This tour starts in Houston and follows Hwy. 16 west to Telkwa where you turn off the main Hwy. and start the rest of the tour on the back roads to Granisle, situated on beautiful Babine Lake. There are many pretty places to stop and take pictures or enjoy a walk at one of the many rest areas, the flowers are gorgeous when in season. Choose a sunny day, pack a lunch to eat along the way and discover some of the attractions on the back roads.
Driving along the Hwy., the Telkwa Mountain Range is directly ahead. After Finning, on the Morice River Road, is where two major sawmills and two minor sawmills are. Forestry is the main industry in Houston. Just past this road and over the overpass, there is a Northwood picnic and rest area on the Bulkley River.
Continuing along up the hill, you will notice a sign for picnicking at Irrigation Lake. Besides being a great place to swim, it also has a couple of picnic tables and a play area for children or the young at heart. On the top of the hill, there is another rest area with a breathtaking view of the valley. Further up, you will notice a road on the right called Round Lake East which will give you a quick side trip of 5km around a small lake. There is a hall, kitchen shelter, picnicking spot, dock, and a boat launch, here you are able to swim and fish.
Back on the Hwy. again, a little ways up, there will be another rest area on your left called the Bulkley View Rest Area. This is another fantastic view of the Telkwa Range and the Bulkley River. Along the Hwy., on the left there is Woodmere Nursery, here the seeding for our forests is grown. There is an RV park, Fort Telkwa RV Park, on the left close to the Bulkley River. You have almost reached the village of Telkwa, where the two rivers meet (the Bulkley and Telkwa River).
In town, you will turn right, up a hill on Tyhee Lake Rd., this road is just after a picnic spot. You can also find the Tyhee Lake Provincial Park if you turn off in approximately 1km, but if you wish to continue this tour keep to the Tyhee Lake Rd.
Turn right onto Babine Lake Rd. to continue tour. Note the grand view of Tyhee Lake set against the Telkwa Range. The first section of this road is paved and winds through dairy farms, you will come to a junction of Babine Lake Rd. and Burnt Cabin Rd., keep right on Babine Lake Rd. you will cross Mckendrick Creek and also notice a replanted forest. There will be many lakes you will pass like Chapman Lake, which has a forestry site on it.
On your right side you will notice a sign saying “to Granisle” turn here on the Granisle cut-off road. You will reach a junction; turn right towards Granisle on the Granisle Rd. Soon the road will become paved. Along this road there are many things to see and do, there are a couple of beaches, Lions Beach and a little further up are Red Bluff Provincial Park, which are quite pretty. Continuing on will be the Fulton River Fisheries where you may stop and see the salmon. To your left, just after the fish hatcheries you will see a small community, Topley Landing. Continuing on, a lookout rest area will be on your left. Topley, a small town will be at the junction of the Granisle Rd., there are two restaurants, a hotel, a small store, as well as a second hand store and post office. Turn right to return to Houston (turning left will take you towards Burns Lake and Prince George).
A rest area to the left will be just outside of Topley. You will pass a small community, Perow. Uplands motel and coffee shop will be farther up to your right. A rest area will be on the right. You are almost back to Houston, the end of your circle tour. There are many more things to do here in Houston, so stop back at the Info Centre for more information.
Francois Lake Loop:
This scenic route takes you through the Morice Forest District and along the north side of beautiful Francois Lake. Going west from Houston on Highway 16 and just past Finning, take the Morice Owen Forest Service Road. Watch for moose in the area and enjoy the Owen Lake Recreation Site at 39 km.
Continuing South from Owen Lake the road curves to the east and becomes the Owen East Forest Service Road. At the junction of Owen East and Colleymont Road you will get your first glimpse of the beautiful and peaceful scenery of François Lake West.
Your first stop along the Colleymont Road should be the small community of Noralee. Take a break at one of the fishing resorts along the lakefront and a “must see” is the Joan’s Chapel located at Noralee – check out the local legend behind the name of the church! There are many sites to see along Colleymont Road including Clemretta Ranch; the Colleymont area (the oldest area in the Bulkley Valley/Lakes District); the Omenica Llama Ranch, and Francois Lake. To Return to Houston turn right to continue on your journey turn left.
Morice River, Buck Flats Loop:
This three-and-a-half-hour scenic route will take you through the winding path of the Morice River. Just past Finning as you head west from Houston on Highway 16, turn left on the Morice River Forest Service Road. At 17 km, stop for a picnic or do a little fishing at the Aspen Recreation Site. At 27.5 km, turn onto the rough 17 Carrier Forest Service Road. It’s here that you’ll have the best view of Morice Mountain. And from here, you might like to take a quick fishing trip at Emil or Parrott Lakes.
At the next junction, you can choose to turn right cross a bridge and experience the walking trails at Buck Falls, or turn left, and you’ll be heading back to Houston, with Buck Creek on your right, at 8km. Morice Mountain Ski Trails (a trail Network of approximately 40 km) have developed and named the Houston Community Forest. Travel down the Buck Flats Road to Highway 16, turn right and you’ll be back in Houston.