To help you get your summer properly underway, we’ve hunted down a list of things to do around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows this summer and beyond.
There’s actually much, much more than that, because many of the individual things to do around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows that we’ve listed really could encompass a variety of activities or… well… things to do around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
And this isn’t even close to an exhaustive list. We’re pretty sure you’ll find some omissions – maybe even some of your own favourite things to do around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
We’re just hoping this will get you started.
Because, frankly, as we realized as we were compiling this list, there are a LOT of things to do around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
There are fun things and exciting things, educational things and curious things, rare things and odd things, quiet things and loud things, busy things and leisurely things, things for kids and things for parents and things for seniors and things for pets…
Maybe we should just let you get started. Because there really are a lot of things to do around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
1 Hang from trees at WildPlay. WildPlay in Maple Ridge is a scenic escape in the city, just down the road from Golden Ears Provincial Park and along the Alouette River. Stop by to unleash a little magic, laughter, and primal screams among families and outdoor-lovers. From July 2 til Sept. 3, WildPlay is open seven days a week, from 10 to 4 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended but walk-ins are welcome. Minimum age is seven. For more information call 604-477-1197.
2 Take a paddle boat out on Whonnock Lake. Whonnock Lake Park offers a wonderful stand of mature trees, a grassy playground, a small sandy beach, paddle boat rentals, swimming, hiking, and a nature study. Park facilities include a barbecue pit, concession stand, picnic tables, a playground, washrooms, and drinking water. This 12.3-hectare park and lake is maintained by Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Parks & Leisure Services. The park is home to the Ridge Canoe & Kayak Club and has an on-site caretaker. Whonnock Community Centre contains a banquet hall complete with kitchen and the spectacular gardens and scenic lake setting make it the perfect venue for weddings, banquets, dances, memorials, meetings, and seminars. For more information call 604-467-7438. The park is at 27871 113th Ave.
3 Explore the hiking trails in the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest.The UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest was established in 1949 as a facility for research, demonstration, and education in the field of forestry and allied sciences. The forest and a section of the park contains well marked trails used by hikers and joggers. There are a variety of trails to hike in the area and it is best to pick up a map at the office by the gate to the park. The map shows several trails by colour that correspond with trail markings throughout the park. For more information visit www.mkrf.forestry.ubc.ca.
4 Rolley Lake Provincial Park is 115-hectares of wilderness blanketed with tall, second-growth conifers. The small, warm-water lake provides opportunities for swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Sixty-four campsites are nestled in the trees right next to the lake. The park is open from April 1 to Thanksgiving Monday (the second Monday in October). When the park is closed, visitors can walk into the park to use the trails and day-use area, however camping is not permitted. No powerboats or other motorised craft are permitted on the lake. Campsite reservations are recommended and first-come, first-served sites are also available. For more information visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/rolley_lk.
5 Take the Pitt Lake Natural Wilderness Cruise to one of a few tidal lakes in the world. Majestic best describes the six-hour tour to Pitt Lake. After passing through the bustling activity on the Fraser River, passengers will emerge into the quiet tranquility and panoramic beauty of the fjord. This fresh-water tidal lake is one of the largest of its kind. Grassy, reverse deltas appear daily in the centre of the lake as the tide recedes. This area is still a wilderness and home to bears, deer, and cougars. For more information call 604-525-4465.
6 Go horseback riding up to Mike Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Mike Lake has a short but scenic trail located in Golden Ears Provincial Park. A lot of hikers pass by the lake on the way to Alouette Mountain but the 4.2-kilometre trail is also perfect for a horse ride. It’s an easy trail that should take about two hours. This is only one of many places to take horses in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Renting a horse for an hour or two is possible as well. Try visiting www.equutrails.com.
7 Take a dip at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre. Grab your goggles and jump into the six-lane, 25-metre competition pool, four-lane 25-metre teach pool, leisure pool, toddlers pool, large swirl pool, water slide, or warm wading pool. This award-winning centre features a weight training room, racquetball and squash courts, full size gymnasium. Wheelchair lifts are available for all pools and rehabilitation and physiotherapy services are also available within the facility. The centre is at 11925 Haney Pl.
