From Douglas Taylor Park to Page Road Trailhead (13.6
Distance From Vancouver: about 57 km via
Highway 1 East to Mount Lehman Road exit in Abbotsford. Then, drive North for around 5 km, turn right
onto Harris Road, drive for less than 1 km, and turn left onto the parking lot of
Douglas Taylor Park. This is the West end of the trail.
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
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
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.
Mount Lehman Road in Abbotsford BC Canada
2. Just over five kilometers
later, you would come to a four-way stop intersection with a red light.
This is Harris Road. Turn right.
Intersection of Mount Lehman Rd and Harris Rd in Abbotsford British
3. Less than a kilometer later,
on the left side of Harris Road, there is
the Douglas Taylor
Park entrance, located across from Olund Road. This park is open one
hour prior to sunrise to one hour after the sunset.
Douglas Taylor Park Entrance Abbotsford BC Canada
4. Here is the map of the entire
trail. Technically, this is not Matsqui Trail yet, as you have to walk a
few kilometers on Olund Trail to reach Matsqui Trail. But it does feel
like one trail, anyway. The inset at the bottom of the page shows
Mission Bridge area of the Matsqui Trail Regional Park. The red triangle
on the left side of the map shows our current location. The end of our
trip would be 3 hours
later at the Page Road Trailhead.
Matsqui Trail Map Photo
5. Off we go. In the first part of the trail, you are
walking mostly through a forested area, with a field appearing on your
left for a brief period of time. In a few minutes, a sign would advise
that you are entering Matsqui First Nations land.
Olund Trail en route to Matsqui Trail Abbotsford Province of BC Canada
6. Forty minutes later, you are
in the open. Several horses were available for observation near a shed on the right side. Straight ahead is a sewage
treatment plant (thank you for identifying, "109 Walks in Southwestern
British Columbia by Mary & David Macaree") with an unmistakable (though faint) smell.
Picture of Abbotsford Province of British Columbia Canada
7. As you are walking along the wide path seeing on
the photo above, to your right you can watch a very impressive mountain,
as well as trains passing by. Substantial zoom used.
CN Train Engine in Abbotsford BC Canada
8. The promised sewage treatment plant along the path.
Sewage Treatment Plant along Matsqui Trail in Abbotsford British
9. Then, you walk through more trees, and, an hour
and fifteen minutes after starting the walk, arrive to the main entrance
to Matsqui Trail Regional Park - Mission Bridge. Parking,
fishing, washrooms, and picnic tables are available.
Mission Bridge seen from Matsqui Trail in Abbotsford BC
10. A railroad bridge is just beyond the car bridge, as
you keep walking East.
A Railroad Bridge seen from Matsqui Trail - Abbotsford British Columbia
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
Photo of Matsqui Trail Regional Park Abbotsford BC Canada
12. Another great-looking mountain accompanies you
for much of this stretch of the trail. Substantial zoom used.
Mountain View seen from Matsqui Trail in Abbotsford British Columbia
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.
The path of Matsqui Trail Regional Park
14. A nice rural scene to our
left. The animals on the right side of the photo are cows.
View from Matsqui Trail Abbotsford BC
15. Getting close to the end. A
thoughtfully placed bench and a washroom for a weary traveler.
Matsqui Trail close to Page Road Trailhead in Abbotsford BC Canada
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.
Looking West on Matsqui Trail from Page Road Trailhead
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.
Mountain seen from Page Road Abbotsford BC Canada
18. And another photo of rural
living in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Abbotsford BC Photo
Provided you are ready for the wind, this is a very pleasant walk and is