There are a number of places to go dog sledding in British Columbia, but the Barkerville Historic Town & Park offers a truly nostalgic experience.
Located on the north slope of the Cariboo Plateau near the Cariboo Mountains, Barkerville is a living testament to how the province was built up after the gold rush. Named after Billy Barker, who had a legendary gold strike on Williams Creek, the town offers 125 heritage buildings, period displays, satellite museums, restaurants and shops.
In addition, its annual dog sledding event has taken place on the fourth weekend of January for over 25 years. Dog teams and mushers come from far and wide to partake in the event, which takes place over four days. They are sworn in as official mail carriers and carry Canada Post mail in their sleds on the trail to the town.
The event commences in Quesnel and then goes to Wells before ending in Barkerville, and the Special Mail Run envelopes are uniquely designed by local talent every year. They are stamped “Carried by Dog Team” after they are printed and sold from the event website and hand cancelled by volunteers in Quesnel, Wells and Barkerville – the three post office stops on the trail.
Once the trail is complete, however, the mail is entered into the regular cycle for delivery anywhere in the world.
Barkerville also offers a plethora of other fun winter activities, such as tubing on the Shamrock Tube Run, or skating in the outdoor activity shelter, and its cafe offers yummy hot chocolate and coffee to warm up.