8 Check out the Greg Moore Youth Centre. The youth centre provides a safe place for teens 13 to 18 years old, offering positive alternatives including recreation, social, education, and physical opportunities, counselling, training and health services. There is an area for basketball, floor hockey, skateboarding, rock climbing, and indoor soccer, as well as a lounge area with a big-screen TV, games area with three pool tables, foosball, air hockey, and a quiet area for conversation and a computer room. The centre is at 11925 Haney Pl.
9 Skydive from Pitt Meadows Regional Airport. There’s an undeniable spirit of adventure in the air. Why not jump from the clouds and free-fall more than 10,000 feet with Pacific Skydivers at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport? Pacific Skydivers instructors have been introducing first-time jumpers to the sport for 23 years. If you are an experienced jumper there are options for that too. The address is 11731 Baynes Rd. Pacific Skydivers is open seven days a week and reservations are recommended but not required. For more information call 604-465-7311 or visit www.pacificskydivers.com.
10 Take in a show or concert at The ACT. The ACT is the home for culture and live entertainment in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. The ACT offers a wide range of activities including live music, theatre, and comedy to classes, workshops, and events. Tickets for live performances usually go on sale in August for a calender full of performances that begin in September. The ACT is home to the Maple Ridge Art Gallery, which offers art programs all summer, and an artist in residence, Kjaer Neletia Pedersen.
11 Walk the Pitt Meadows Heritage Trail. Take a stroll back in time and visit the yesteryears of Pitt Meadows. There are various heritage buildings located within walking distance of Harris Road. Start the walk at the old municipal hall (now known as the Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall). Head south, cross over the tracks and stop at the old general store and post office, which is now the museum. The museum also offers group guided walking tours. Continuing south, see the community church and McMynn House, before strolling through Hoffman Park. For more information about walking tours visit www.mapleridge.ca or www.pittmeadows.bc.ca.
12 Visit The Skate Park and The Pitt. The skate park, next to Thomas Haney Secondary in Maple Ridge, is a state-of-the-art action park opened in April 2008. It is often full of kids and young adults, as it can accommodate all levels of skateboarding, in-line, and BMX riding. The Pitt is at Harris Road Park in Pitt Meadows. This skate park was opened in November 2011 and youth were involved right from the beginning with planning, designing, and finally with naming it.
13 Go shopping at the Haney Farmers Market. Every Saturday from 10 a.m. til 2 p.m. the Haney Farmers Market sets up in Maple Ridge’s Memorial Peace Park. There is always a variety of farm fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, food and other vendors, contests, and more. Music and children’s crafts are at every market, as well as story time at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The Doggie Day competition is Aug. 25, Zucchini Races are on Aug. 18, and the Apple Pie Bake off is on Sept. 29. For more information about the market and for a full calendar of events visit www.haneyfarmersmarket.org.
14 Watch a Shakespearean love story with Bard on the Bandstand. Love’s Labour’s Lost is taking on a steam punk concept with live music and an airship! Think Victorian science fiction ala H.G. Wells, Sherlock Holmes, and Jules Verne. Think frock coats with metalworks and goggles. Bard on the Bandstand 2012 takes place on July 21 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. This is a free outdoor event in Spirit Square, 12007 Harris Rd. Bring your friends, family, a blanket, and a donation to The Friends In Need Food Bank. For more information email email@example.com or visit www.emeraldpig.ca.
15 Discover all that bees have to offer at Honeyland. Honeyland keeps more than 1,000 colonies of bees. The bees pollinate their own organic blueberry farm and non-spray fruit orchards for the production of pure and natural honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, and more. Honeyland offers interactive and educational, private and public, bee tours where kids and adults can discover the world of honeybees and modern beekeeping. The breathtaking view of the surrounding fields is a picture perfect way to relax and enjoy your day. Honeyland is located in Pitt Meadows 17617 Ford Rd. For more information visit www.honeylandcanada.com.
16 Cool off and read a book in the comfort of one of the two local libraries. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows boast modern and comfortable libraries. Children are invited to investigate great reading this summer at both libraries! Find out whether what they read is Strange…But True? when they join the annual Summer Reading Club. Kids will receive a free reading record and bookmark, as well as weekly stickers to keep track of all the strange reading they do. Visit www.kidssrc.ca for reading activities, games and tips. Too old for the Kids Summer Reading Club? Check out other summer reading clubs for teens and adults at both libraries. For more information about the Maple Ridge Library call 604-467-7417 and for the Pitt Meadows Library call 604-465-4113.
