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Southern British Columbia - Fraser Valley

Cultus Lake
The south central part of British Columbia (roughly from west of Vancouver to the Okanagan) is as diverse as you might expect from such a large area. It contains farm lands and mountains, lakes and streams, towns and villages. We've followed the route of towns between Vancouver and the Okanagan here.
  Abbotsford –
      Applebarn Pumpkin Farm – Pick your own pumpkins and apples in fall, try fresh apple cider and pies, plus hayrides, pony rides, and petting barn with goats and bunnies.
      Maan Berry Farms June to Octber, "u-pick" strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and a corn maze, pumpkin path, critter coral with farm animals and wagon rides.
      Bakerview EcoDairy At this demonstration dairy, kids can find out where milk comes from, meet the cows, check out the robotic milker.Petting zoo with goats, sheep, calves, pigs and miniature ponies, plus goats on the roof.An on-site market has a play area for kids with coloring books and crayons, and a deli with everything you need for a lunch (picnic tables are outside).
      Birchwood Dairy Kids will want to have an ice cream cone with ice cream made at right the dairy there's lots of delicious flavors such as butterscotch marble, candy cane, cookies and cream, s'mores, raspberry ripple, plus other dairy products, cheese and yogurt.
  Chilliwack The town of Chilliwack, filled with early 1900s architecture, is about an hour east of Vancouver on Highway 1 and is the heart of farming country, with almost 1,000 farms. Plan on a stop to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, especially corn.
      River Rafting on the Chilliwack RiverFor more adventurous (and bigger kids). Check in town for guides and conditions, depending on the time of year, this may be more than small children can handle.
      The area around Chilliwack is home to the Stó:lõ Nation and you can tour the Shxwt'a:selhawtxw House of Long Ago and Today Interpretive Centre. Stó:lõ story tellers may tell you about the time long ago when animals and people spoke the same language, and be sure to check ahead for scheduled activities, when kids can learn Stó:lõ crafts of weaving and carving.
      Check out the Farmers Market in downtown Chilliwack on Saturdays. Click here for the details.
 

Cultus Lake Provincial Park is about 20 minutes from Chilliwack. The lake is clear and warm during the summer months. Go swimming, rent a boat or water skiis. There are also miles and miles of hiking trails all around the lake.

      Cultus Water Park is a big water slide park open during the warmer months – a great place to let the kids loose whether they're 5 or 15. There are "white water" rides and both big and small slides, etc. Directly across from the Water Park is a miniature golf and game center.
    Bridal Falls
      Bridal Falls Provincial Park sits at the foot of Mount Cheam, just east of the Trans-Canada. The big nature draw here is Bridal Veil Falls, the 6th highest known waterfall in Canada.
      If you're ready for a real hike, follow the creek at the base of the Falls to the Cheam Lake Wetlands, a regional nature park, a big draw for birders.  
Harrison Lake
Harrison Hot SpringsJust what you'd expect from the name: a spa resort. This is a little off the beaten path heading west on the Trans Canada highway down the Number 9 highway. It was originally a stop on the gold miners' route from the Fraser River to the goldfields. Today, the lake side town is a BC locals favorite for weekend get-aways. Stroll lazily around town, picnic by the lake, walk along the promenade, get an ice cream cone or stop in the Harrison Hot Springs Resort for afternoon tea.
      Soak in the hot springs One of the big draws in town, about thirty years ago a "Health Pavilion" was built around the hot springs. You can relax in a 100+ degree sitting pool, swim in the warm indoor pool, have a shiatsu massage or even try a little aromatherapy.
      The Sasquatch Provincial Park, about five minutes from town, has four beautiful lakes set in a forest circled by mountains. This is a great place to spend at least an afternoon.
      On Harrison Lake you can swim, rent canoes and skim around the lake, fish for trout, have a picnic or pitch a tent in several campgrounds here. The park has both hiking trails and an interpretive trail that even little kids can manage.
      Head for the Green Point picnic area on Harrison Lake and tell the kids to keep a sharp eye out for "Sasquatch" (the BC version of Big Foot). Truth is, you're more likely to see mountain goats.
Hope This town is on the Fraser River, in the Cascade Mountains. Rock hounds can go gold panning – or just looking for interesting minerals. If you don't know how to fish, ask about the "reel" fishing school here and learn all about fly-fishing for steelhead, salmon and sturgeon. If you'll be here in August, check out the annual Fraser River Barrel Race for a real taste of the area.
Hell's Gate
      Hell's Gate Airtram – The big attraction here is to take the very dramatic ride in the gondola (they're big: built to hold about two dozen people) which goes soaring incredibly high above Fraser Canyon. Far below you'll see one of the main salmon spawning grounds. The Fisheries display includes several documentaries about the area fishing and gold mining history.
      If it's near meal time, have some fresh salmon at the restaurant or tour the fudge factory and then walk it off in  the gardens.
Manning Provincial ParkOver 66,000 hectares in the Cascade Mountains, beautiful rugged mountains covered in fir, cedar and pine, filled with alpine meadows, lakes and rivers. Manning Park is home to mule deer, coyote, squirrels, marmot, chipmunks and beavers. If you really want a challenge, take a hike and follow the old settlers and gold miners footsteps on the  Dewdney, Whatcom and Hope Pass trails. You can also go camping or have a picnic at one of the four campgrounds in the park. You'll find wood for campfires, toilets, and picnic areas
      Go fishing for trout in the Strike and Lightning Lakes or along the Similkameen and Sumallo Rivers. Of course, just following the water makes for a beautiful hike or rent a canoe and pretend you're an 18th century explorer in The Great North on the rivers. (Definitely a big-kid adventure...)
      In wintertime, try some Cascade Mountain cross-country skiing on the 50 miles of trails –or take on the downhill skiing slopes here. There's a local ski school that will set you up with equipment and a guide.  
      The Manning Park Resort itself is worth a stop any season of the year. The Resort is about 50 years old,  (although most of it was built in the last 30 years). Besides skiing and hiking, the resort hosts several summer events such as an annual bird count in June, a Canada Day (July 1) celebration, mid-July Parks Day festival with special guided hikes, and in early August there's a lights festival when you can learn to build your own floating lantern (then set it adrift with hundreds of others at sunset on Spruce Bay).
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