This is the third in a series of blogs about Metro Vancouver Regional Parks. I am certainly enjoying exploring them and photographing their beauty! Campbell Valley Regional Park is located in the City of Langley in the southern area of the Metro Vancouver Regional district.
Covering over 1300 acres, and with more than 30 km in walking trails, this park is one that can be enjoyed time and time again. There are paths and boardwalks that pass through marshes and mighty trees, as well as historic buildings to discover.
As you walk along the trails near the marshes you will hear and see a variety of birds as they fly in and out of the tall grass. Pause here and look for ducks and other waterfowl swimming amongst the marsh plants. The Little River Loop Trail is 2.3 km and is wheelchair accessible. This inner pathway is part boardwalk and part gravel path and will take you beside the marshes and through the tall trees for you to admire.
You will most likely spot squirrels and chipmunks darting back and forth across the trail looking for seeds and scampering up the trees, chasing one another as they go.
If you’re looking for a longer walk, then take the outer Shaggy Mane Trail. Starting at one of the entrances, this trail will take you past wide open fields, as well as along tree-lined paths. The hike is 11 km and is used by pedestrians, as well as equestrians. Please follow proper trail courtesy and yield to any equestrians that you may meet on this trail.
Located within this park is the Annand/Rowlatt Farmstead. The original farmers of this area first arrived in 1886 and cleared the land for both cattle and hayfields. You will find the farmhouse, built in 1888, as well as two barns. The first barn was built in 1898 with hand-hewn beams and cedar planks for siding, while the newer, larger one, was built in 1939. The farm was owned and maintained by these early pioneers until 1973 when Metro Vancouver bought the land for use as a park.
Also found within the park is the Lochiel Schoolhouse. This one-room schoolhouse, one of the oldest in the province, was built in 1924 and used until 1975 when the city then began using it as a community hall. In 1988 it was moved to the park and restored so that it could be used for museum programs.
Located near the South Valley Entrance you will find a group picnic area and picnic tables for families. There are also ponds and a wildlife garden here, as well as a gazebo that is often used for event photographs.
Campbell Valley Regional Park is definitely a park that can be visited and enjoyed no matter what the season. Explore the many trails, find a spot all to yourself, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.