17 Play a little stick and puck at Planet Ice Maple Ridge. This is a two-rink facility that opened in 1998. It is home to Cam Neely Arena which has seating for 1,200 spectators. The second rink has seating for 125. Both ice rinks are standard NHL size, 85 by 200 feet. Stick and puck is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in July and offers the opportunity to work on stickhandling and shooting skills. Bring your own stick, puck, gloves, skates and helmet. Helmets are mandatory for all participants. Please note all participants under the age of 18 are required to wear CSA approved face cage. For more information about all programs at Planet Ice this summer visit www.planetice.ca/mapleridge.
18 Attend a class at South Bonson Community Centre. This new community centre is the facility in Pitt Meadows located next to the Fraser River at 10932 Barnston View Rd., This two-storey, 11,000-sq.ft. building includes a main hall, fitness room, arts and crafts room, boardroom, community living room, and kitchen facilities. Many programs and classes are held at the centre throughout the year. Visit to www.recreg4u.ca to find a program or class.
19 Skate at the new Pitt Meadows Arena. This arena is located at the corner of Bonson Road and Wildwood Crescent South. It is easy to reach and has ample free parking. The complex includes three ice pads (two NHL size), renovated change rooms, a spacious foyer, a large multi-purpose room, snack and beverage dispensers, and administration offices. There are many skate programs to choose from, including adult learn to skate classes on Monday July 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. For more information visit www.pittmeadowsarena.com.
20 Attend the Caribbean Festival in Memorial Peace Park.Maple Ridge’s 12th annual Caribbean celebration takes place July 14 and 15 in the downtown core of Maple Ridge in Memorial Peace Park. The festival will feature two stages with 15 live bands from the Lower Mainland’s Caribbean community entertaining. The 60 to 70 vendors will display their goods at the open-air market. Food vendors will offer authentic Caribbean food. The festival will have a large kids zone featuring rides and street entertainers. This great family event attracted up to 18,000 festival goers last year and has become one of the favourite summer festivals in the Lower Mainland. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.caribbeanfest.ca.
21 Get a taste of the country during Country Fest at the Albion Fairgrounds. It’s a hoedown showdown on July 28 and 29 in Maple Ridge. This event is attended by thousands of people who enjoy everything from a midway to 4-H shows, the museum to roller derby, beer gardens to family-friendly activities, and live music all weekend with acts like Avalanche, Brent Lee Band, Johnny Cash tribute by Daryl Weyman, Robyn and Ryleigh Gillespie, Todd Richard, and many more. Admission to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest is free and has been for the past four years, in order to make the fair accessible to everyone. For more information visit www.mrpmcountryfest.com.
22 Visit the Beast in front of Maple Ridge municipal hall and the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment. In the valley of the Golden Ears Mountains in Maple Ridge, the Beast ran and frolicked from the beginning of time in perfect harmony with the environment. That is the first line of The Legend of the Beast by D.R. Brayford. Many residents have mixed feelings about The Beast. Read the story at www.mapleridge.ca/EN/main/visitors/573/legend.html and then visit it and watch it rear its head.
23 One of the community’s hidden gems, Alouette Lake is located within Golden Ears Provincial Park. Access is paved and well marked. Although a haven for fishers, the Alouette Lake area, with spectacular scenery of lakes, mountains, and rivers, provides many recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. There is a large public day area at the south end of the lake. A large public beach, picnic site, and campground are part of the provincial park. For more information visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/golden_ears.
24 Visit the Bell Irving Fish Hatchery, located in Kanaka Creek Regional Park. It can be reached either by trail from Cliff Falls park or more directly by road from 256th Street, south of Dewdney Trunk Road. Normal footwear is fine if you are going directly to the hatchery, but hiking boots or good quality walking shoes are a must if you choose the canyon trail. Unusual tailed frogs and the dipper bird will be found along the creek. Fish are fed two to four times per day with a special dry fish food. Feeding time is always a hit with kids. The hatchery offers free tours on weekends between 1 to 3 p.m. For more information email email@example.com.
