Cascade Falls Regional Park, Mission
Mission is situated on the north bank of the Fraser River, overlooking the Fraser Valley with popular attractions that include the Powerhouse at Stave Falls, Mission Raceway Park, and the Circle Farm Tour. Outdoor activities abound here. Many hiking trails are located in the area, and the fishing in the Fraser River and surrounding lakes is second to none. The area houses one of the largest sturgeon populations in the world, and all five species of salmon.
Westminster Abbey is perhaps Mission’s most famous landmark. This beautiful monastery attracts thousands of visitors annually. The Benedictine monks who inhabit the Abbey have created a self-sufficient pastoral lifestyle at this inspiring location, and welcome visitors to their grounds and for services. Mission is also home to the Xa:ytem Longhouse, an ancient historic site set among 18 acres. The Power House at Stave Falls offers an exciting all-ages experience, with interactive games and historic displays that tell the story of how power helped build this province. BC Hydro’s Hayward Lake recreation site is nearby.
Located 56 km (45 mi) east of Vancouver, and accessed via Highways 1 and 11 from the south or Highway 7 from the east or west. From Trans Canada Highway 1, east or west, take Highway 11 north in Abbotsford. Highway 7 traverses through Mission along the north shore of the Fraser River.
The region was named for the site’s proximity to the historic St. Mary’s Mission of the Oblate order of the immaculate Mary in 1861, however the Sto:lo First Nations have inhabited this area for 10,000 years. Today their history and culture is celebrated at Xa:ytem, the oldest known dwelling site in BC.
Located on the banks of the Fraser River, Mission was a forestry and agricultural community. With the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886, the region grew rapidly and in 1891, the first rail crossing linking BC to the United States was opened.
Mission claims fame to being the site of Canada’s first and only armed train robbery, when in September 1904 the notorious Billy Miner and two accomplices boarded the train as it left the town.