Trip 033 - February 24, 2011 (Thursday)
Matsqui Trail Regional Park
From Douglas Taylor Park to Page Road Trailhead (13.6 km)
Liked: Rural vistas, well-maintained trail.
Of note: This trail is not a loop, some stretches were brutally windy, there was a lot of horse manure (watch your step).
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 3 (Abbotsford) C5. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available for purchase at BackroadMapbooks.com.
Related Website: Matsqui Trail Regional Park - Metro Vancouver Official Site.
Another Trip in Abbotsford Area: Willband Creek Park.
Matsqui Trail runs along Fraser River in the town of Abbotsford, BC. To get there from Highway 1, take Mount Lehman Road exit, drive North for just over five kilometers, turn right onto Harris Road, and in less than a kilometer on the left side (across from Olund Road) you would see the entrance to Douglas Taylor Park, the West end of the trail. Matsqui Trail is quite long - its Eastern end is at Page Road, 13.6 km later. However, there are five or six entrances/exits along the trail, which are all car-accessible. If you have two vehicles, you can do a one way trip.
Since I did not have a second vehicle, and did not want to return along the same trail, I took Abbotsford's rural roads to get back to the parking lot. It turned out to be a bad idea. There were few good views, and the last stretch (Westbound along Harris Road) forces you to walk on a narrow shoulder along a very busy two-lane road. Besides, I misjudged how long it would take to get back, and ended up running on that same shoulder for about 20 minutes to avoid my vehicle being locked in or towed from the Douglas Taylor Park's parking lot, since a note at the park entrance stated that the park closes one hour after the sunset, and it was around that time.
I would recommend walking this trail West to East, especially in the afternoon, as the sun would otherwise be shining straight into your eyes. Also, have a windbreaker and a head cover, especially if it is cold, and especially if you are going to walk East of Mission Bridge, where the wind was, at times, simply brutal.
1. We have exited Highway 1, and are now driving North on Mount Lehman Road.
11. The stretch from Mission Bridge to Page Road trailhead can be taken in the open on the levee, or to the left through the woods (though the levee would then block off all the good views on the right).
12. Another great-looking mountain accompanies you for much of this stretch of the trail. Substantial zoom used.
13. Do note that you are now in the open, with no tree cover, and the wind around here was simply ferocious. As the temperature was around zero, it was very cold. For much of the way past the Mission Bridge, there is also a trail in the woods close to Fraser River to the left of this path, and there is some tree cover there. But you would lose many great views.
14. A nice rural scene to our left. The animals on the right side of the photo are cows.
15. Getting close to the end. A thoughtfully placed bench and a washroom for a weary traveler.
16. We are at the Page Road trailhead now, and are looking back West. Do note the 6 PM closing time this time of the year.
17. As mentioned above, we took Abbotsford streets (Page Road, Riverside Street, then Harris Road) to get back to the our vehicle. Not too many great views, but still some good vistas. Here is one. Some zoom used.
18. And another photo of rural living in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Provided you are ready for the wind, this is a very pleasant walk and is definitely recommended.
ihikebc.com -> 033 Matsqui Trail Regional Park (Abbotsford BC)