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August 2017

Top 5 outdoor activities around Abbotsford and The Fraser Valley

Authors: Chris Harder and Karla Stowards who work at the local Valhalla Pure Outfitters in Abbotsford

Abbostford and the surrounding Fraser Valley are chalked full of amazing things to do. Here are the top five that made the list according the the staff at the VPO shop in Abbotsford. Whether you are a local or visiting the area, swing by the shop and chat with the staff about all the best places to enjoy the outdoors. When they aren't at the shop, they are out on the trails, on the rocks and paddling the lakes!

Mountain Biking on Sumas Mountain

[caption id="attachment_1000" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Photo: James Lissimore |[/caption]

The Fraser Valley has become one of the shining stars in the Mountain Bike community over the past number of years. Riders have been migrating to this area to experience the endless dirt single rack, nothing is quite as beautiful as that ribbon of brown surrounded by lush green. Sumas Mountain in East Abbotsford is know for just this appeal. Sumas has been host to mountain bike specific trails for close to 30 years. Known for both flowy, bermed trails such as Squid line and technical “Old Skool” tech such as “Knob Gobbler”. The Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association (FVMBA) is the trail advocacy group behind keeping the Sumas mountain trails at their prime, more information can be found at and for detailed trail maps Happy Trails!

Trail Running at Ledgeview

[caption id="attachment_1002" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Used with permission from the Abbotsford Trail Running Club[/caption]

Do you love flowing single track under your feet? Some heart pounding climbs and rolling “make ya giggle” flow down? Well, we might have the trail network for you. Nestled in the heart of Abbotsford is Ledgeview Mountain AKA McKee Peak, perfect for trail running desires. The area can be broken down into the South Side (know if its steeper, side hilling, technical trails) and the North Side (known for its dirt ribbons of fast flow). The trail network can be described as a bowl of spaghetti, lots of trails everywhere so be sure to bring a good map, a smart person with a good internal compass or is always a good tool.

Relaxing by Hicks Lake

[caption id="attachment_1003" align="aligncenter" width="1960"] Chris M Harder |[/caption]

Within an hour of Abbotsford is Hicks Lake, a beautiful mountain lake, nestled in the heart of Sasquatch Provincial Park. The staff favourite activity at Hicks is paddleboarding. The lake is usually calm by late afternoon making it perfect for an early evening paddle watching the final rays of the day streak past surrounding peaks lightly illuminating the placid waters. There are numerous coves and islands to explore. Should you want to take a bit more time to enjoy your adventures there’s a great provincial campground at the lake.

Rock Climbing in the Valley

[caption id="attachment_1005" align="aligncenter" width="1720"] Chris M Harder |[/caption]

One of the fastest growing outdoor pursuits here in the Fraser Valley there are loads of great crags to explore. Closest to Abbotsford is Hatzic Prairie which offers up a handful of solid routes from 5.8 slab and crack climbs to slightly overhanging 5.13’s. Going a bit further afield is Harrison Bluffs near Harrison Hot Springs. Harrison is the most popular crags in the area with beautiful Squamish-style granite, numerous single pitch routes and a generous offering multi-pitches.

Hiking Mt Cheam Trail

[caption id="attachment_1007" align="aligncenter" width="1720"] Photo: Josh Strauss[/caption]

Probably the most iconic peak in the area Mt Cheam (pronounced shee-am) sits proudly over Chilliwack beckoning any and all to climb it’s towering heights. The main hiking trail starts up from the backside of the mountain and is a relatively pleasant five hour return trip. For the more adventurous and skilled there are several mountaineering routes leaving from Bridal Falls and Jones Lake. Late summer is arguable the best time to go as the wild blueberries and huckleberries are in season. It should be noted that a high-clearance vehicle is highly recommended to access the trailhead on the backside.