Unique remote wilderness ranch with a big log home, 640 acres (259 ha) of open fields and forest, with a strong trout-creek running through the whole property, surrounded by mountains and vast forest on crown land with hundreds of lakes, in the heart of the famous “Lakes District” in British Columbia.
The property is located between Francois Lake in the north (120 km long) and Ootsa Lake in the south, part of a 320 km long continuous chain of lakes that circle through Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, 200 km southeast from Smithers, 44 km southwest from Fraser Lake (Yellowhead Highway) and 210 km west from Prince George which is 786 km from Vancouver.
Right after you drive through Fraser Lake on Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway Prince George to Prince Rupert) take a left (south) on Francois Lake Road (paved), after 5 – 6 km take another left on Nithi Road and after 1 – 2 km turn right on Dahlgreen Road (gravel) that leads you around the east part of Francois Lake across a bridge into Forest Road 500. At km 511 you go right on Holy Cross Binta Forest Service Road (forest road 200). After you drive past several other lakes you will see Trout Lake on your left and after 3 more kilometers – at approximately km 258 (after 12 km on this road) – to the east part of the Binta Lake Ranch. The forest road which leads you through the whole ranch is maintained all year round and plowed in the winter. There is also access from Burns Lake, if you use the free Francois Lake Ferry.
640 acres (259 ha) ranging from gravel, clay, sand and dark soil to peat-soil, partly fenced overgrown meadows and hay fields, spruce and pine trees, some poplar and willows. Parts of the fences and trees burnt down in a wildfire in 2010. The property, at an altitude of 900 m, is surrounded by midsize mountains that constitutes a little sunny valley on its own.
The ranch is an old homestead which cannot be purchased from the Crown (government) any more.
A strong trout creek runs in full length of 2 miles (3.2 km) from east to west through the fields and leads through a deep wild canyon into Binta Lake (4.5 km away). The creek originates in Trout Lake that is fed from a spring producing 5000 liters of best drinking water per hour.
Besides a drilled well near the big log house there are several natural springs on the property. In the midst of never ending mountains and forest, the fields and the creek attract wildlife like a green oasis. Close to the south west part of the ranch there is beautiful “Singing Lake” (500 m long) accessible from the fields. The whole area is Crown Land; (95% of B.C. is owned by the government), except one small farm property 12 km away towards Fraser Lake and another private property approximately 8 km away on Binta Lake which has just been subdivided into several lakefront lots: www.canada-farm-ranch.com
Open range on Crown Land: The original rancher used years ago an area of 32 km x 32 km or 20 miles x 20 miles (102.400 hectares) as a grazing range surrounding the ranch. He was able to live with a big family off the land by raising cattle and cutting hay. A permit for the open range can be obtained under certain conditions from the government for an annual fee.
There is one big log home on the west half of the ranch: Approximately 250 square meters, big living room, kitchen, cold room, bathroom, 7 bedrooms, heating through a channel system from an underground stove (outside), drilled well in a shed, with artesian water flow.
Pictures from inside the log home after renovation a few years ago:
Furniture is no longer available
For power a generator has been used (solar is recommended and very effective in the area).
The log home would be very suitable as a comfortable residence or the main building/lodge of a bigger tourist operation as well as a seminar building.
PHONE/INTERNET: Satellite connection like Xplornet: https://www.xplornet.com/. An additional option is a Satellite phone which is flexible and can be used anywhere: http://ca.globalstar.com/en/
PICTURES: Click on the links below.
There are 4 seasons (spring April – May, summer June - August, fall September - October, winter November - March. The winters have a pleasant dry cold and are very beautiful. Because of the altitude (900 m) there is, most of the time, a lot of sunshine, blue skies and much better weather than in areas further below.
The Binta Lake Ranch and its surrounding nature is a paradise for hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts. There is a good wildlife population of moose, deer, grizzly and black bear, wolf, coyote, wolverine, lynx, geese (they nest in the fields every year), ducks, ptarmigan, grouse, snipe and hare in the area as well as elk, mountain sheep, mountain goat and caribou in the nearby mountains, accessible from the ranch.
Hundreds of lakes and the rivers in the Lakes District offer approximately 5000 km of shoreline to entice the sport fisher summer or winter. There is excellent fishing of salmon, char, rainbow trout (up to 10 lb) and steelhead. Binta Lake – we like to call it our “ranch-lake” (size 789 ha, 9 km long, lake char, rainbow trout, lake whitefish and mountain whitefish) – is famous for its big chars of up to 48 lb.
In this region of B.C. there is also good fishing for arctic grayling, burbot, inconnu, northern pike and sturgeon.
A good network of forest roads provide easy access to most of the lakes and rivers with provincial campsites and boat launches on many of them.
In Smithers there is one of the two best skiing areas in B.C. besides Whistler.
The opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, boating, cross country skiing and snowmobiling are endless.
There are many advantages living in the wilderness of this part of B.C. If you like hunting, fishing, mushroom, berry and herb picking and gardening, you will enjoy that the environment is still unpolluted and that you can consume your natural products without poisoning your body but enhancing your health and fitness.
A big deep freezer and drying, canning or smoking of wildlife and fish you harvested from nature, vegetables, potatoes and berries from your garden and meat from your own animals contribute not only to a healthy self-sufficient lifestyle but can create a lot of joy at the same time.
If you like to live in pure nature but still on the verge of civilization this property offers a rare to find opportunity with a high ideal value.
ADVANTAGES OF CROWN LAND:
You can practically use the Crown Land for hunting, fishing, mushroom, berry and herb picking as well as any other kind of recreational activities (horse riding, skiing, boating, ski doing, biking, hiking, camping, gold panning and flying) as if it would be your own property. Even if you own a much larger property yourself but are surrounded by other private properties, you usually enjoy the above mentioned activities right to your neighbors property lines, which might cause limitations, not to mention your neighbours influences on your privacy.
