Ridge Meadows is a piece of heaven on earth. Every time I drive down the scenic roads, I am reminded why it’s a popular filming location. But a big part of the beauty is owed to the greenery so, we got curious to know; where are the best parks in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows? Here’s what you decided by your votes.
10. Albion Park
The all-encompassing facilities at Albion Park make it earn the brownie points! From a barbeque to a baseball and softball diamond, it ticks all boxes for a family’s day out.
You can ride your bike in the Bike Skills Park, book a picnic shelter, explore the trails and most importantly, it’s accessible for all!
Stand out: The Albion Splash Park is a hot favourite (pun intended) in summer and it has two spray parks for toddlers and older children.
Read: Local guide to best bakeries in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows
Resident feedback: Earlier this year, residents requested Albion Park equipment should be replaced with a larger play structure, multiple slides, swings, climbing walls and balancing equipment. The city announced that it will put together a concept plan based on feedback.
Location: Located on 104 Avenue and Jackson Street, the park is accessible by car as well as public transit. You can take buses 745 on EB 104 Avenue or 746 and 748 SB on Jackson Street.
9. Memorial Peace Park
Coming in at number nine is a popular one, the Memorial Peace Park. Especially during the summer, the park is packed with people because of all the outdoor events it hosts
From the Jazz and Blues Festival to Celebrate the Night and Christmas in the Park, there is always something happening here so it’s only fair that it made it in the top 10.
The park has an open green space, fountains on 224 St. entrance and a seating area. The ACT Arts Centre, Maple Ridge Public Library, Greg Moore Youth Centre and Haney Place Mall are all within walking distance, making it the core of downtown.
Of course, we cannot talk about the park without mentioning the iconic bandstand.
It was gifted to the residents by the Maple Ridge Concert Band in 1994 and has been used for movie shoots, public events, weddings and more. Another surprising fact is that this park was built in just eight and a half weeks and nearly 176 volunteers worked on this project.
How to get here: You can take buses 743 and 748 northbound towards 224 St. at 119 Ave. If you’re driving, just head towards 224 St. at Haney Place and you’ll easily find this landmark location.
8. Harris Landing & Shoreline Park
Located right next to the Fraser River, Harris Landing & Shoreline Park is an all-rounder for those interested in outdoor activities. It has a clean and levelled trail, suitable for walking, running and cycling.
The park is part of the Pitt Meadows Regional Greenway, a 10.5 km ‘point-to-point trail, next to the Trans-Canada Trail.
What people say: “Great trail and one I do often as it’s near where I live. There [are] benches to stop at, and before the train bridge, is a nice spot to stop and watch the sunset.”
“Nice trail for biking. Light gravel so can be dusty. Light traffic if you [are] going in the morning and it’s common to see wildlife on the trail. A family of deer passed by me within five feet.”
A visitor recommends “if you’re into it, you can make a loop trail out of it by biking down Lougheed. Then go back down Harris Road to the end of Baynes Road where the parking lot is.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are on leash and it’s accessible year-round. Although right now, due to extreme weather conditions, we would advise against visiting parks near a body of water.
Location: From Maple Meadows Station at Bay 2, take bus 791 Braid Station till WB Hammond Road at Blakely Road then take bus 722 Bonson till EB Fraser Way at Bay Mill Road and walk for five minutes to the park.
7. Pitt Polder Ecological Park
Right next to the Pitt River, is the Pitt Polder Ecological Park and it stands at number seven on our Ridge Meadows parks guide. Let’s find out why.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this park is known for its scenic views and serenity. A perfect mix of wildlife spotting and taking a stroll, people have left positive reviews online. They say it’s safe for hiking, cycling and a walk with your pet (on leash).
Want to go canoeing or fishing? Sure. Just want to walk around or have a picnic? Totally doable.
What we know: The area managed by B.C. Parks host wildlife including black bear, black-tailed deer, a variety of songbirds, plants, amphibians and more and protects their habitat.
The area is considered an ecological reserve because climate change poses a threat to wetlands and lack of protection may accelerate the drying of water.
Location: Unfortunately, public transit is not going to get you to any place nearby. You will need a car to reach the southern end of Pitt Lake. Then, just use Google Maps as usual (lol).
6. Allco Park
Next on our Ridge Meadows parks guide is Allco Park and it stands at number six. I visited the Alouette River Management Society last month and entered through this dense park. It instantly reminded me of the Pacific Spirit Park in Vancouver.
The park is home to open green spaces, making it a great spot to enjoy nature to its fullest. The 27-acre site includes walking trails, picnic facilities and scenic views including the Alouette River.
The trails are friendly for all skill levels and ideal for hiking, walking and bird watching.
Did you know: The Allco Park also allows you to access the beautiful and serene Alouette River, also deemed a ‘lazy river.’
Next summer just take your floats and swim down to Davidson’s Pool. When you reach there you can also just sunbathe on the rocks nearby. It’s on my summer bucket list!
Location: Located on Alouette Road, you won’t find transit directly to the park. However, if you take bus 701 or 749 NB on 250 St. at Dewdney Trunk Rd., you’ll be a 13 minutes drive or cab ride away from the park.
5. Whonnock Lake Park
We have now entered the top five picks in the Ridge Meadows parks guide and according to your votes, Whonnock Lake Park is at number five.
The park is most popular for those who enjoy fishing and swimming in fresh lake water, Whonnock Lake Park also boasts facilities such as a playground for kids, a gazebo for picnics and barbecue among other things.
As per our knowledge, you can find trout in the lake water and better yet, have a fresh fish barbeque at the park!
Non-motorized boats including canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are allowed in the lake which has two docks, one mostly used by a kayaking club. The surrounding green space makes for picturesque scenes, especially on a sunny summer day.
