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On the shores of Stuart Lake; from Yellowhead Highway 16 turn north onto Highway 27 just west of Vanderhoof; 160 km northwest of Prince George. Population: 4757. Visitor Information: Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce, 115 Douglas Avenue, PO Box 1164, Fort St. James, BC V0J 1P0; Phone: (250) 996-7023 or (800) 608-7698; Email: fsjchamb@fsjames.com; Website: www.fortstjameschamber.ca.
 
Founded by Simon Fraser in 1806 on the shores of beautiful Stuart Lake as a fur trading post and the administrative capital of the New Caledonia region, Fort St. James is the gateway to a chain of rivers and lakes offering numerous year-round recreation activities. Camping, boating, fishing and hunting are among the most popular; others include cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice boating, canoeing, sailing and hiking. 
 
The Sustut River is a Class 1 angling river that attracts fly fisherman from around the world for salmon and trophy-sized steelhead trout. Stuart Lake is a boater’s paradise, with several marinas and boat launches; Cottonwood Marina, Pitka Bay Resort, Paarens Beach Provincial Park and Sowchea Bay Provincial Park all provide access to the lake. Several small aircraft and floatplane operators are available for charter.
 
History buffs will want to soak up the area’s rich past at the Fort St. James National Historic Site. Open May to September, the site features a museum, introductory film, interpreters in historic dress and several historic log buildings. Other points of interest include the ancient burial site of Carrier Chief Kwah, Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church and the monument to legendary bush pilot Russ Baker.
 
Art galleries, festivals and exhibits, a professional symphony orchestra and theatrical productions offer artistic and cultural experiences. The Cottonwood Music Festival is held every July in Cottonwood Park.
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