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Home / Vancouver Coast and Mountains / Mighty Fraser Country / Agassiz

Agassiz

Agassiz AreaAgassiz, British Columbia is a year-round playground just 90 minutes east of Vancouver. Its sandy beaches, swimming, boating and fishing at many of the area's lakes and rivers attract locals and visitors alike. Golfing is a popular pastime in this area as is hiking, mountain biking and snow-skiing at nearby Hemlock Valley. For the adventurous the Agassiz area has two world-class hang gliding jump-off points.

A small community, Agassiz is located in the District of Kent in the Upper Fraser Valley of British Columbia's southwest coastal region. Surrounded by mountains, lakes and the mighty Fraser River it is known locally for its fertile farming country and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables in season.

The community is proud of its history and heritage. Cultural events, historical sites and museums such as the Kilby Store at Harrison Mills or the Agassiz Museum offer glimpses of the past.

Location 

The community of Agassiz, with a population of just over 6,000, resides at the intersection of Hwy 9 and Hwy 7, approximately 120 km (75 mi) east of downtown Vancouver via the Trans Canada Hwy (Hwy 1) and Hwy 9. Alternatively, you can take Hwy 7 east to Agassiz. Travelling from the east Agassiz is 33 km (20 mi) west of Hope on Hwy 7. From Sumas, Washington, USA, Agassiz is 56 km (35 mi) north via Hwy 1.

Things to See & Do
  • Agassiz Tulip FestivalCircle Farm Tour 
    A self-guided circle farm tour of the Agassiz/Harrison Mills area is fun to do and lets you experience the abundant offerings of the region. Some of these include Canadian Hazelnut, The Farm House Natural Cheeses, Kilby Historic Site, Tasty Chicken Farm, Sparkes Corn Barn and Agassiz's Farm Market. Plus there are artisans, flowers and the famous annual Tulip Festival in April, as well as fruit stands and more. Pick up a Circle Farm Tour map at any Visitor Centre or many local outlets, or download from www.circlefarmtour.com.

  • Golfing
    Several excellent golf courses are located near Agassiz. Sandpiper Golf Resort in Harrison Mills is an 18-hole par 72 course, open 364 days of the year. It has gently sloping fairways amid a centuries-old forest and with 4 sets of tees golfers of all abilities can enjoy this course. Harrison Resort Golf Course just outside Agassiz, is a 9-hole challenging PGA-rated 3,375 yard course. Bridal Falls Golf Course, located off Hwy 1 is nestled below Mount Cheam. It is an 18-hole course with waterfall features and spectacular views of the Fraser Valley.

  • Harrison Hot Springs - Harrison Beach in Summer - Fred GornellHarrison Hot Springs
    The resort town of Harrison Hot Springs with its excellent sandy beach and swimming is reached via Hwy 9 from Agassiz and is just an 8 km (5 mi) drive away. This resort community is located on Harrison Lake and provides lots of opportunities for windsurfing, boating including paddle boats, and you can take a boat tour of the lake. Shops, eateries and artisans are all here for your enjoyment.

  • Fishing
    There are several lakes, rivers and creeks around Agassiz that are popular for fishing, particularly the Fraser River and Harrison Lake. People come to this area to fish for Chinook, Chum, Coho, Sockeye and Pink salmon as they migrate through the region. You can also try and catch one of the mighty sturgeon which are also found here (sturgeon are catch and release).

  • Kilby Historic Site
    Take a step back in time and see what rural life was like in British Columbia at the turn of the 20th century. Located near the junction of the Harrison and Fraser Rivers, the Kilby Historic Site is the only reminder of the once thriving community of Harrison Mills, British Columbia.

Kilby Historic Site's showcase is the 1906 General Store Museum. You can experience a slice of country life from over 100 years ago in the Kilby General Store which housed the heritage Post Office, plus the family's living quarters in the back of the store, all lovingly restored. The Manchester House Hotel, plus galleries and exhibits showcase artifacts from the era. Interpreters dressed in period costume can answer your questions as you explore this historic site. 
 
A Step Back in Time

Agassiz MuseumEuropeans first came through the Agassiz area on their way to the Fraser Canyon during the gold rush of 1858. One of the first families to settle in the region was the Agassiz family after which the town was named.

In 1889, what is now the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, was established as one of the first five experimental farms in Canada. The facility was created to assist newcomers in learning about farming in this fertile area which grew to become the area's primary economic activity. 

During the early part of the 1900s road construction began providing an economic generator from 1901 to 1940. In 1926, the completion of the bridge over the Harrison River provided the first road connection to areas west of Kent and helped to establish Agassiz as a market-oriented agricultural town. 

In 1948 a devastating flood on the Fraser River brought an end to hop production in the District. Corn then became the new major crop in the area and Agassiz soon became known as the "Corn Capital of British Columbia."

The Agassiz-Harrison Museum is housed in a Canadian Pacific Railway station built in 1893 and open to visitors to view the stories from Agassiz's past.

Nearby Communities

Chilliwack
Harrison Hot Springs
Hope 

Contact Information 

Agassiz-Harrison Museum and Visitor Information Centre 
www.agassizharrisonmuseum.org

 

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Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia

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