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Moose Valley Provincial Park
About This Park
Moose Valley Provincial Park comprises 2,322 hectares of rolling landscape scattered with lakes and wetlands. The area was proposed for protection through the Cariboo public CORE process, and was originally designated a park through the Cariboo Chilcotin Land Use Plan in 1995. The park protects a chain of 12 small lakes, popular as a day or overnight canoeing destination. It is an idyllic place to visit, rewarding paddlers with clear, shallow lakes and abundant aquatic plants and flowers. The many tiny reed-fringed islands and surrounding marshes provide excellent habitat for deer, moose, waterfowl and amphibians.
Stuart Maitland, a local guide outfitter, first cleared and named portages linking the main lakes in the Moose Valley Canoe Chain in the early 1970s, with assistance from Hugh Kirkland and Kevin Marks. These three ambitious young men were in their late teens at the time, and independently sought government assistance to do the work. Today, the three main lakes in the chain are named after the youth who first developed the route. The route was later upgraded in 1987/88 by youth members of the Provincial Job Trac program.
The park is a wonderful place to spend leisure time canoeing, bird-watching, and wildlife viewing. Canoeing along the Moose Valley Canoe Chain is the primary recreational activity, and both day and overnight trips are popular. Camping areas are available at either end of the canoe route, but the only developed sites are located at the main access point at Marks Lake and at the north end of Maitland Lake. While the 1100 Road into Moose Valley isn't maintained in winter, the area is still a haven for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing. A local outfitter offers one to two-day dog sled tours in the winter and guided canoe trips in the park.
Wetlands and sphagnum bogs can be accessed and viewed via canoe.
Know Before You Go
- Drive with caution on access roads, which can become very slippery after rain. Four-wheel drive high clearance vehicles are recommended.
Nature and Culture
- History: Lake names recognize the efforts of those who established the canoeing area, such as Stuart Maitland, a local guide outfitter who first cleared and named portage routes in the mid 1970s.
- Conservation: Moose Valley Provincial Park protects relatively undisturbed wetlands nestled within a dry rolling landscape. These numerous wetlands and small lakes provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species, and are also very rich in delicate sphagnum mosses, which are an important part of the ecosystem. It has been shown that water is purified as it travels through this vegetation.
The floating peat bogs are very sensitive to degradation by canoeists during low water levels. Because of this, portions of the chain may be restricted during such times. Please do not attempt to push your canoe through at low water.
The landscape in and surrounding the park provides a snapshot of the area’s glacial history. This extensive wetland complex was the result of the last ice age. Lakes and small ponds were left behind following the melting of large chunks of buried glacial ice. Now they are annually replenished by snow-melt and underground springs. The forested rocky outcrops surrounding the park are also a product of the last ice age.
- Wildlife: The numerous wetlands and small lakes provide habitat for muskrat and beaver, waterfowl, and of course moose. This area abounds with birds – owls, hawks, grouse, woodpeckers, ducks, loons, grebes, sandhill cranes and a wide variety of songbirds.
- Management Planning Information
- An approved management plan for Moose Valley / Flat Lake Provincial Parks [PDF 1.6MB]