Last Updated on June 11, 2022
If you are looking for a unique camping experience, look no further than Fort Langley National Historic Site. Here you can camp in an oTENTik – a cross between a tent and a cabin. These cozy little structures are perfect for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing all of the comforts of home. Read on to find out what it is like to spend a night in an oTENTik!
A Unique Camping Experience
Camping is a great way to get back to nature, but it can be hard to find a truly unique camping experience. That is why staying in an oTENTik at a National Historic Site is such a special opportunity.
The oTENTik units are the perfect mix of tent and A-frame cabin, providing extra creature comforts with raised floors, simple mattresses, and furniture. Staying in one of these tents adds to the experience of taking a step back in time.
During the day, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the Fort Langley National Historic Site and learn about the history of the area. Whether you are looking for a unique camping experience or just wanting to immerse yourself in history, a stay in an oTENTik is sure to be memorable.
The Fort Langley National Historic Site is fascinating to explore, and there are many great restaurants and shops nearby. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to wander around and take in all that Fort Langley has to offer.
Where Is Fort Langley?
Fort Langley is a small community located in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia. Despite its size, it holds great historical significance. First established in 1827, Fort Langley was the first European settlement in the area and played an important role in the region’s early fur trade. In 1858, it was also the site of the proclamation of the Colony of British Columbia.
Today, Fort Langley is a popular tourist destination. It is known for its quaint shops and cafes, as well as its beautiful setting on the banks of the Fraser River. It is also home to the Fort Langley National Historic Site, which offers visitors a unique chance to learn about the area’s rich history. Whether you are interested in exploring its past or simply enjoying its present-day charm, Fort Langley is worth a visit.
What Is The Fort Langley National Historic Site?
The Fort Langley National Historic Site is a former fur trading post that was established in 1827 by the Hudson’s Bay Company. The fort was an important hub of activity during the early days of the British Columbian colony and was the site of the first Crown Colony government.
Today, the fort has been restored to its 19th-century appearance and is open to the public as a museum. Visitors can explore the fort’s buildings, learn about its history, and try their hand at traditional activities such as blacksmithing and basket weaving. The Fort Langley National Historic Site is a must-see for anyone interested in early Canadian history.
What Is An oTENTik?
oTENTik is a unique camping experience that can be found exclusively at Parks Canada locations. The oTENTik is a cross between an A-frame cabin and a prospector tent, and it is mounted on a raised wooden floor. These water-resistant accommodations are built to withstand diverse weather conditions, and there is no setup required by campers. Each of the five units inside Fort Langley’s historic walls represents the heritage of Fort Langley’s diverse workers. The oTENTik units are comfortable and clean, and they provide campers with a unique way to experience the history of this important Canadian site.
- oTENTik 1 – hǝn Ɂǝ́mǝt – First Nations
- oTENTik 2 – The Aloha – Hawaiian (ramp accessible)
- oTENTik 3 – Chez Louis – French-Canadian voyageurs
- oTENTik 4 – What Cheer House – North American gold prospectors
- oTENTik 5 – Stromness – Scottish boat builder’s tent
There are oTENTik tents at several Parks Canada locations across Canada. You will find them at Fort Langley National Historic Site, Jasper National Park, Prince Albert National Park, Banff National Park, Riding Mountain National Park, La Mauricie National Park, St. Lawerence Islands National Park, Fundy National Park, Kejimkujik National Park, Forillon National Park, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve and Gros Morne National Park.
We stayed in oTENTik #1 at the Fort Langley National Historic Site.
Xplorers Program: X Marks The Spot
Explore the Hudson’s Bay Company Trading Post. Step back in time and explore the many different aspects of life in the 1800s. To help you get started, grab a handy booklet full of activities that you can do throughout the site. Simply follow the map and look for the “X” signs to find all the different stations. You can try your hand at blacksmithing, barrel-making, trading, and even being the boss. Once you have completed a certain number of activities, bring your booklet back to the Trade Shop Window or the Visitor Center to receive a certificate and souvenir.