25 Let your dog loose in a dog park. Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Parks & Leisure Services currently has five off leash parks. Rules are in place to ensure that dogs and their owners and handlers have a pleasant visit to the parks. Dog off-leash parks are Albion Fairgrounds (23448 - 105th Ave., Maple Ridge), Hoffman Park (entrance on 122nd Avenue at 191B Street and 19130 Advent Rd., Pitt Meadows), Jerry Sulina Park (210th Street and 132nd Avenue, Maple Ridge), North Bonson Park (12100 block of Blakely Road, Pitt Meadows), and Volker Park (21100 block of 123rd Avenue, Maple Ridge).
26 Pitt Meadows is rich in heritage, and there are a few places that offer a glimpse into the community’s past. Learn about the history of Pitt Meadows at the General Store (main museum), 12294 Harris Rd. and the Hoffman & Son Site, 12277 Harris Rd. Hours of operation in June, July, and August are Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. In the off-season, September to May, the museum is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Call ahead to confirm at 604-465-4322. Their website is www.pittmeadowsmuseum.com and their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
27 The Maple Ridge Museum & Archives is located in the old brickyard office of the Port Haney Brick & Tile Company, 22520 116th Ave. The museum is open from September to June on Wednesday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. In July and August, the museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
28 People can actually tour Haney House, the home of one of the earliest families to settle in this community. Haney House is open to the public on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from September to June, and in July and August, from Wednesday to Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. Haney House is located at 11612 224th St.
29 Join the fun of Canada’s sport lacrosse at the box behind Thomas Haney Secondary at Lougheed Highway and 116th Avenue.
30 Join in the Port Haney Day celebrations this year on Sept. 9 – the fun will take place in the Port Haney neighbourhood.
31 Learn about sustainability and environmentalism at the Community Education on Environment and Development Centre – the CEED Centre. They are at 11739 223rd St.
32 Ridge Meadows Seniors Activity Centre is one of the most active seniors centres in the region – join their musical theatre group, play a game of cards, or just get to know other seniors in your community. The seniors centre is at 12150 224th St. and can be reached at 604-467-4993. Their website is www.rmsseniors.org.
33 Seniors in Pitt Meadows meet at the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre, 12027 Harris Rd., but are anticipating new digs in the seniors complex being built next door. To reach them, call 604-465-2478.
34 Folks can take in an art show at the Maple Ridge Art Gallery inside The ACT, next to Memorial Peace Park.
35 Take a pottery or photography class at The ACT: go to www.theactmapleridge.org and look for the link to their programs.
36 Have a picnic at Cliff Falls, the most pictaresque part of Kanaka Creek Regional Park and then take a hike on the Canyon Trail. To find Cliff Falls, drive east along Dewdney Trunk Road and look for the sign to the falls at 252nd Street.
37 Hayward Lake, just east of Maple Ridge in Mission, offers two spectacular hiking routes: the Reservoir Trail and the Railway Trail, not to mention a great picnic area complete with gazebo.
38 Go for a walk in Haney and learn about the history of one of the oldest towns in B.C. The Port Haney Heritage walk tour can be found at www.mapleridge.ca.
39 Canoe Widgeon Creek and explore the falls. Canoe rentals are available at Pitt Lake. To get up there, drive north along Neaves Road, which turns into Rannie Road.
40 Canada Day: Celebrate your country’s birthday in Maple Ridge with a big bash at Memorial Peace Park and a children’s carnival at Haney House, 11612 224th St., and with festivities at Spirit Square in Pitt Meadows. (see story page B2.)
41 Music on the Wharf: Bring a blanket and lawn chair and enjoy an outdoor concert at the Port Haney wharf by the West Coast Express Station. Stop by for a beer at the Billy Miner after the show. Concerts this summer are slated for July 9, July 23, Aug. 13, and Aug. 27.
42 Celebrate the autumn bounty at Bruce’s Apple Festival on Oct. 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bruce’s Market, 23963 Lougheed Hwy.
43 Get into the Halloween mood with a tour of Ghost Ridge at the Albion Fairgrounds, 23500 105th Ave. Shows take place during the weeks leading up to Halloween. To find out more, go to www.ghostridge.org.
