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Fishing on Francois Lake, Burns Lake (Picture BC photo)

Fishing on Francois Lake, Burns Lake

(Picture BC photo)

Transportation & Maps

Francois Lake Loop

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1 day, 70.21 km (43.63 mi)

Marshland around Burns Lake (Rob Lloyd photo)
Marshland around Burns Lake (Rob Lloyd photo)

This day-long circle route travels through the back roads south of Houston and Burns Lake towards Francois Lake, one of BC's largest natural freshwater lakes.

The peaceful scenery of huge farmlands and calm waters along the way is enchanting. Grab a Francois Lake Loop brochure from the Houston Visitor Centre or the Burns Lake Visitor Centre for more details.

Note: All of these routes include some driving on dirt or gravel back roads, but these are well-maintained and quite smooth. Most vehicles will do, though in winter, four-by-four and winter tires are necessary.

Select one of the parts to view its details:

All Parts
Burns Lake, Picture BC photo
Part 1
Burns Lake to Francois Lake Ferry

23.97 km - about 0 hours 42 min

Begin in downtown Burns Lake and turn south on Highway 35, close to the east end of town. Drive for about 15 minutes to get to the Francois Lake Ferry terminal. Along the way, stop to photograph picturesque Burns and Tchesinkut lakes. Both are also nice places for a swim in the summer.

Part 2
Optional Southside Route

31.03 km - about 1 hours 28 min

For a full circle route, take the free ferry across the lake then drive around Francois Lake's east or west side to return to Burns Lake. Alternatively, drive then take the ferry on the way back. While summer is a more popular time to go, winter is also great. Standing on its deck and watching the ferry, breaking through the ice chunks on its passage across Francois Lake, is thrilling.

Any visitor to Burns Lake must check out the area south of Francois Lake, the part of town commonly known as 'the southside.' The area is beautiful and vast, filled with farms, domestic and wild animals, and gorgeous lake views. Places of interest include tiny but charming communities such as Southbank, Danskin, and Grassy Plains. Most have a handful of houses, though Southbank also has a small building that serves as a store, restaurant, and post office. Across the street, is also a new log building which features the local farmers market, a room full of local goods for sale such as artwork, woodcraft, knitted items and canned jams. It's worth a visit to get a feel of the people in the area.

Francois Lake
Part 3
Northside of Francois Lake and Houston

15.21 km - about 0 hours 29 min

A not to miss sight is the alpaca farm on Colleymount Road, just a few minutes drive west of the Francois Lake Ferry terminal on the northside. This is BC's largest farm of its kind. It features 200 of the odd-looking but charming furry animals. Call ahead to book a tour during the summer.

Step out for a stroll at one of the many wilderness lodges en route, go for a refreshing swim, or just slow down to photograph the wildlife such as deer, or grazing cows strolling along the road. Head north to Houston via Morice River Road.

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Driving Directions

Part 1 - Burns Lake to Francois Lake Ferry - 23.97 km - about 0 hours 42 min
1.

Head southeast on Yellowhead Hwy E/BC-16 E toward Lower Lorne St

0.76 km
2.

Slight right onto N Francois Hwy/BC-35 S

22.30 km
3.

N Francois Hwy/BC-35 S turns right and becomes Colleymount Rd

0.90 km
Part 2 - Optional Southside Route - 31.03 km - about 1 hours 28 min
1.

Auf Ferry Ramp nach Süden starten

0.07 km
2.

Fähre Francois Lake, BC - Southbank, BC nehmen

2.81 km
3.

Geradeaus auf Ferry Ramp

0.3 km
4.

Rechts abbiegen auf Keefes Landing Rd

11.79 km
5.

Rechts abbiegen auf Tatalrose Rd

0.01 km
6.

Auf Tatalrose Rd nach Osten Richtung Keefes Landing Rd starten

0.01 km
7.

Links abbiegen auf Keefes Landing Rd

11.85 km
8.

Rechts abbiegen auf Ferry Ramp

0.23 km
9.

Fähre Francois Lake, BC - Southbank, BC nehmen

2.81 km
10.

Geradeaus auf Ferry Ramp

0.07 km
11.

Links abbiegen auf Colleymount RdDas Ziel befindet sich auf der rechten Seite.

1.08 km
Part 3 - Northside of Francois Lake and Houston - 15.21 km - about 0 hours 29 min
1.

Auf Colleymount Rd nach Westen Richtung Ager Rd starten

15.20 km
2.

Nach links abbiegen, um auf Colleymount Rd zu bleibenDas Ziel befindet sich auf der rechten Seite.

0.01 km
3.

0 km
4.

Head west on Colleymount Rd toward Ager Rd

15.20 km
5.

Turn left to stay on Colleymount Rd Destination will be on the right

0.01 km
6.

Head northeast on Colleymount Rd toward Owen Lake Rd

0.01 km
7.

Turn left at Owen Lake Rd

6.28 km
8.

Turn right toward Morice River Rd

31.95 km
9.

Continue straight onto Morice River Rd

27.28 km
10.

Turn right at Trans-Canada Hwy/Yellowhead Hwy E/BC-16 E Destination will be on the left

3.75 km