Fort Smith

Fort Smith Locator Map

Population: 2,400

Fort Smith is located on NWT Highway 5, 162 miles southeast of Hay River, on the Slave River. 

Visitor Information: Town of Fort Smith visitor information at the recreation centre in town.

Fort Smith began as a trading post along the 1,600-mile water passage between Fort McMurray and the Arctic Ocean. The Hudson’s Bay Co. established a permanent post here in 1874, and a Roman Catholic mission followed in 1876. Today, Fort Smith is headquarters for adjacent Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest national park in North America.

Visitor services include 2 hotels, bed and breakfasts, grocery stores, post office, gift shops, 2 restaurants and a take-out place, convenience stores, and gas stations. Camping at Queen Elizabeth Park just outside town, and at Pine Lake in Wood Buffalo National Park.
Attractions:
  • Wood Buffalo National Park is a major attraction, offering a variety of activities, from nature walks to wilderness canoe trips. Stop by the park’s visitor reception centre.
  • The Northern Life Museum features a comprehensive view of the area’s Native culture and life of the white settlers since the mid-19th century.
  • Fort Smith has the northernmost colony of nesting white pelicans. Watch them feeding on the rapids.

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