44 Remembrance Day ceremonies attracts thousands of people on Nov. 11 to the cenotaph in Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge and hundreds to the cenotaph in Spirit Square in Pitt Meadows. This year, the organizer of the Remembrance Day events, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88 celebrated its 85th anniversary.
45 Cast your line into Stave Lake, just east of Maple Ridge in the BC Hydro reservoir area. There is a boat launch, a beach and picnic area, a small campground and lodge facilities available to non-profit youth groups.
46 Glance back to the history of Maple Ridge in miniature with the Dewdney Alouette Railway Society’s diorama. It is open to the public the last Sunday of every month from 1 to 4 p.m. in the basement of the Maple Ridge Museum, 22520 116th Ave.
47 Taste some wines at the Blue Heron Fruit Winery, run by the Flynn family in Pitt Meadows. The winery is located at 18539 Dewdney Trunk Rd.
48 Take pictures of the mighty Fraser River from vantage points along the Kanaka Creek Regional Park trails.
49 Observe some of Pitt Meadows majestic herons while walking along the 19-kilometre Blue Heron Rotary Loop north of Lougheed along the border of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. For a map, go to www.pittmeadows.bc.ca>residents>local trail, walksways, & paths.
50 Consider taking up lawn bowling – Maple Ridge has one of the best greens around. Drop by the Maple Ridge Lawn Bowling Club at 11445 232nd St.
51Get soaked at the local spray parks, provided the weather ever heats up. There’s one spray park at Maple Ridge Park at 232nd Street and Fern Crescent, and another at Harris Road Park, near the outdoor pool.
52 Hunt down the incredible wealth of flora and fauna in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. If you’re reluctant to go it alone, join the Alouette Field Naturalists. This club of like-minded nature lovers make weekly treks, primarily within this community. They can be found exploring the hiking trails and observing the osprey nests from the tower at Grant Narrows Regional Park, watching for warblers and other fine-feathered friends on one of the five great trails in Golden Ears Provincial Park, visiting the falls at Rolley Lake Provincial Park, hiking up to the Peggy Helm hut below the observatory at UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, or identifying mushrooms at Kanaka Creek’s Cliff Falls. This group has been discovering our wonderful wilderness since 1972, and currently has about 30 active members. Membership and meeting information is available from Duanne Vandenberg at 604-463-8743.
53 Each fall, the bogs at the north end of 224th Street are intentionally flooded to allow for harvesting of acre upon acre of cranberries at the Golden Eagle Cranberry Farm. If you’ve never witnessed the actual picking of this berry, it might be worth driving out to the rural area to watch. It’s quite a sight, with pickers using what look like giant bicycles to manouvre the fields, bringing in the ripened berries – rain or shine. The berries are then turned over to companies such as Ocean Spray in sufficent time to ensure the tasty morsels are on consumers’ tables for Thanksgiving.
54 When the hot weather actually arrives, local residents will invariably be flocking to a few of the communities’ more popular outdoor swimming holes. Splashing around in the Hammond and Harris Road outdoor pools is encouraged between July 1 and Labour Day, with the pools typically open seven days a week (including statutory holidays, from 12:30 to 4 p.m., and 5 to 8 p.m.) The Harris Road Outdoor Pool is located at 12460 Harris Rd. in Pitt Meadows, while the Hammond Outdoor Pool is situated at 20601 Westfield Ave. in Maple Ridge. There’s always other swimming holes in town too, but they’re on natural waterways that are not monitored by lifeguards. They including the Alouette River Hot Rocks (located off 232nd Street before Maple Ridge Park), the beaches at Alouette Lake in the Golden Ears Provincial Park, as well as the smaller Whonnock Lake off 272nd Street in east Maple Ridge, and Rolley Lake Provincial Park in Stave Falls.
55 With the spring plant sale just behind them, members of the Laity family are now focussing their attentions on growing pumpkins. “We’re just trying to get the pumpkins to grow – under water,” joked pumpkin patch founder Heather Laity. During the past two decades, the Laity Pumpkin Patch has grown into one of the most coveted agri-tourism businesses in Maple Ridge, bringing visitors from around the Lower Mainland to their farm every October to not only hunt for the “perfect pumpkin” but to explore the farm and all its bounty, complete with a corn maze, vegetable gardens, wooden-figure playground, frontier village complete with a general store, schoolhouse and teepees. The Laity family is already working to expand the different activities for this fall’s harvest season. The farm is located at 21145 128th Ave. in Maple Ridge, and group tours can be booked by calling 604-467-4302.