Kids love playing dress-up, and what could be more fun than exploring a secret wardrobe full of costumes? The Big House is home to just such a wardrobe, and it is always open for exploration. Best of all, when you are finished playing, you can simply return the costume to the wardrobe for the next child to enjoy. So come on down to the Big House and discover the secret wardrobe for yourself. It is sure to be a fun adventure for the whole family.
This was still closed from Covid protocols during our visit.
In 1858, news of a gold strike on the Fraser River spread like wildfire, attracting more than 30,000 prospectors from all over the world. Many of these fortune seekers ended up at Fort Langley, which quickly became a bustling trade center. Today, visitors to Fort Langley can get a taste of gold fever for themselves. At the Gold Panning Experience, experts will show you how to pan for gold just like the prospectors did back in 1858. And who knows? With a little luck, you might just strike it rich!
Visit The Farm Animals – Summertime Only
The Hudson’s Bay Company used to operate a 2000-acre farm near Fort Langley. The farm was a self-sufficient operation that supplied the fort with fresh food and other necessities. Today, the farm is no longer in operation, but visitors can still see some of the buildings and learn about the history of the farm. During summer, the farm comes alive with heritage crops and animals. Visitors can see animals such as sheep, goats, and rabbits, as well as fruits and vegetables that are grown using traditional methods. The farm area is a beautiful place to visit. It is a great way to learn about early settler life in British Columbia.
Children’s Play Area
The new children’s play area at the museum is a great place for kids to let their imaginations run wild. At the trade window, they can pretend to trade salmon, cranberries, or furs. Exchange for axe heads, blankets, rope, and other props. And inside the teepee, they can learn about the everyday life of a Native American family. With so many fun and educational activities to choose from, the new children’s play area is sure to be a hit.
At the BC Fur Trade Museum, children can play with toy barrels filled with salmon fillets. They can roll the barrels to model boats and “paddle” them around. On the wall, there is a magnetic map of BC. This lets children discover the resources that drew the fur traders to the area. Indigenous communities were already well established and trading along the network of rivers when the fur traders arrived. The museum is a fun and educational way for children to learn about BC’s history.
This was still closed from Covid protocols during our visit.
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Special Events At The Fort
There are many stories about hauntings at the Fort Langley National Historic Site. Every Fall, take part in the Grave Tales historic walking tour through Fort Langley. Starting inside the Fort, you will hear of all the haunts that taunt workers and then venture outside of the Fort for more hair-raising tales.
Some people say that the Fort is haunted because it was built on an ancient burial ground. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that the Fort has an eerie atmosphere.
For instance, there is said to be a ghostly young boy who still wants to play in the fort’s Big House. Multiple children and adults have spotted him, with several commenting about how nice it was that they had the child joining in the experience for the kids.
If you are feeling brave, why not take a nighttime tour and see for yourself? You will not look at the Fort Langley National Historic site the same after this tour.
If you are not brave enough for ghost stories, there is still plenty of other opportunities to enjoy a ghost-free time at the Fort Langley National Historic Site. Experience British Columbia’s early culture at Fort Langley’s Brigade Days. Meet fascinating characters demonstrating 19th-century skills. Or visit during the holidays and join a guided tour to learn about historic holiday traditions.
oTENTik units are a unique way to go camping with hands-on learning. Learn about the former fur trading post that was established in 1827 by the Hudson’s Bay Company. The fort is restored to its 19th-century appearance, and it is a great way to explore a piece of history.
What To See In Fort Langley
After you are done with your historic camping experience, give yourself a day to enjoy Fort Langley. The town is full of charming heritage buildings and sites, and there are plenty of great shops and cafes to explore.
Start your day with a delicious breakfast at one of the town’s many cafés. We recommend Wendel’s Bookstore & Café and arrive early because it is busy for good reason. Then, take a stroll around the picturesque streets, check out the historic train station, and pop into some of the local shops. In the afternoon, enjoy a riverside walk or cycle along the Fort to Fort Trail. For lunch, stop in at the fun 50’s diner. If you are feeling energetic, you can even hire a canoe and paddle up the Fraser River. Finish your day with a tasty dinner at one of Fort Langley’s excellent restaurants – we recommend The Trading Post for its regionally sourced menu. Little Donkey is also a great choice for a casual place to get a tasty burrito. You are sure to have an enjoyable and memorable day in this lovely town.
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