It’s known as a hidden gem in Maple Ridge for those looking to spend time on a sandy beach. Whether you do it alone or with someone, we leave that to you.
Did you know: The name Whonnock is taken from the Indigenous language, Halkomelen which means “place of the humpback salmon” and the first white colonial settler in Whonnock was Robert Robertson in 1860.
What people say: Reviews online say that it’s the best spot in town for mid-week relaxation and has something for people of all ages which can be great if you have a family.
Others say that it’s a “great family getaway” and a “kids heaven.”
Location: Take bus 749 from Haney Place at Bay 4 towards Ruskin and stay on for 45 minutes and get off at SB 280 Street on 111000 Block (Flag) for a 14-minute walk towards the lake park.
4. Malcolm Knapp Research Forest
Managed by the University of British Columbia (my alma mater) your votes have made this the top fourth park in Ridge Meadows.
Spread over 5,157 hectares, this park has four trails that are colour-coded so that people don’t get lost.
The design is commendable as all the trails loop back to the forest gates so you don’t have to worry about being unable to find your way back (Pacific Spirit Park, please take notes).
Of course, the park’s primary function is research and to ensure wildlife, flora and fauna are not disturbed.
Horses, dogs and bikes are not permitted on the premises. Some trails are wheelchair accessible, making it easier for those who are diversely abled to enjoy nature.
Did you know: The land is being managed for fish, water, soil and wildlife conservation and specific areas have been harvested and replanted since it was granted to UBC in 1949.
People say it’s a perfect place to get away from the city while in the city. The natural landscape almost guarantees that you will see wildlife wandering around.
One reviewer recommends reaching the lookout on the halfway point of the blue trail for “spectacular views of Baker, Golden Ears and west towards Pitt Meadows and Coquitlam.”
Location: From Maple Ridge Public Library, walk towards Haney Place Bay 1 and take bus 741 towards Anderson Creek. Stay on for 22 stops and get off at SB Silver Valley Rd. at 141 Avenue and walk for eight minutes to reach the park.
3. Maple Ridge Park
|Your votes tell us that you love Maple Ridge Park as it stands on number three on the local Ridge Meadows parks guide. |
An all-for-one park, it boasts facilities for people of all ages. From a spray park for children to the South Alouette River flowing beside, it fits into the description of a family park. During the fall, people also fish for pink and chum salmon (although this year due to lower returns it was banned).
The Kinsmen spray park is one of the few local ones and open to the public, especially during the summer and needless to say, a seasonal favourite.
The park also has walking trails so, if you just want to go for a run, go ahead!
What people say: As we mentioned above, the all-in-one park makes it “a great place for families with young children. Picnic tables and a huge playfield. Just enjoy the park or put your inner tube in the South Alouette River and float down the river at an enjoyable pace.”
Location: Located on the corner of 232 St. at Fern Crescent, take buses 741 or 733 Rock Ridge from Haney Place at Bay 1 and stay on for approximately 17 minutes. Get off at NB 232 St. at Fern Cres. and walk for four minutes to reach the park.
2. Kanaka Creek Regional Park
Standing proudly at number two in our local parks guide is the Kanaka Creek Regional Park.
Dogs are allowed on leash at this attraction popular with hikers, canoers and those interested in fishing, especially because of the Bell Irving Hatchery in the proximity.
Spread over 400 hectares, the park is home to wildlife, waterfalls, trails, and picnic areas, making it a suitable getaway from the busy city life.
Did you know: The name Kanaka comes from the Hawaiian native language which means labourers. In the late 1800s, Hawaiian labourers were employed on the Hudson’s Bay Company ships transporting goods to Europe. Many decided to stay back after arriving in the Fraser Valley and hence it was named Kanaka Creek.
The park can be explored in various ways, depending on your choice of commute. There are shared trails for walking (11.8 km), cycling (2.8 km) and horseriding (5.3 km) spread throughout this massive park.
If you want to visit the Cliff Falls, take the Canyon Trail from the fish hatchery and on your way, witness beautiful sandstone canyons. It’s a 1.2 km one-way walk so plan your time accordingly. There are some challenging hills on the route.
However, if you just want to appreciate nature, Riverfront Trails provide an excellent opportunity to witness wildlife from the observation towers. It’s a 3 km one-way walk.
Location: From Haney Place at Bay 4, take bus 749 towards Ruskin and stay on for nearly 28 minutes. Get off at EB Dewdney Trunk Road at 256 St., walk for 15 minutes and you’ll be at the park.
1. Golden Ears Provincial Park
Unsurprisingly, this one has emerged triumphant among all other local parks in Ridge Meadows. One of the largest parks in the province, let’s find out what’s unique about Golden Ears.
It’s popular with visitors for various adventurous activities including hiking, canoeing, water surfing, swimming, horseback riding and fishing at Alouette Lake.
Accessible by driving, this is one of the few local parks that allow camping at Alouette, Gold Creek, and North Beach.
Did you know: The park was initially part of the Garibaldi Provincial Park and was named Golden Ears because when viewed in bright sunlight, twin peaks of Mount Blanshard appear golden and hence, the name.
The forested area and the Alouette Lake were the traditional hunting and fishing grounds for the Douglas Lillooet (Interior Coast Salish) and Katzie First Nations peoples.
Wildlife, including black bears, are often encountered near campsites so be alert and follow precautions.
People say: There are several hiking trails including the Lower Falls trail which is a visitor favourite. For many, scenic views of the park are unmatched.
Location: One end of the park is accessible through Maple Ridge and you can take bus 733 Rock Ridge from Haney Place to the park. But, after getting off at WB 130 Avenue at 239B Street, you will need to walk 45 minutes.
Did your favourite park make it to the list? Let us know either way at [email protected]