Highway 39; 29km (18 miles) west of the junction of Highways 39 and 97; 185 km (120 miles) north of Prince George. Population: 4,500. Visitor Information: Mackenzie Visitor InfoCentre at highway junction; Phone (250) 750-4497. Mackenzie Chamber of Commerce, 86 Centennial Drive, PO Box 880, Mackenzie, BC V0J 2C0; Phone (250) 997-5459; Email: mackenziechamber.bc.ca
Located in the central interior of British Columbia in the Rocky Mountain Trench, Mackenzie lies at the base of the Omineca Mountain Range with the Rocky Mountains to the east. The town was named after the famous explorer Alexander Mackenzie, who camped near the town site on his epic journey to the Pacific in 1793. Until 1965, the area was wilderness. As a result of the development of large pulp and lumber manufacturing facilities, the District of Mackenzie was created. Today, Mackenzie is home to several large industrial facilities including sawmill complexes, a paper mill, pulp mill and finger jointing mill. Mackenzie is the gateway to Williston Lake, the largest man-made reservoir in North America, created by the W.A.C. Bennett Dam on the Peace River. Mackenzie is home to the world’s largest tree crusher, a giant machine weighing 175 tons that was used to clear non-merchantable timber prior to the flooding of Williston Lake.
Mackenzie offers many amenities to travelers, including a well-equipped and modern recreation complex housing a library, ice arena, curling rink, weight room and a 25-meter swimming pool complete with whirlpool and sauna. A challenging nine-hole golf course, ball diamonds, tennis courts, bowling alley complex and a diverse trail system represent a variety of recreation opportunities. Visit the numerous retail and specialty stores and stop for a bite to eat at one of the many dining establishments.
Mackenzie is surrounded by a variety of Provincial and Forestry Recreation campsites. These range from rustic sites to developed full service campsites. Also within the township, there is a Municipal RV Park with washroom/shower facilities flush toilets, fresh drinking water and sani-dump facilities. Beautiful Morfee Lake, only a ten-minute walk from downtown Mackenzie, offers excellent swimming, sunbathing, water-skiing and boating.
The natural unspoiled wilderness of the Rocky Mountain Trench is an outdoor paradise, considered one of the best fishing and hunting areas in the world. Surrounded by rivers, lakes and creeks, fisherman can try their luck with rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, arctic char and grayling.
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