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Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park

Old Man Lake Provincial Park

About This Park

Old Man Lake Park includes Old Man Lake, Beaver Lake and a portion of McBreirie Lake, as well as the land surrounding and connecting the lakes. The park is an ecologically significant complex of small lakes, marshy shorelines and wetlands. As a result of the abundant aquatic vegetation, the area is an important feeding area for migratory birds and contains locally rare breeding populations of Black Tern and Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

The park contains natural grasslands located on the south-facing slopes which are frequented by moose and deer. Recreational use in the park includes canoeing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Park Size: 326 hectares

Special Notes:
  • Ducks Unlimited has removed the dam infrastructure from just outside the park boundary, reducing the water levels of Old Man Lake.
  • Canoe access to the park may prove difficult due to reduced water levels.
  • There are no beaches within Old Man Lake Park. The marshy shorelines do not allow easy swimming access.
Stay Safe:
  • Please bring lifejackets and throwbags if you plan to canoe in Old Man Lake Park.
  • Bring your own drinking water as potable water is not available in the park.
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Location and Maps

Please note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation. Old Man Lake Park is located in west-central British Columbia, approximately 20 km east of Houston. Access to the park is via the Heading Creek Forest Service road from Highway 16, 8 km east of Houston. Proceed up Heading Creek Road approximately 10 km. Look for the Chapman family sign and turn left on their private road. Make a right turn off the Chapman Road to access Old Man Lake Park.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
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Nature and Culture

  • History: Originally named Goose Lake, Old Man Lake was renamed in 1936 in honour of an elderly settler that lived in the local area.

    An earthen berm dam and overflow channel were constructed in 1987 just downstream of the western park boundary in order to create higher water levels to enhance waterfowl habitat in the Old Man Lake system. In 2009, actions to remove the dam were initiated because of erosion of the overflow channel. Complete removal of the dam infrastructure is still pending.

    This park is one of seven new parks and protected areas resulting from the Morice Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) and associated government-to-government discussions with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en. Legislation of the park occurred in July, 2008.
  • Culture: The park lies in the Tze Zul and Gguzih Keyikh house territories within the Wet’suwet’en territory. The Tze Zul house territory is in the house of Ginehklaiyex (House of Many Eyes) that belongs to the Laksilyu (Small Frog) clan. The Gguzih Keyikh house territory is in the house of Kayex (Birchbark House) that belongs to the Gilseyhyu (Big Frog) clan.

    Contributing to the parks cultural significance is the abundance of berry thickets on the south-facing natural grasslands including Saskatoon berries, huckleberries, cranberries and blueberries. The area also has abundant moose, and is known for wild rice (Fritillaria camschatcensis) and wild celery.

    The cultural heritage role for Old Man Lake Park is to provide a connection to place for the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Cultural heritage on the land is the essence of the Wet’suwet’en identity.
  • Conservation: Old Man Lake Park protects rare wetland ecosystems that offer high value breeding and migratory bird habitat. Red listed Saskatoon Slender wheatgrass grasslands are also protected along with south facing grassland slopes that provide high quality ungulate winter range. Additionally, the park contains a high diversity of berry producing shrubs and food producing plants that are historically important to the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.
  • Wildlife: Old Man Lake Park provides important habitat for wildlife that live in and around the park and contains important ungulate winter range. Lower snow depths are important for moose and deer. American Bitterns (blue-listed) have been heard in the Old Man Lake area and are suspected to be breeding in the park. Trumpeter Swans are known to breed in the park and a garter snake winter den has been noted in the park. The area is routinely used as a stopover by migratory birds and contains locally rare breeding populations of Black Tern and Yellow-headed Blackbird. Peregrine Falcons (red-listed) have been observed preying on waterfowl in the Old Man Lake/China Nose area. The cliffs on China Nose Mountain are an ideal nesting location for Peregrine Falcons with good access to prey in Old Man Lake Park. Old Man Lake is eutrophic, and vulnerable to winter kill due to its shallowness and extremely abundant growth of aquatic weeds. Suitable habitat for Rainbow Trout is present.
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Management Planning

Management Planning
  • The management plan for Old Man Lake Provincial Park was approved in Oct 2010.
    View management plan [PDF 2.13MB]
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

Old Man Lake makes an excellent day paddling trip.  Launch your canoe outside of the park at the Ducks Unlimited Canada Dam and then follow the waterways in to Old Man Lake. 
Fishing

Fishing

Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure. Trail Information There are no developed trails at this park. A system of old skid trails in the eastern portion of the park provides some hiking opportunities in young pine forest. The trails provide a view over Beaver Lake to the prominent China Nose mountain to the south east.
Hunting

Hunting

Hunting is allowed in the park. All hunters to the area should refer to the current BC Hunting Regulation Synopsis.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Bird watching and wildlife viewing are popular activities within Old Man Lake Park.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Campfires

Campfires

Campfires are permitted, but there are no designated campsites or fire rings within the park.