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55 things to do around Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

To help you get your summer properly underway, we've hunted down a list of 55 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. Info: 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. Info: 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. Info: www.mkrf. forestry.ubc.ca.

4 Rolley Lake Provincial Park is 115-hectares of wilderness blanketed with tall, secondgrowth 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. Reservations and info: www.env.gov. bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/rolley_lk.

5 Take the Pitt Lake Natural Wilderness Cruise to one 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, 25metre 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. Info: 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. Info: 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-ofthe-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 emeraldpig@theatrebc.org 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. Info: 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. Program info: 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 info@caribbeanfest.ca or visit www.caribbeanfest.ca.

21 a taste of the country during Country Fest at the Albion Fairgrounds. It's a Get 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 admin@keeps.org.

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 offleash 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 pittmeadowsmuseum@telus.net.

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. 0

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 museum, 22520 116th Ave.

47 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.

48 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.

49 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.

50 Get soaked at the local spray parks, provided the weather ever heats up. There's one at Maple Ridge Park at 232nd Street and Fern Crescent, and another at Harris Road Park, near the outdoor pool.

51 With the spring plant sale just behind them, members of the Laity family are now focusing its 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 farm is located at 21145 128th Ave. and group tours can be booked by calling 604-467-4302.

52 Observe some of Pitt Meadows majestic herons while walking along the 19kilometre 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.

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 Whenthe hot weather actually arrives, local residents will invariably be flocking to a few of the community's 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 Take pictures of the some fantastic mighty Fraser River from vantage points along the Kanaka Creek Regional Park trails.

. More online at www.mrtimes.com

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