56 From flatspins to tallwhips, fantastic fun can be had by BMX riders anxious to let loose on the ashphalt at Cottonwood Park. Pitt Meadows is home to the Ridge Meadows BMX Track, which is sanctioned by the Canadian Cycling Association. The Ridge Meadows BMX Track is run by non-profit society organized made up of volunteers dedicated to providing a high-quality space for children and adults interested in the sport. The park, located at 11580 Cottonwood Dr. in Pitt Meadows, also houses baseball diamonds.
57 Animal lovers are invited to leash up their pooches and head to the Albion Fairgrounds on Sunday, Sept. 9, for the annual Paws For A Cause fundraising walk in aid of the Maple RIdge SPCA. The event begins at 11 a.m. and includes live bands, doggy gams, and childrens activities, not to mention a walk in aimed at raising money to care for and find permanent homes for the community’s abandoned four-legged friends. Info: www.spca.bc.ca.
58 The rivers that stream through Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows offer recreation to their citizens and food for their wildlife.Alouette River Management Society is one of the active environmental preservation groups in the community fighting to keep these waterways healthy – namely the Alouette River and its watershed. To help achieve the educational component of their mandate, ARMS takes part in the annual BC Rivers Day, which this year is set to take place on Sunday, Sept. 30. Their events are held at tje Allco Hatchery, which is located on the Alouette River and is under the supervision of ARMS. The hatchery has raised and released about 35 million salmon since it opened in 1979. ARMS is located at the Rivers Heritage Centre, 24959 Alouette Rd. and can be reached at 604-367-6401.
59 If cycling is your thing, but you’re looking for more of a leisurely scenic tour with friends or family, versus race conditions, there’s miles of gorgeous trails in town to explore. For instance, there’s the 17-km Hawk Rotary Loop that takes people along the dikes of the Fraser and Pitt Rivers before circling back along Lougheed Highway and back into town. It’s a very flat expanse, for the most part, that’s also popular with pedestrians. And similarly, there’s another shorter – 11-km – loop north of Lougheed Highway that again takes you along a portion of the Pitt and Alouette River dikes and the rural end of Harris Road. This leg is called the Osprey Rotary Loop, and in both cases, families can use the public parking lots at Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall and Harris Road Park as home base for the excursion.
60 Designed primarily for commuters, the 16 -year-old West Coast Express is a passenger train that carries people to destinations between Mission and Vancouver five days a week. The bonus, there’s three stops made in this community at the Port Haney, Maple Meadows, and Pitt Meadows stations. The trains, now augmented by trainbuses, heads into the city weekdays only (except statuatory holidays), leaving Mission at different intervals between 5:25 and 7:25 a.m., and then returning east starting in the late afternoon from the seabus terminal on Vancouver’s waterfront, with departures again running between 3:50 anad 6:20 p.m. Trainbus service operates outside of regular train times, with buses leaving after the last westbound train in the morning, leaving Waterfront around midday and after the last train in the evening. While West Coast Express is aimed at people heading in and out of Vancouver for work, it is still a fun rail service that locals and visitors alike take if they want to spend the day exploring or shopping in downtown Vancouver. Info. www.westcoastexpress.com.
61Whether you’ve lived here for years or are new ot the community, you likely haven’t discovered all there is to see and do in town. The trained team at Tourism Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows office, at 12492 Harris Rd., can help you discover new and exciting locations and happenings. Become a tourist in your own town, and start with a visit to this visitor information centre brimming with brochures, maps, and information about local attractions, adventures, parks and trails, shopping, dining, and community happenings. For more information about the local tourism centre, call 604-460-8300, or go online to www.mapleridge-pittmeadows.com.
62 Baseball enthusiasts can let loose on a few balls at the Meadows Golf Centre’s batting cage. A popular destination for those wanting to practise, or simply let off a little steam, the outdoor facilities offers seven different batting cages, two geared up for slo-pitch, two more for medium and fast softball, and three for hardball (slow, medium, and fast). This part of the centre is open seven days a week during the summer, but closed September through February. Info: meadowsgolfcentre.com.
