Friday, 25 November 2011

Hidden Gems at the Ruskin Picnic Site

For bird watchers in November and December the Ruskin Picnic area is "bird de jour."  On this sunny November afternoon there were more than 50 eagles, double that number of hawks, and at least 20 Herons which were all within a 10 minute walk.
This morning the only company I had besides the birds were the half dozen fishers who were concentrating at their task.  The day-to-day the water flow in this area can change dramatically as BC Hydro alters the flow out of Hayward Lake.  I was able to watch a heron settle a dispute with a hawk only to fly off in pursuit of some unknown shiny thing. If you decide to hike in this area you must be prepared for the strong aroma of decaying salmon.  On some days it is overwhelming. As the water level does flucuate it is important to wear water proof shoes.

To reach this area turn up Wilson Road from the Lougheed Highway near Mission.  When you reach the dam make a right turn over the dam when it is safe to do so.  After about half a kilometer on the right you will see the entrance for the Ruskin Picnic Area.

More photographs can be viewed at:

Please note:  This area is scheduled to be closed to the public as BC Hydro makes substantial upgrades to the Ruskin Dam.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Harrison River

If you enjoy watching Eagles this is the place to go.  From early November until late January the Eagles can be watched as they gorge themselves on spawning salmon.
 Along side the Harrison River is one of the under used golf gems in the Fraser Valley; Sandpiper Golf Resort   and Rowenas Inn (a must for bed and breakfasts).  One can casually walk along side the river taking in the views and dodge errant golf balls at the same time.
From Sandpiper Golf Course one can depart on fishing or site seeing excursions.  During the annual Bald Eagle Festival, Eagle watching boat tours can be accessed from near the Kilby Historical site.

Additional photographs can be viewed here: Come back often as photographs are constantly being added.

The Harrison River can be accessed by driving east from Mission BC along the Lougheed Highway.  When you reach the Sasquatch Inn you have arrived.  A mere 200 meters further is the bridge over the Harrison River.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ellwood Park - Abbotsford

One of Abbotsford's gems.  This park features natural waterways which are crossed with bridges and wildlife viewing platforms.  The walkway circles the ponds providing views from every imaginable angle.  This is one of the must see in Fall to experience the full Fall colours which this region has to offer.  The walkways are hard surface and wheel chair accesable.

Location of this park is at Old Yale Road & Maclure Road in Abbotsford.

For more pictures visit:

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Hidden Gems on Mount Cheam

One of the most spectacular views in the Fraser Valley is from the peak of Mount Cheam.  From its summit one has views of the Fraser River and Valley, the mountains to the north and east and Mount Baker to the south.  To reach the parking lot where the hike begins one does need a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Climb over the logs at the end of the parking lot and head up the remainder of the logging road.  After about 15 minutes the trail leaves the logging road and heads into the meadows.  Within a few minutes one passes a small lake (pond) and the climb begins.  When on the ridge take care not to venture to close to the edge and the rocks are loose and one can easily loose their footing.

 Directions are as follows: 
Follow Highway #1 (Trans-Canada Highway) to Chilliwack, taking Exit #119 South. Follow Vedder Road until a three-way stop just before a bridge over the Vedder River. Zero your odometer here and turn left at the stop sign onto Chilliwack Lake Road. At the 28 km mark and immediately after one of the Vedder River bridge crossings, turn left onto Chilliwack-Foley Forest Service Road. Zero your odometer again here.
Follow the forest service road for 2.0 km, turning left at the T-junction after the bridge over Foley Creek. Travel west for another two kilometers, turning right on to Chipmunk Creek Forest Service Road next to a large gravel pit. Continue to the parking area at the Mount Cheam trailhead, ignoring all of the branch roads and following the most obvious track the entire way.

Additional photographs can be viewed here: