Ashcroft, or the Village of Ashcroft as its formally known as, is a tight knit community which straddles the Thompson River in the BC Interior. Falling slightly east of the Trans Canada Highway, Ashcroft is home to just under 2,000 residents and consists of just over 51 square kilometers.
Don’t let the small footprint of the village fool you, Ashcroft offers a wide selection of things to see and do within the area. Below is a compilation of the best things to do in Ashcroft, BC.
Campout by the River
Legacy Park Campground is a popular riverside camping area which boasts stunning views and beautiful sites. The shaded oasis is situated along the Thompson River, and is even within walking distance to many of the village's shopping and dining options. The well equipped campground offers amenities such as power, laundry, sani station and even wifi.
A well-maintained park, Legacy Campground offers 15 RV sites and a number of tenting areas for visitors to choose from. Set up in the midst of desert country and enjoy the calming sounds of the nearby river. Popular activities offered include fishing, biking and hiking.
Legacy Park Campground is a great place to spend a night or more! Open between May 1st and October (weather permitting), Legacy Park offers affordable rates of just $25.00/night for an RV and $15/night for tents. Get all the details here!
Enjoy a Scenic Hike
Ashcroft, BC is filled with exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities, with one of the most popular being hiking throughout the many trail systems nearby. The unique climate in Ashcroft makes for ideal hiking throughout the year, however, the summer can get quite hot, so remember to pack plenty of water!
Some of the most popular trails which are located in and around Ashcroft, BC include:
Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area Hiking Trails.
Duffey Lake Provincial Park Hiking Trails.
Big Bar Lake Provincial Park Hiking Trails.
Bonaparte Provincial Park Hiking Trails.
Castle Rock Hoodoos Provincial Park Hiking Trails.
Chasm Ecological Reserve Hiking Trails.
Churn Creek Protected Area Hiking Trails.
Enjoy lovely views of the surrounding desert terrain as well as taking in the wide range of vegetation such as sage and cactus and wildlife - however, visitors are reminded to steer clear of the occasional rattlesnake.
Take in the Arts
A project founded by Daniel and Marina Papais, who is an award winning stained glass artist whose work was showcased in various galleries across Canada and the US, the Mosaic walk has become a major draw for visitors. Stunning pieces of Mosaic Artwork are dotted throughout the village celebrating and promoting a love for art and creation.
Stroll throughout the downtown district or check out awe-inspiring pieces at the Ashcroft Library, Ashcroft Legion #113, or St. Alban’s Church. A full list of Mosaics and their location can be found on the Village of Ashcroft Website or in this pamphlet.
Related Article: The 10 Best Small Towns To Live In British Columbia
Look Back at Ashcroft’s History
Ashcroft, BC has a rich and exciting history that dates back to the 1800’s. Residents and visitors are able to learn all about the village and its humble beginnings at the Ashcroft Museum which is housed in the brick “Dominion” building which was erected in 1971. Located at the corner of Brink and 4th Street, the museum was originally the home of the Village Post Office. In 1980, the museum took over and remains in the building to this day.
Considered by many as one of the best museums found in any BC village, the Ashcroft museum offers a collection of artifacts and historical findings which date back to the beginning of the 1900’s. Staying true to its diverse history the museum features displays honouring the local indigenous people, the Chinese community and other founders and pioneers of the area. Visitors of the museum can find exhibits on sports, ranching, fossils and coal mining, which is one of the most popular ones! To check out more information and view hours click here.
Beat the Summer Heat
If residents of Ashcroft know one thing, it's that the climate of the village is like no other around. The dry, semi-arid temperature offers idyllic weather throughout much of the year, however, the summer can get quite toasty in the desert. If you are looking for a great way to beat the summer heat, head over to the Ashcroft Community Pool.
Located at 561 Elm Street in Ashcroft Pool Park, the pool is a popular gathering spot for those of all ages. The equipped aquatic center offers visitors use of a lap pool, slide, diving board and hot tub. There are also a handful of family fun activities and swimming lessons offered throughout the year. Opened the Saturday of the May Long Weekend, the season runs until Labour Day Weekend. View all the details and swim schedule on the pool’s webpage.
Celebrate Ashcroft’s Culture
Ashcroft is a welcoming community that has celebrated diversity throughout its history, and continues to do so today. The Village of Ashcroft strives to foster an atmosphere of inclusivity and acceptance and happily displays its diverse history in areas around town. Three popular projects which can be found in Ashcroft are the Harmony Bell Monument, Chinese Cemetery and Rainbow Crosswalk.
The Harmony Bell Monument is located south of Heritage Park Place and is a must-see monument. The bell tower features four mosaic panels, each showcasing those who helped shape Ashcroft into what it is today. These mosaic panels, bell tower, interlocking brick and benches are a beautiful honouring of Ashcroft’s diversity.
The Chinese Cemetery has been a part of Ashcroft for over 100 years and was developed by the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 2005 members of the Ashcroft/Cache Creek Rotary Club undertook the task of cleaning and maintaining the graveyard. Over the years, and through many community and outside donations, the cemetery has been transformed into a beautiful honouring of those who died while helping build the railway in BC. Today a collection of mosaics, glass/mosaic headstones, and an altar, which contains the BC government’s apology for the mistreatment of the Chinese Community can be found.
Ashcroft is a community which celebrates all walks of life and one of the ways the Village Council unanimously decided to showcase this was by installing a Rainbow Crosswalk. A symbol of inclusivity, the Rainbow Crosswalk is found across Railways Avenue, across from the Post Office and was funded by a donation from Teck Highland Valley Copper.
Visit Ashcroft’s Charming Downtown
Set along the east side of the Thompson River, Ashcroft boasts a charming downtown district. Stroll through the area and enjoy visiting the unique shops and restaurants which are dotted up and down Railway Avenue and surrounding area. A variety of stores which offer up everything from everyday necessities to one of a kind finds can be stumbled upon as well as local favourite eateries such as Ashcroft Bakery and Coffee Shop, UniTea Cafe & Lounge, Sam’s Diner and the Ashcroft River Inn.
Ashcroft is a scenic village which offers up a wide variety of things to see and do. Whether looking to take advantage of the expansive amount of outdoor recreation activities, wanting to explore the rich history and diversity or simply to enjoy the art and culture, Ashcroft happily provides!