Cottonwood Island Park is located a short distance from the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser rivers along the banks of the Nechako and its trails are part of the Heritage River Trail system. As the name implies it is overgrown with gigantic cottonwood trees, which thrive in this location. During the 1980’s the City of Prince George developed the original trails and bridges on a shoestring budget and they served their purpose well for quite a number of years. Then, after a couple of harsh winters with ice dams on the Nechako River and extreme run-off from the snowmelt in the spring, some of the bridges were washed out and the trails close to the river bank fell victim to erosion. The one remaining bridge left from the original development was smashed by a falling cottonwood tree and subsequently removed by city crews. The park fell in disrepair and very few people visited it.
Then, after several years of disrepair, one of the lost bridges was rebuilt. It pays homage to the old Cameron Street Bridge, which had been replaced with a more modern structure. Unlike the original bridges it was well engineered with proper abutments and the annual spring floods in mind. It is now the focal point of Cottonwood Island Park. Now people could walk one loop in the park instead of walking in and then walking back the same way and the park became more popular again.
Then, in the fall of 2017, work began on another bridge further upstream to span the slough, which divides the park. Construction was completed in the following spring and now all trails can be used to their full potential.
I have been coming to this place since it inception, more in some years than in others, but I found consistently enjoyment there. This is my attempt to pay homage to a place I have grown fond of over the years. I will show the flora and fauna as it changes with the seasons. Not all animals are there all the time or even year after year. Some will surprise and others will make me smile. That is why this place will always have a special place in my heart.
The complexity of this particular layout demanded that it would be broken up into several parts. Please click on the appropriate button to explore the season of your choice.