If you are looking for adventure this spring and summer you won’t have to go far. Our municipal slogan, “Chilliwack, The great Outside” couldn’t be more to the point for recognizing what we have right here in our backyard. Chilliwack has the full slate of outdoor sports to choose from, whether it be kayaking or rafting on our world class whitewater rivers, mountain biking on Vedder Mountain’s elaborate trail network, or hiking, mountaineering, trail running, canyoneering, paddle boarding, canoeing, or rock climbing.
We might not get the publicity of our mountain town neighbors like Squamish and Banff however don’t let that fool you into thinking that we don’t have something good going on here. As the population of Chilliwack continues to grow we are seeing an increase in the number of people recreating in our backcountry areas and coming to discover everything that our local outdoors has to offer. Many people are moving to the upper Fraser Valley and calling Chilliwack home, in large part due to the proximity to our amazing outdoors and the livable community that this asset creates. With increased use we have seen a bolstering of the advocacy effort for trail maintenance and outdoor recreation infrastructure to help to make our backcountry accessible.
With May upon us and this recent bout of balmy weather, its hard not to look to the mountains and plan a day in the backcountry. For many of us this winter has been packed with snowshoeing, skiing, boarding and other forms of frolicking in seemingly endless pillows of coastal powder, and so the transition to spring sports comes with torn emotions. However its time to begin to pack away our winter gloves and skis and dust off our tents and packs in anticipation for the summer that seems to be upon us.
Are you wary of heading into the mountains with snow still covering the peaks? Fear not, there are a number of fantastic lowland hikes that will get you back into the hiking groove, or for the more adventurous, strap on some snowshoes and bring along sunscreen and enjoy the wonders of spring snowpack in the Cascade Mountains.
This column will keep you informed on everything outdoor recreation and highlight some of the events, completions, regattas and trail days happening in your community. Chilliwack is finally coming into its own as a recreation hotspot and we’ll do our best to help you stay abreast of the action.
(Published as “Alive Outside” in The Chilliwack Progress – May 9th 2013)