Babine Lake is over 170 km long (over a 100 miles) and the longest natural freshwater lake entirely in British Columbia. Occupying a large area around it is the Babine Lake Marine Provincial Park. This park is one of the quietest and most peaceful parks in the area. Located about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Burns Lake, Babine Lake Marine Provincial Park is one of the four provincial parks located in this picturesque landscape.
Babine Lake has a somewhat unusual sort of infrastructure compared to most parks. It boasts six different sites within its boundaries, appearing as six smaller parks within a big one. Two of the sites offer primitive camping opportunities free of charge; the remaining four offer day-use areas, beaches, boat anchorage, picnic tables, and hunting opportunities.
Pendleton Bay and Smithers Landing are the two sites in the park that were formed earlier than the others. The former is often used as the start-off point for the excursion of the famous lake, the latter is more famous for its slow pace activities such as fishing, and enjoying the lazy sunsets.
This low-profile, yet scenic and fish-bearing Provincial Park was established in 1993, by order-in-council, and initiated with two sites. The didn't add the remaining four sites into the park, namely, the Hook (Deep) Bay, Pierre Creek, Pinkus Creek, and Sandpoint until 2001.
Most of the campsites at this park are located right at the water, providing breathtaking lakeshore panoramic views and a chance to spend days enjoying BC’s magnificent wildlife and natural beauty
The park is located 28 miles from the closest community of Burns Lake in the North-Central Interior of British Columbia. Take the Babine Lake Road, north of Burns Lake and drive straight for nearly 12 miles before taking a left onto the Augier FSR. Follow the road for some 6 miles. At the kilometer 47 sign, turn right and follow the road for the next 3 miles. You’ll reach the park situated on the southwest shore of Babine Lake.
All the campsites at Babine Lake Marine Provincial Park are free of charge and primitive with very few facilities. It allows campers to jump headfirst into the wilderness and enjoy the thrill of raw nature around them.
The Pendleton Bay Sites are located at the southwest shore of Babine Lake. This campground boasts 20 regular-sized campsites. Out of these sites, only 16 are vehicle accessible.
All the sites are unserviced, and the campers need to pack out everything they bring in. Some of the RV sites are spread out under trees, while others provide a beachfront view. This is the only site with a public boat launch. There are toilets present at the site. The setting here is very quiet and natural.
Located on the west shore of the Babine Lake, Smithers Landing is perfect for those craving a slower pace. It has six unserviced campsites and a toilet. This remote site is also free of charge which makes it a wonderful base to use to explore the surrounding region. As the location is unserviced, make sure you bring all your necessary supplies with you and pack out what you bring in.
The park wouldn’t deprive campers of boating opportunities with this big lake right in front of them. Canoeing, motor-boating, and flat water kayaking are all offered here. The boat launch at the park is gravel, and all the sites have boat anchorages. Babine Lake is so long that it takes one week to cover the entire distance if one wishes to. With such a huge shoreline to hug, boaters get to explore the vast surrounding beauty without ever venturing too far out.
This park is open for the hunters, so if you are one, make sure you don’t miss your chance during the open season. Refer to the BC Hunting and Trapping Regulation Synopsis before hunting here. Some areas are ‘no shooting’ so make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules. Standpoint Site is deep into the wilderness and a good starting point for game hunting.
It’s quite impossible to resist swimming in the serene and inviting Babine Lake. There are no lifeguards, and no buoyed swimming areas, yet that never stops the campers from jumping in. Just make sure you assign someone from your camping group to stand guard and keep an eye out on everyone and take the necessary safety precautions.
The expansive fish-bearing lake is a source of joy for anglers. There’s burbot to catch and a large variety of trout to chase after and snare. Most anglers enjoy the challenge of catching char, cutthroat trout, and rainbow trout that have been known to be present in huge sizes. Try your hand at fly-fishing and trolling and you won’t be disappointed. Just make sure you have an appropriate fishing license.
While there are no trails or pathways specifically for cycling, campers are allowed to take the liberty of cruising around in their mountain bikes if they choose to do so. They only need to stick to the roadways and adhere to the British Columbia law of mandatory helmets. Most of the natural environment here is undisturbed, and cyclists get to experience the beauty up-close.
Anglers aren’t the only ones excited about the fish population. Grizzlies frequent the area to grab some salmon for themselves. Bald eagles and loons are also abundantly sighted at the park. Some other wild animals that come in contact with campers are bull moose and river otters. The park also has abundant species of flora that are simply stunning to look at during spring and fall.