Kluskoil Lake Park was established as a protected area under the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan and designated a class A park in 1995.
The trail we now call the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail has been used for centuries by the Nuxalk, Carrier and other Indigenous peoples as a major trade and travel route. Eulachon oil from the Pacific Coast was rendered and carried in cedar boxes along this route, often referred to as the Grease Trail. Dried fish, cedar-bark and berries from the coast were also traded for moose hides, beaver and obsidian from the interior. Many Indigenous people from the Southern Carrier Nation lived seasonally along sections of the trail and continue to do so today. Archaeological research has identified prehistoric sites near or on the trail, with evidence of stone tool use or manufacture and recognized heritage values that go back thousands of years.
Members of the Southern Carrier Nation guided Alexander Mackenzie on this trail in 1793, during his search to find a trade route to the Pacific Coast for the Northwest Company. Mackenzie was the first European to cross North America. Kluskoil Lake Park encompasses only a short portion of the Heritage Trail. Mackenzie and his party of nine men camped in what is now the park, beside the Blackwater River west of Kluskoil Lake, on July 8th, 1793.
A very rough road runs through the park and sections of it travel over the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail. This trail is protected as a historic site under the Heritage Conservation Act. Motor vehicle access is permitted up to the park’s western boundary. Please stay on the road if travelling in a vehicle or ATV. The trail is managed by the Forest Service outside the park.
The park supports numerous wetlands in a rolling landscape, and contains important habitat for moose, fisher, lynx, and aquatic furbearers. It also encompasses two small untouched watersheds that are representative of the region. The Blackwater (West Road) River, its tributaries and Kluskoil Lake support a high diversity of fish species. The Blackwater River is designated as Class II Classified Waters. Please check the BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis for more information on licensing requirements.
Hunting is permitted in Kluskoil Lake Park from September 1 to June 30. Please check the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis for more information.
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