For these reasons I have personally experienced that a property surrounded by Crown Land is much more valuable and interesting than being surrounded by private properties. You actually need to own much less land yourself to do the same things. This also means less investment, taxes and responsibility. Properties like this usually have a high ideal value too, which influences their market value very much. The Government doesn't sell Crown Land anymore, that's why they are rare.
Ominica, also called North by Northwest, once the home of a vast fur trading empire, is a truly exceptional place. In this land of majestic fjords and snow capped mountain ranges, you can be in absolute wilderness at one moment and enjoy an elegant dinner in the center of town just an hour later. Explore the silent, primordial rainforests on the Queen Charlotte Islands or experience adventure along the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, gateway to Alaska and the Yukon.
The Lakes District: Stretching from Ootsa Lake in the south to Babine Lake in the north (100 km or 62 mile radius) this area is situated between the Fraser- and Skeena River watersheds. There are over 300 lakes providing good fishing for some of the largest rainbow trout and char in the province as well as excellent canoeing, kayaking and hiking. Access to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is from Burns Lake and Smithers by water plane or Ootsa Lake by boat. As there is no road access, visitors must enter the park on foot, by water or air.
Burns Lake: The “Heart of the Lakes District”, located on the shores of Burns Lake is a year round destination. The economic stays of this community include logging, farming and tourism. The construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway 1908 - 1914 brought settlers to this now supply centre for the Lakes District. Visit the Lakes District Museum and its logging exhibits. Burns Lake is located on the Yellowhead Highway 225 km (140 miles) west of Prince George.
The wilderness setting of Tweedsmuir Park is a magnet for some, while others find rock hounding for agates and opals at the Eagle Creek Deposits more to their interests.
From Binta Lake Ranch it is approximately 65 km drive north west to Burns Lake if you take the Francois Lake Ferry from Southbank across Francois Lake that leaves here every hour and is free.
The population is 2700 and of the surrounding area 8500.
The climate in the summer averages 16° C, in the winter minus 10° C, precipitation is 45.7 cm/yr.
Fraser Lake: A small town, 44 km north east of Binta Lake Ranch on the Yellowhead Highway provides grocery stores, schools, hospital and doctors, banks, motels, restaurants, gas stations and garages.
Prince George: The largest service centre for the northern part of British Columbia (population approximately 90.000, 210 km east) is perfectly situated at the crossroads of two major highways and two railways. Once a fur trading fort, Prince George now has all the modern amenities amidst a sea of natural attractions that entice visitors from around the world. As well as serving the north as an economic centre, Prince George is also home to Canada’s newest university, the University of Northern British Columbia, providing students from northern B. C. with more educational opportunities.
Prince George (2 1/2 hours drive from the ranch) has the largest airport in the area with several flights daily to Vancouver, Calgary and other destinations.
Smithers: The “Town for All Seasons” (population approximately 5.000, 200 km northwest) is set in the Bulkley Valley like a little town in the Alps. Surrounding mountains provide the backdrop for the downtown alpine decorations while also providing mountain lakes, rivers and waterfalls for the adventurous to experience and explore.
The spring and summer months lure the outdoor adventurer to the surrounding mountains to see nearby glaciers, hike or horseback ride the alpine meadows. The fossil formations at Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park are a haven for the rock hound. Area lodges cater to those who are keen for fishing, wildlife watching, canoeing, or even photo safaris. Fall lures the hunters and fishers, while the majestic changing colours of our Indian Summer are a magnet for the avid photographer. Dog sledding, cross country and downhill skiing plus snowmobiling are there for those who enjoy winter activities. Smithers offers one of the two best skiing areas in B. C. besides Whistler.
Smithers also boasts a colourful history. Once the divisional headquarters of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, the era can be relived at the Bulkley Valley Museum. The local wildlife museum and fish hatchery encourages a closer look at the regions natural inhabitants.
No matter what the season, Smithers offers a smorgasbord of activities guaranteed to whet the appetite of the explorer, thrill seeker or romantic.
Smithers has also another major airport with several flights daily to Vancouver.
Tweedsmuir North Provincial Park: The Tweedsmuir North Provincial Park is one of the the largest in B.C., encompassing more than 981,000 hectares in the west-central part of the province. The Ootsa-Whitesail Lakes Reservoir is to the north and northwest, the Coast Mountains to the west and southwest and to the east is the Interior Plateau. The Dean River is the natural dividing line between the north and south regions of the park.
Mountain goats, mule deer, moose, bear and wolves are resident in the forest of lodge pole pine, white spruce and Engelmann fir. The park’s lakes and rivers are home to fish such as mountain whitefish, rainbow trout, kokanee and burbot. Boating, angling camping, hiking, hunting and horseback riding are just some of the features that bring visitors to the park.
Water access from the Ootsa-Whitesail Lake Reservior is the most popular method of entry to the park. Boat launches are accessible by roads from the communities of Vanderhoof, Burns Lake and Houston. Charter float planes are available from Smithers and Burns Lake.
PROPERTY TAXES 2016:
$385.86(CDN) east half and $1,433.32(CDN) for the west half.
ZONING: Rural, not in the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve), any kind and number of buildings is allowed, only a septic system is required and needs approval.
The property can be generally subdivided. Further details about a subdivision are being researched at the moment. Until a final decision is made, it is possible that one or both halves of the ranch could be sold. If interested in purchasing the whole ranch, one half, or later on a smaller lot, please contact us.