If you’re looking for a charming small town to visit over the holidays this year, look no further than Fort St. John in the Peace River region. With plenty of paved trails, popular snowshoeing paths, and over 29 parks to explore, it’s no wonder why it’s known as ‘The Energetic City.’

While the title primarily refers to the town’s large supply of oil and natural gas, it also reflects its population’s average age, according to the town’s website, which is 9 years younger than the rest of the province.

Established in 1794 as ‘Rocky Mountain Fort,’ the original area was used as a trading post for the Beaver and Sikanni First Nations. The town has since undergone five location changes.

While there aren’t any official records, the town’s website says that the area was renamed when one of the Hudson’s Bay Company posts was operated on Saint Jean Baptiste Day.

Today, the North Peace Cultural Centre serves as an arts & culture hub for live theatre, concerts, and other performances. So if you’re keen on visiting, a stop at the centre for one of their upcoming shows is a must.

High on Ice Winter Festival

Every year, Fort. St. John throws its signature High on Ice Winter Festival, which features professional ice carvings, exciting ice slides, and other winter-themed activities at Centennial Park.

The 2024 festival will take place from February 16th to 19th.

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As well, visitors during the cold months can lace up their cross-country skis and head to the famed Beatton Provincial Park, which boasts 15 km of well-groomed ski trails.

So there you have it, Vancouver. If you need something to look forward to this winter, consider putting Fort St. John’s High on Ice Winter Festival on your calendar!

Stay tuned for more info on the 2024 fest, including featured ice carvers.

Fort St. John 

Where: Peace River Region, BC