About the Highway
The Northern Woods & Water Highway was originally conceived in the late 1970’s by a retired CN employee from McLennen, Alberta. George Stevenson took a group of campers from Dawson Creek, BC to Winnipeg and another group from Winnipeg to Dawson Creek. He did this for many years stopping in each community along the way promoting the route as an excellent way to travel. Eventually there was an organization formed and the highway was signed and put on the provincial maps in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The Association is working to officially extend the highway to the lower mainland in BC.
The Northern Woods & Water Highway is a series of connected roads that will take you on a journey through farmland, parkland, lakeland, and forests and even close to the unique landscape of the Canadian shield. Meet warm and friendly people from rural communities and enjoy a variety of entertainment. Golf and camp in places of unhurried beauty. An excellent way to a slow scenic vacation.
You launch north from the perimeter road at Winnipeg on Hwy #6 travelling 130 km past Eriksdale to the junction of Hwy #68. This will take you through the scenic Narrows of Lake Manitoba on towards Dauphin.
North from Dauphin on Hwy #20 to a decision point north of Fork River. You can carry on to the shores of Winnipegosis or head west to Ethelbert then north on #10, both routes re-connect at Cowan. From this point you stay on Highway #10 through Swan River all the way to the Pas.
From The Pas it is westward on #283 (warning this is a 100 km section of gravel road). The Highway number changes to #9 at the Sask border, then to #55 a short distance later on the same road. Leaving the forest for a while you will travel through a mix of parkland and agricultural land until you head north of the Shellbrook junction.
This section is will take you on #55 through more dense forest popping out to parkland around Meadow Lake and west to the Alberta border.
The journey west from Cold Lake will take you through several sections of forest and parkland while travelling on Hwy #55. North west of Athabasca the Hwy number changes to #2 travelling south of Lesser Slave Lake and again popping into the rich agricultural area of the Peace Country. At Rycroft the Hwy number changes to #49 for the final push into Dawson Creek.
The Highway official ends at Dawson Creek, but we are working on getting it signed from Dawson Creek to the lower mainland. There are a couple of options for travel depending what you are looking for. The scenic route takes you north through Fort St. John and then through the Peace River Valley through Hudson’s Hope and out to Chetwynd. This section provides terrific views of the river valley, as well as the three hydro electric dams in the north.
From Chetwynd you leave the agricultural landscape and venture through the forest, alongside of rivers and lakes of the northern Rocky Mountains popping out at Prince George.
South of Prince George the highway will take you through the Caribou-Chilcotin region of Central BC. This area is semi arid but still has an abundance of lake and streams to feed down for the mountains. Just north of Cache Creek you have the option of turning west and going through historic Lillooet then up and over the Coastal Mountains through Pemberton, Whistler then at Squamish the road skirts the ocean. The alternate route south through Cache Creek and along the Fraser Canyon following the Fraser River and coming out at Hope. From Hope the scenery changes to flat rich agricultural ground of the Fraser delta.