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Trip 243 - May 9, 2022 (Monday)

Barnston Island Visit

On Fraser River Between Surrey and Pitt Meadows BC Canada


Barnston Island Location: Fraser River, between Surrey and Pitt Meadows. Access is via 104 Ave in Surrey to Barnston Island Ferry Port Kells Terminal, followed by a 2.5 minute ferry ride.

Liked: A very short ferry ride across Fraser River, Barnston Island circle road (10 km) with almost no traffic, great views of Golden Ears Bridge.

Of Note: No public parking on Barnston Island, no shoulders on circle road, backing up onto the ferry is required on Barnston Island Terminal.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (5th edition) Park Coordinates: Page 2 (Greater Vancouver) D3.

Related Website: Barnston Island Regional Park - Metro Vancouver Official Website.


Barnston Island is a fine little island located on Fraser River between Surrey and Pitt Meadows. A 2.5 minute-long free ferry ride connects Surrey's Port Kells area (northern end of 104 Avenue) with Barnston Island. A 10 km-long circle road goes around the island, and makes for a fine bicycle ride or a hike.

Barnston Island is mostly farm land. As well, there is a Katzie First Nation reserve. Also, Barnston Island Regional Park has two areas on eastern and western ends of the island. In the east, 1.8 km to the left of the ferry terminal as you exit it, Point Roberts Rest Area features a washroom, picnic tables and trash cans. There is a decent, if not great, Fraser River view out there, 100 meters from the road in the picnic tables location. In the west, 4 km to the right of the ferry terminal as you exit it, a 300 meter-long path leads to Mann Point with a very impressive view of Golden Ears Bridge.

There is no public parking on Barnston Island, and a rather inconvenient backing up onto the ferry is required at the Barnston Island Terminal. Thus, the best way to visit would be on a bicycle, after parking your vehicle at a free lot on the Surrey side of Fraser River. While the circle road has no shoulders, there is virtually no traffic, and it's a very serene location, with little noise, and rural and natural views all around.

1. Here is a Google map of Barnston Island. The ferry connection is seen on the left side, by Surrey Bend Regional Park we visited earlier in the day.

2. We are at the northern end of 104 Avenue in Surrey, approaching Port Kells Terminal of Barnston Island Ferry, with Surrey Bend Regional Park turnoff being several hundred meters behind us. For directions on getting here from Highway 1, check out our Surrey Bend Regional Park trip report. The parking lot seen on the left side of the photo below is free.

3. Barnston Island Ferry rules. Note that backing off from the ferry is required upon arrival to Barnston Island, and backing up onto the ferry is required on Barnston Island for the return trip to Surrey - Port Kells Terminal.

4. Load limit is 40 tons. No public parking is available on Barnston Island. The cameras you see above the stop sign show still pictures on DriveBC. Click on the link to see the line-up at Port Kells Terminal, and then use the map below the camera view to click on other 3 camera views (one more at Port Kells, and two on Barnston Island side).

5. The ferry entrance ramp.

6-7. And here is Barnston Island Ferry near Barnston Island, as seen from the Surrey side.

8. Boarding time. You would be traveling backwards to Barnston Island. On the return trip, it's about 50/50. That's just how the tug pushing the ferry moves it across Fraser River. Also, you would have to back off the ferry onto Barnston Island, and then back up onto the ferry on your ride back to Surrey.

9. Moved all the way to the front. Five passenger vehicles can be accommodated on this ferry at a time.


10. Looking back at Port Kells Terminal we have just left.

Here is our video of riding Barnston Island Ferry from Surrey to Barnston Island.

11. It took all of 2.5 minutes to cross Fraser River, and we are now on Barnston Island by the ferry terminal. Point Roberts Rest Area (washroom, garbage cans, picnic tables, a semi-decent river view) is 1.8 km to the left, and Mann Point (with a great Golden Ears Bridge view) is 4.0 km to the right.

12. In the meanwhile, the ferry went back.

Here is our video of Barnston Island Ferry heading to Surrey - Port Kells.

13. A map of Barnston Island Regional Park, courtesy of Metro Vancouver.

And here is our video of driving the entire Barnston Island circle road.

14. 50 km/h speed limit applies.

15. There isn't much to see on Barnston Island structure-wise, though this is a neat house.

16. A fine-looking farm too.

17. Barnston Island is home to the Katzie people.

18. Point Roberts Rest Area with the only public toilet on Barnston Island. Parking is not permitted.

19. The beginning of a 100 meter-long path to picnic tables and a river view.

20. The picnic tables.

21. The river view.

22. And here is a point 4.3 km from the ferry if you turn right upon getting to the island. We are actually looking back after turning around. This is a good spot to get a fine Golden Ears Bridge views with vegetation in the foreground.

23. Golden Ears Bridge with vegetation in the foreground.

24. With some zoom.

25. And this is Mann Point path entrance 4.0 km from the ferry if you turn right (and about 6.0 km if you turn left).

26. The path to a great Golden Ears Bridge view is, approximately, 300 meters long. It's a bit muddy in one spot.

27-30. The beach can be very muddy too, but what a bridge view! Left to right, followed by a panorama.

Here is our video of Golden Ears Bridge from this location.

31-32. We are back at Barnston Island Ferry Terminal. Backing up onto the ferry is required here.

33. A Fraser River view on the way back.

34. Back in Surrey at Port Kells Ferry Terminal.

Here is our video of riding the ferry back to Surrey.

More ihikebc videos are on our YouTube Channel.

Barnston Island would most suit bicycle riders or hikers, rather than drivers, and features a serene 10 km-long circle road, a rest area, and a very impressive Golden Ears Bridge view. Highly recommended.

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ihikebc.com Trip 243 - Barnston Island Visit (On Fraser River between Pitt Meadows and Surrey)