63 Walk, ride, or drive over Western Canada’s first electronically tolled bridge. The Golden Ears Bridge opened on June 16, 2009, spanning the Fraser River between Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to the north and Langley and Surrey to the south. The six-lane bridge and 14 kilometre road network provides a quick link for residents and business people, reduces travel times and regional traffic congestion. It replaced the Albion ferry that served as the primary means of crossing from 1957 until August 2009. The bridge also features bike- and pedestrian-protected lanes on each side. It also boasts two golden metal eagle sculptures at the top of the bridge that were fashioned by a German company.
64 Classic and antique car enthusiasts often gather weekly at the A&W restaurant at 228th Street and Lougheed Highway for what’s called Cruisin’ the Dub. It’s a company-wide program that transports guests back to a different era: one where leather jackets and poodle skirts were the norm. In today’s fast-paced world, this weekly event – held every Thursday from the end of May to early September from 6:30 to 10 p.m. – reconnects people with the simpler days of the 1950s and ’60s, the parking lot frequently overflowing with collector cars and trucks. In addition to the weekly car shows, classic vehicle owners and hot rodders from throughout the Lower Mainland will converge on Maple Ridge again on Thursday, Aug. 30 (between noon and 10 p.m.) for its annual Cruisin’ for a Cause. This event raises money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Info: 604-463-5712 or www.aw.ca/cruisin-the-dub.
65 There’s a quackin’ good time to be had at Maple Ridge Park on Sunday, Aug. 5, when the second annual Rotary Duck Race takes place down a length of the Alouette Rivers. While the actually fundraising duck race begins at 1 p.m., organizers have built up an entire day of festivities that run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The duck race was launched last year, and it’s primary function – besides being a fun family-oriented event – is a summer-long fundraising campaign aimed at raising $100,000 for local youth groups. It was started, and continues to be coordinated by the Rotary Club of Haney and the Rotary Club of Meadow Ridge. People buy tickets for $10 each, then numbered ducks are released on the river. If your ticket number corresponds with the duck that crosses the finish line first, you could win a new 2011 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4X4, once again donated by Maple Ridge Chrysler. If not, you can feel good knowing you helped youth in the community, and you had a blast watching the largest flock of ducks in history – albeit rubber – swim down the Alouette.
66 Husband and wife, Kerry and Lynn Davison, both grew up with farming in their roots. Though they spent years working in other careers, neither of them ever lost the passion for farming that had been passed down to them through their family heritages. They began a hedging cedar business on their Maple Ridge farm in 1995, which continues today, but is extremely labour intensive. The close proximity of Kerry’s older brothers Jersey dairy farm next door, together with their location on the busy Abernethy Connector, sparked the idea for this new farm business venture: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters. Last year, they opened the Fraser Valley’s newest artisan cheese processing facility and local food shop. In addition to the retail component, the family host a number of special events such as teas and evening fundraisers, as well as chef demonstrations, and cooking classes. The store is located at 22270 128th Ave. or people can find out more online at goldenearscheeseworks.com.
67 Using a Global Positioning System, the Hopcotts will once again be transforming their 17-acre field of corn into a unique maze design – namely the Three Little Piggies – this year. Since 2000, this farming family in Pitt Meadows has been running Meadows Maze, one of the largest corn mazes in the Pacific Northwest, in their quiet, rural location off Old Dewdney Trunk Road on Reichenbach Road (near the Pitt River Bridge). People can challenge their navigational skills as they make your way through 6.3 kilmetres of new mazes. They can also participate in pig races, take a hay wagon or barrel train ride, frolic on the bouncy pony rides, or visit the petting zoo. It’s a great chance to introduce or reacquaint children with farm life in a fun and educational atmosphere. The maze is expected to open for the summer season in early August. Call 604-460-0603 for information, or visit www.meadowsmaze.com.
68 Tucked away in the 5,000-hectare UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest – which is located near the eastern edge of Maple Ridge – there’s the Loon Lake Research and Education Centre that few know exists. This lakeside camp – originally built in 1949 to house UBC’s forestry field camps – has evolved into a secluded forestry and environmental education and outdoor recreation retreat providing workshops and a chance to commune with nature. It’s popular for kids camps – including the Canadian Cancer Society’s Camp Goodtimes – as well as adult workshops and corporate retreats. Info: 604-463-8165 or www.loonlake.ubc.ca.
