Sample local history, local food, and the beauty of the Peace River Valley with this weekend tour of Dunvegan area and Fairview.
Approx. 1-2 days
The Dunvegan Nature and History Tour explores the historic Dunvegan area, one of the jewels of the Mighty Peace Region at any time of year. With spectacular views of the Dunvegan Bridge and the tree-covered rolling hills of the valley, as well as a campground, day use area, guided historical tours, riverside and hillside trails, a market garden, and even a mini-golf course, this tour can be enjoyed by families, history buffs, and wild-at-heart wanderers.
The tour begins an easy one-hour drive from Grande Prairie, with all the amenities of Fairview only fifteen minutes further north along Highway 2.
If you want to be reminded of a simpler time for a day or two, the Dunvegan Nature and History Tour is perfect for you.
Historic Dunvegan Provincial Park
Come early and begin the day with a tour of this historic trading post and Indigenous gathering place. Historic interpreters will guide you through one of two themed tours through the four authentically restored historic buildings in the park. Be sure to contact the Visitor Centre at least a day in advance if you want a guide. For last-minute travellers, enjoy the grounds and playground at any time, browse the Visitor Centre and Gift Shop, or camp at the nearby provincially-run campsite on the banks of the Peace River while you enjoy the local amenities (including a cell phone service-free getaway experience—just like the pioneers had).
After your morning exploring the local history, grab your picnic lunch and walk along the riverside trails to the Maples day use area on the west side of the Dunvegan Bridge. Eat in the shade of the eponymous maple trees while enjoying spectacular views of the river and bridge (which contrasts in glorious yellow in summer and lets the spectacular fall foliage take centre stage in autumn). There’s a boat launch right across the river if you’d rather experience the Mighty Peace more “up close and personal.” Just make sure not to take a dunk by accident—the current is very strong here. Wet toes only, please!
Dunvegan Market Gardens
After lunch, stroll back to the east side of the bridge to enjoy the Dunvegan Market Gardens. Work off your meal on the mini-golf course and then cool off with ice cream. Check out the garden centre gift shop and make sure to buy some fresh market produce or pick some U-pick strawberries (when they’re in season) before you leave. They’ll be a tasty reminders of your adventures in Dunvegan when you move on, or delicious additions to supper at your campsite.
If you’d like a hot evening meal without the work, hop in the car and drive 15 minutes to Fairview for dinner at the family-friendly Heilan Beer House craft brewery and local eatery. For a taste of the exotic, check out Butter Chicken Co.’s authentic Indian cuisine. Or take the kids to local pizzerias Grandma Pizza or Pizza Haven. Eat local—and let someone else do the dishes!
If you brought your tent or holiday trailer, you’ll feel right at home at the powered sites of Dunvegan Provincial Park and be within walking distance of nearly all the above activities. For those who prefer room service over s’mores for their evening snacks and a return to Wi-Fi at the end of the day, enjoy the hospitality of Dunvegan Inn and Suites in Fairview. The Deluxe Suites are so cozy and luxurious, you won’t want to go back home! Or combine the best of town and country experiences with a stay at the charming Victorian-style Oliver House Bed and Breakfast on an expansive property just minutes north of Fairview.
After breakfast on Day Two, you can take it easy while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, get some exercise while you head up the trail clinging to the side of the Peace River Valley behind the teepees at Dunvegan for even more breath-taking views.
If you happen to be here on a weekday, check out the Fairview Pioneer Museum, which is located 1 km north of town on Highway 732 (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday from May to September) for another dose of local history.
Wasn’t that refreshing?