If you’re looking for a nice walk that also provides the opportunity to grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant or do some shopping close by, then head out to Brae Island in Fort Langley. Located about an hour east of Vancouver, this hike takes you on level paths through a forest of mixed deciduous and coniferous trees. At about 4 km return it is an easy walk to fit in while also enjoying the city of Fort Langley.
From Fort Langley head over the bridge to Brae Island. The bridge spans the Fraser River and from here you can spot the white church to the east. This is the Church of the Holy Redeemer whish is situated on land owned by the Kwantlen First Nations. Looking to the west you can see the forested area of Brae Island and the beach areas used by campers and day-use visitors.
Once you’ve crossed over the bridge turn to the left towards the west and you will find the entrance. There is also a very popular campsite here that can be booked for tents and trailers. The trail starts here and takes you along beside the water for a short distance before heading through the trees.
I visited this park in both the summer and the fall and it was a fantastic walk in both seasons. Because of the flat trails it would be suitable for all ages and a perfect place for kids to explore.
If you continue on the trail that leads straight you will soon get to Tavistock Point and a view looking west down the Fraser River. When I went in the summer it was actually a bit overcast, but returning in the autumn we had a gorgeous sunny day and the reflection of the clouds in the water was spectacular!
When you leave the tip of the island head back down the path and then take the Tavistock Loop trail which veers off to the left. Along this northern section of the island you will find some views across the Fraser River towards Maple Ridge and the Garibaldi Mountain range beyond.
Brae Island used to be a separate island from McMillan Island which was to the east. Over time these two islands joined together from silt washed down the river and became known as Brae Island. The Albion Ferry once operated from the island across to Maple Ridge, but ceased running once the Golden Ears bridge was built farther down the river.
Enjoy meandering along this loop trail, which eventually will join up with the main trail which leads to the entrance of the park.
Once you’ve gone back over the bridge, spend some time enjoying the city of Fort Langley. Originally built as a Hudson Bay Fur Trading Post in 1827, Fort Langley later became an important stop for the trains when a station was opened here in 1915. The CN Station that stands here is one of the few remaining stations from that era.
Now it’s time to grab a coffee and do some window shopping. This quaint city has a vibrant collection of stores and photo opportunities to enjoy.
If you are planning a trip to Fort Langley I would highly recommend visiting during the week if possible. This city gets extremely busy on the weekends and parking can be difficult. Restaurants also become quite crowded and hard to get into. If a weekend is what works best for you then try and go early to enjoy the city before too many people arrive for the day.
Fort Langley is located on the unceded traditional territories of the Kwantlen First Nations people.