69 There are few Lower Mainland communities as rich in golfing facilities as Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Whether you’re looking for putting greens, driving ranges, and easy par 3 courses or hankering to tee off on one of the larger, more challenging courses, there’s something for every skill set available in town. Some facilities are public, others semi-private, but all offering lush scenic courses geared at amateur, novice, and experienced golfers. In addition to Meadows Golf and Baseball, there’s Pitt Meadows Golf Club, Golden Eagle Golf Club, Swan-e-set Bay Resort, Meadow Gardens, Maple Ridge Golf Course, Hacker’s Haven, and farthest east would be Eighteen Pastures.
70 Close your eyes. Imagine for a minute that you’re back in the year 1900 and you don’t have any electricity. What don’t you have? Although this may not seem like the most exciting challenge you’ll face today, it is a game organizers at the Power House at Stave Falls play with visitors to the historic centre designed to educate the public of both the history and ongoing creation of hydroelectricity. Using interactive games and displays, the centre gives people a feel of what life would have been like in the early 1900s, as engineers struggled to harness the egergy being created by Stave Falls. Starting back in 1909, the dam began to take shape and the power house was added in 1912. Since decommissioned and replaced, that powerhouse is now a museum of sorts, open to the public for viewing.The facility is open Wednesdays to Mondays (closed Tuesdays) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Sept. 3 at 31338 Dewdney Trunk Rd. And on Saturday, Aug. 11, BC Hydro is planning to celebrate 100 years at Stave Falls with a free birthday party from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The family-friendly event will include carnival games, facepainting, and kids crafts, as well as guided tours of the facilcities. In lieu of admission, donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted for the food bank. Info: 604-462-1222 or visit www.bchydro.com/stavefalls.
71 For the fifth year in a row, a group of young adults in Maple Ridge are holding a party in Memorial Peace Park to promote breast cancer awareness. It’s a musical event featuring local young bands. Admission is free, but through a raffle and collection of donations, organizers once again hope to hand over a fistful of cash to the Canadian Cancer Society for breast cancer support and research. This year’s event is tentatively set for Saturday, Aug. 18, from 2 to 7:30 p.m. at the park in the centre of downtown Maple Ridge, at 11925 Haney Place, off 224th Street.
72 Again, in aid of cancer research, this community turns out in large numbers each year to be part of the annual Terry Fox Run. The run is hosted at the Hammond Community Centre (20601 Westfield Ave.) on Sunday, Sept. 16, Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the run at 10 a.m. There is one, five, and 10-km run/walk that’s also suitable for bikes, wheelchairs, strollers, and rollerbladers. Dogs are welcome on leash. Registration and info: www.terryfox.org.
73 What started as an 18th birthday party with good music has turned into an annual music festival with alternative music on offer at Memorial Peace Park.
Adstock 2012 will be held on July 8 this year, the eighth time it’s being put on by Adam Rayburn. Adstock is a free music event for people looking for an alternative music scene. Adstock features punk, hard core, ska, and metal - anything that isn’t played on the radio. This year’s headliner is Los Furlos Adstock 2012 will run from 1 to 8 p.m. at the bandstand in Memorial Peace Park in downtown Maple Ridge. The event is free and no alcohol or drugs are allowed. Info: email@example.com.
74 Fans of the big band sound shouldn’t miss the Summer Serenade series being held in Spirit Square in Pitt Meadows starting July 4. This evening of music features the music of Maple Ridge’s own Bruce James Orchestra, and runs 7 to 9 p.m. It’s a free knight out, with guests encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair. The series is expected to run every Wednesday night through July and August. Stay tuned for confirmed scheduling at www.brucejamesorchestra.com.
75 While Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership holds a festival each spring that attracts more than 500 people to help release baby chum into local rivers, the society also holds another community party each fall to celebrate the return of the salmon in October. Organizers are hoping the new and expanded hatchery is operational in time for this fall’s event. Stay tuned to The TIMES for details, or info. at www.keeps.org.