"The Lake was the highlight of my trip..."
From Chilliwack's modest agricultural roots of yesteryear, the community has grown into the second largest municipality in the Upper Fraser Valley, covering a territory of 100 square miles.
The old part of town was nice, and it was there I found a great used book store where I actually took my time and browsed through the shelves. You can also find the place online at BookMan, but its just not the same as actually being there.
Chilliwack is a nice place surrounded by mountains and cows, but the highlight of my trip was hiking the river trail at Lake Chilliwack.
Approximately 50 minutes from Chilliwack, on Chilliwack Lake Road Chilliwack Lake is a beautiful lake set in the Cascade Mountains. The Chilliwack River, where some of the best whitewater is available, feeds into the Chilliwack Lake. White Fish, Dollies, Rainbow Trout & Cutthroat Trout make this pristine Lake their home. There is a Provincial Park with camping and a boat launch. 146 campsites, day use picnic area and playground. A number of trails are located within the vicinity of the park.
To get there take Vedder Road to Lake Chilliwack Road. Instead of going west to Cultus Lake, take a left over the bridge. Follow Lake Chilliwack Road pass the recreational site. The forest service road leading along the lake is in fairly good condition. You'll know you're there when you cannot drive any further. There are barricades set up so you can’t drive over the bridge.
Cross the bridge and walk the road till you reach head of the lake. You can detour to the right and admire the beach, or continue onward till you reach the trailhead sign to the left (the Ecological Reserve), or even go on a little further, past the pond, and also reach the beach this way. Both times I was there the pond was literally teaming with fish.
On my way there 3 men flagged me down in my truck and gave me a sappy story about how their car broke down and asked for a ride. They were dirty and had huge backpacks and walking sticks. It was obvious to me they had just illegally crossed the border, and sure enough I found a fresh campfire and wet clothes on the trail. On my way out that day I saw the men again, but this time they were being taken into custody by the Police.
Upper Chilliwack River Trail
The trail isn’t very well maintained, but I think that’s what I enjoyed about it so much – it was wild, challenging, and enchanting. Where else in B.C. can you find trees that would take 9 people to hug. There were washouts, downed old-growth cedar trees, and river crossings that I had to negotiate. Add to it a little bush whacking, rain, and mud, and it made for a perfect day hike. The forest was more beautiful than any I’ve ever seen.
There are giant cedars and firs in what seems to be a forest in its ancient condition. The trail meanders through the forest for about 3 km before it reaches the U.S. Border. You will know you’ve reached the border when you see a wide groove cut into the mountain in the view to your left.