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Island 22 Regional Park
By Kimberly Walker
A few years ago I participated in The Great Canadian Hike – a Trans Canada Trail challenge where the goal was to set a self-determined goal for either distance or time spent exploring the TCT. This was a great way to explore trails that were close to home, but that I had never been on. One of my favourite discoveries during that challenge was the Canyon to Coast Trail, which is part of the Experience the Fraser concept.
Experience the Fraser aims to connect recreational, cultural, and heritage sites between Hope and the Salish Sea through a network of trails and blueways. In 2017, an 18-kilometre section of the Canyon to Coast trail opened between Rosedale and Chilliwack. The trail connects Ferry Island Provincial Park and Island 22 Regional Park.
Since we live in Agassiz, a short jaunt across the Agassiz-Rosedale bridge brings us to the nearest trailhead just off Ferry Road. The trail is wide crushed gravel and follows the tops of the dikes that line the Fraser River. No matter how many times I visit, and we visit frequently, I am constantly amazed by the spectacular views. We use the trail often for walking our dog, but my favourite way to explore the trail is by bicycle.
Heading west from Ferry Road towards Chilliwack, the trail stays on the gravel dike for approximately 12 kilometres until reaching Minto Landing. Between the 1870s and 1920s, the Fraser River was the main transportation route through the Fraser Valley. During the gold rush, Chilliwack was an important resupply centre, and sternwheelers travelled between New Westminster and Yale several times per week. During low water, Chilliwack Landing was used. When the water was high, the sternwheelers and all other sorts of watercraft docked at Minto Landing to load and unload people and goods. When the trail reaches the end of the dike at the corner of McDonald Road, there is an interpretive sign with some photos and information about Minto Landing.
At this point, cyclists can choose to either turn around and head back the way they came, or take a short trip on the back roads of Fairfield Island in order to rejoin the trail and cycle through Island 22 Regional Park. Island 22 has a number of features in it’s own right, including a bike skills park, an off leash dog park, an equestrian area, a boat launch, outhouses, and a picnic shelter. Cycling to the end of Island 22 Regional Park adds approximately six kilometres each way to your journey.
My favourite part of the entire Canyon to Coast cycling experience is when you turn around and cycle east back towards Rosedale. The views are absolutely spectacular as the valley bottom farmlands run up against the towering peaks of the Cheam Range.
The Canyon to Coast Trail is a close-to-home gem for us. The trail is usable in all seasons and for a variety of activities. We have walked, cycled, run, and snowshoed the trail, and I have visions of one day cross country skiing it when conditions are right. There are so many amazing places to explore in British Columbia, but sometimes it is nice to see what your own backyard has to offer.
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Published: April 6, 2023
Last Updated: April 6, 2023
Kimberly is a Special Education, Elementary School teacher in Hope, BC. Previously having worked ten years at the Hope Visitor Centre & Museum promoting tourism in Hope and British Columbia, Kimberly worked on many local history projects in the museum as well as researching and writing articles for the local newspaper. Kimberly loves travelling with her husband Dale and their dog Alpine. In the fall of 2014, they spent the first 78 days of married life travelling and camping their way across Canada - just the two of them and the dog - travelling in a Hyundai Elantra! Kimberly loves various outdoor recreation types and exploring our beautiful province.