School is out! If you are anything like us, you are looking for activities to do out of the city this summer. Here are a few fun ideas from adventure enthusiast, Search and Rescue volunteer, mom of 4, and our engagement manager, Roxanna Kooistra. We hope you enjoy this list of 10 family-friendly summer activities to do the Fraser Valley.
This is a great trip for any time of the year. This is a family-friendly walk, .5 km through the forest to a beautiful waterfall. Located in Hope, BC. Best visited in early summer as the falls dry up for a short period at the end of August.
This trail system on the Eastern Hillsides is a mecca of new trails for explorers of all ages to check out. There is even a shelter at the parking lot for rainy days. The trails are well marked and vary in length and difficulty for all experience levels. Check out the new connector trail between the Lower Community Forest (Lew’x Qw:om) and the Upper trail system. This a great 5 km return hike in the cool of the trees for all experience levels.
A large bird sanctuary with parklands with fun trails and bridges for the kids to explore. This is a great area for walks, bird watching and picnics. It is located at the base of Mount Cheam in Popkum.
This is a new wetlands located on the way to Cultus Lake, on the south side of the Vedder River. It features wild salmon spawning channels, trails and is a great place to view wildlife and natural systems up close!
A large bird sanctuary in Greendale (15 minutes from Abbotsford) with wetlands, trails, river access and an interpretive centre that is open year-round. There is so much to explore here you will want to come back for another trip!
This park in the Chilliwack River Valley, looks just like a field from the road, but head to the trails in the back of the parking lot and you will find a network of trails leading to beautiful beaver ponds and the Vedder River.
Yes we have part of this cross country trail running right through our beautiful valley! The trail crisscrosses the road many times so there are lots of sections you can tackle individually, or do a car drop and take on a longer section. This trail is also great for trail runners and beginner mountain bikers! This trail is incredible during the salmon spawning season in late fall. Where you will find a vast network of forested, shallow creeks filled with wild salmon returning to complete their life cycle!
This trail starts at a small pullout off Chilliwack Lake Road and winds its way down to the river and then leftover to the site of the caves. Bring clothes that can get muddy, a helmet and headlamp to explore the wonders of the Chipmunk Caves. The cave right in front is easy to navigate and tall enough for a child to walk right through. Only explore as far as you are comfortable and be sure to bring the 10 essentials for outdoor adventuring!
Located in the Heart of the Fraser. This large park has fields, trails, a bike park, beaches, horse grounds and tons of geocaching opportunities! It is great for just a quick walk or a full day trip complete with a sunset picnic on the beach. Our favourite spot is 1 km down the dyke to a huge sandy beach and views that feel like the end of the earth! 😍 On any day you can spot a huge variety of bird and watch carefully enough and you might catch a giant white sturgeon breaching just off shore! Best visited after mosquito season (June-early July) with the best beaches accessible August through late fall!
There are two parks along the Hope Slough. Corbould Park has access at Corbould Street. You can walk along the path under gorgeous old trees and explore various viewpoints that lead down to the water. Kinsmen Park access has a walking bridge that crosses the slough and leads to trails on Little Mountain on the other side. This is also our favourite paddling route during high water. Blueway access points are located at each park and best paddled April through early July.
And if you don’t live in the Fraser Valley?
If you don’t know of trails in your area or are stuck on new ideas, head down to your local tourism office. Not only will they have handy maps and easy to follow directions for all the best local spots, the trip itself can be a fun field trip on a rainy day. Look for local groups on social media that focus on outdoor activities. Local pages can be a wealth of knowledge of trail reports, road conditions, new trails being built and fun places to explore. If neither of those are an option in your area, be brave! Kids don’t always need a long trail to follow or an impressive destination, just find a forest with a small stream in your area and let them play. I’m always amazed at how a bit of water can entertain my kids for hours as they jump over and splash in the streams and pools.