritage Trail status. Workbees in 2007 and 2008 have turned this old overgrown route into a new attraction. One still needs to cross a short stretch of water, which is easily swimmable, although many prefer to do so by boat or canoe. Then on the far side one can visit the site of the old tourist cabins, see seventy-year old corduroy and the well preserved remains of the old bridge. The old ruts of the Model T Fords are still visible, as one is transported back in time to the 1930s.

Stony Lake forms an important stop on the Monkman Pass Memorial Trail driving tour, and the importance of this trail and tourist attraction will only increase as the Boundary Road gets paved and thus creates a shorter route from Tumbler Ridge to Grande Prairie.