Neighbours to the west of Hope

The wide range of nearby attractions are a daytrippers' paradise

  • Apr. 1, 2013 6:00 a.m.

Bald eagle.

Chilliwack, just 30 minutes west of Hope on Highway 1, has grown beyond its agricultural roots to a city offering visitors everything from the adventure of river rafting to an evening at the symphony.

Check out Chilliwack from the air, try paragliding or test your luck with rod and reel on the Chilliwack or Fraser rivers. The Chilliwack Museum, rated one of the top 10 in B.C., offers a step back in time.

Harrison Hot Springs is a village of about 1,400 residents and enjoys a worldwide reputation as a resort destination. Just 25 minutes west of Hope, Harrison is nestled on the southern shore of the 65 kilometre long pristine Harrison Lake and is econsidered the “Jewel of the Fraser Valley.”

In spring and summer, the focus is on the beautiful beaches, boating, water sports, lake tours, and relaxing strolls. Hiking, golfing, fishing, sightseeing, live music, dancing and soaking in the mineral waters of the public pool are enjoyed all year round. July features the Harrison Festival of the Arts along with many special monthly concerts.

Harrison Mills is nestled in a rural valley 25 minutes west of Harrison and is the picture of rustic beauty. Here the Kilby Historic Site celebrates its 106th anniversary this year, marking over a century of serving the people of the Fraser Valley.

Fall is a good time to view eagles in their natural habitat in the Fraser Valley, which is home to North America’s largest gathering of bald eagles. The raptors are drawn to the area by the millions of spawning salmon that travel up the Fraser River to tributaries such as the Harrison River.

The annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival kicks off the third weekend in November and showcases the biodiversity of the Fraser River valley by honouring the bald eagle and the cycle of the salmon.

From Mission to Harrison Hot Springs, many venues offer eagle watching opportunities and a range of activities and adventures that include jet boat eco-river tours, a Chehalis River walking tour, a diverse abundance of local wildlife, environmental presentations, naturalists and interpreters, historic and ancient aboriginal sites, displays by local artists, and hands-on activities and entertainment.

Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park located at the base of famed Mount Cheam, is a short drive west of Hope near Minter Gardens on Highway 1. Woodland, ferns and moss line the trail to the base of Bridal Veil Falls, which cascades over 120 metres, making it the sixth highest waterfall in Canada.

Cheam Lake Regional Park is another must-see stop. Located on the north side of the freeway, it offers walking trails and birdwatching in a wetland setting.

Bridal Falls Waterpark features four advanced slides, two intermediate slides, one tube slide, three kids slides, and a giant hot tub. There’s also a concession and VIP areas. The attraction, located next to Bridal Falls Camperland RV Resort, is open May 18 to September 1, 2013.

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