A mysterious hush falls over the Visitor Centre at Fort St. James every day at 11:30 am. Bet on the bird with the most pluck! 

It’s only a momentary lull, before cheers burst through the silence and staff begin pointing in the direction of a shouting brood flocking to the fort’s famous chicken races. In lanes lined with chicken wire (of course), plucky birds with names like Rapid Rick race for the finish while crowds bet chicken bucks on the fleet-feathered winners. In an enthusiastic 15 minutes, the chickens run three to five races.

Proud guests who pick the fastest fowl receive a pin-on winner’s button and bragging rights. After the race, the smell of fresh-baked ginger snaps fresh out of a wood-fired stove lure visitors to Murray House. Take a seat on the wide verandah overlooking views of Lake Stuart and watch the chickens back scratching happily in the yard.