Golden Ears Provincial Park (Alouette Lake) - Maple Ridge
notes from Mom
Activity:I have to admit, when my husband suggested we go out to Maple Ridge one Sunday, I responded with about four other options. I'd never been there, but pictured it as a small hick town with no good places to eat. Boy, I was pleasantly surprised. Haney is a small town, but with a quaint atmosphere. Westgate Mall looks new, and has a Bread Garden, Swiss Chalet, a bagel place, plus Starbucks for those who will drink nothing less.
The best attractions in Maple Ridge though, are Golden Ears Provincial Park and Alouette Lake. Golden Ears Park apparently stretches all the way up to Squamish. We were bound for the lake, so we only had time to walk in the Spirea Nature Trail and Interpretive Forest. Jen and Nathe enjoyed pushing the buttons to find out about the wildlife and vegetation. Alouette Lake is a beautiful spot, but the beach is kind of rocky. The water is a little on the cold side, but that didn't stop us. It's a popular spot for picnickers. I remember looking at the picnic site and seeing clouds of smoke from all the barbecues and hibachis.
On the way to Alouette Lake we also saw a beautiful playground with a water park, which we had to drive by. Nathan had a hard time forgiving us because he didn't get to see the big lighthouse.
Age group:All ages
:Golden Ears Park has so much to offer: wilderness hiking, fishing, horseback riding, swimming, camping, and more; all less than one hour away from Vancouver.
Details:Golden Ears Provincial park is about 55,000 hectare in size, with 65 km of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.
To get to Golden Ears Park, take highway 7 (Lougheed Highway) from Vancouver out through Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Pitt Meadows. Take a left on to Dewdney Trunk Rd. at approximately the Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge border. Continue on Dewdney Road, until 232nd St. Take a left (north) on 232nd St. At 232nd St. and Fern Crescent is Maple Ridge Park which looked to have a nice kids' water park. Continue on past Maple Ridge Park, following the signs to the Golden Ears Park gate. The Alouette Lake beach area is 7 km past park gates. Spirea Nature Trail (universal access) is about 6 km past park gates. This trail also runs alongside a bog.
For more information call (604) 924-2200. Website: Golden Ears Park.
Educational highlights:The Spirea Nature Trail and Interpretive Forest has all kinds of displays about how the forest grows, and the animals and plants that live there. The Spirea Nature Trail is also wheel chair friendly.
Fun for the adult?:Sit by the lake, hike alongside a creek, horseback ride, camp, fish or canoe...plenty to do.