The Fraser Valley Trail ushers birders along on a riverside tour of some of the province’s richest birding regions. Composed of four unique communities, this trail stretches from the Township of Langley in the west, through the Fraser River cities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack to the Village of Harrison Hot Springs at the southern end of Harrison Lake.

The longest river in the province, the Fraser River rises high in the Rocky Mountains before descending through the rapids of the Fraser Canyon for more than 1,300 kilometres on its way to the river’s mouth at the Strait of Georgia. Along the way are abundant waters, rich marshlands, and bountiful salmon to welcome home migrating birds every year.

Not just the home to a few migratory waterfowl, the Fraser Valley routinely welcomes more than 200 distinct species to the region every year. From Langley to Harrison, this trail outlines dozens of incredible opportunities for birders of all backgrounds to spot unique birds along the mighty Fraser River.

Follow the Fraser Valley Trail

The traditional land of the Coast Salish people including the Stó:lō, Katzie, Sts'ailes and Kwantlen First Nations
A Four Day Tour

Langley

From the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo and Matsqui First Nations who have lived in the region for centuries, to the Fort Langley National Historic Site, the Township of Langley is rich in local traditions. A one hour drive east of Vancouver, take in beautiful riverside and lagoon bird watching opportunities, keeping an eye out for kingfishers and herons.

Getting Here

Birding and Culture along the mighty Fraser River

Langley makes it easy to feel like a local with its diverse selection of art, dining, and cultural experiences throughout this growing region.

 Birding
 Shopping
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 Accommodations
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    Mt. Bakerview Bed and Breakfast
    7463 216 St

    Get the best of both worlds with beautiful pastoral scenes and views of Mt. Baker at this bed and breakfast just minutes away from the city.

Exploring the Township of Langley

Wide open spaces play host to countless species of wildlife as you head south along the trail.

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    Princess & The Pea B&B
    21628 48 Ave

    Located in the historic Murrayville 5 Corners close to shops and restaurants, this cozy B&B has charming character rooms and homemade breakfast.

Abbotsford

Renowned for its airshow, planes aren’t the only sights in the skies above Abbotsford – look out for hawks around the farms and airfield, as well as swamp sparrows and elusive American bittern. 45 km east of Langley, this cultivated city weaves an eclectic tale of agriculture, community, and natural environment. 

Getting Here

Coming in from the West

Welcome the traditional land of the Stó:lō Nation; from the waters to the skies there’s plenty to feast your eyes, ears, and mouths on as this region shows off its bounty.

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Heading out to the East

Local businesses bring communities together as the BC Bird Trail follows along the path of the Fraser River.

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 Birding
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    Matsqui Trail Regional Park
    Entry at Mission Bridge or Page Road

    Matsqui Trail follows alongside the Fraser River offering serene views of the nearby farmlands and Cascade Mountains. 6km of flat walking trail makes this ideal for a quick birding expedition.

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    Sumas Mountain Regional Park
    39100 Sumas Mountain Forest Service Rd

    With trails suitable for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking, Sumas Mountain Regional Park is ready for you, no matter your speed. Head to the western viewpoint for the best hawk watching. 

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    Willband Creek Park
    Entry off Bateman Road

    This urban wetland on the Sumas Flats is a mixture of marsh, grassy field, and treed areas also containing a creek and two large water detention ponds. Enjoy the 2.6-kilometre outer trail, or one of the many interconnecting trails, and keep an eye out for great blue heron, northern shoveler, and belted kingfisher.

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    Hemingway's Books and Records
    33765 Essendene Ave

    For the collectors, browse one of Western Canada’s largest bookstores, housing an incredible number of new and used books, as well as vinyl records.

 Accommodations
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    Quality Hotel & Conference Centre
    36035 N Parallel Rd

    This pet-friendly hotel offers great amenities, including wheelchair accessible rooms and an indoor heated pool. Close to the popular birding areas of Sumas Mountain and Sumas Prairie.

Chilliwack

34 kilometres northeast of Abbotsford, Chilliwack is one of the province’s most popular outdoor destinations, boasting an assortment of parks, nature reserves, and farm-fresh eateries. This agricultural region is home to farm birds like red-tailed hawks and harriers and is also a great spot for cedar waxwings.

Getting here

A River Runs Through It

Just off the beaten path, the eighty kilometre Chilliwack River runs parallel to the mighty Fraser, providing a natural home to many of the area’s unique wildlife species on either side. This stretch of land boasts forested landscapes and beaches along the river, ending at Chilliwack Lake.

 Birding
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    The Vedder River Rotary Trail
    Entry at Lickman Road

    Starting at Vedder Park, bike or walk this 21km looped trail along the Vedder River. You can also detour partway through to head up to the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve.

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    Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve
    5200 Sumas Prairie Rd

    Home to one of the largest heron nesting colonies in the Lower Mainland, this facility includes an interpretive centre managed by the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve Society and multiple trails outfitted with bird blinds. Head up to their observation tower for a “heron’s eye view”.

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    Amble Coffee
    45450 Petawawa Rd

    A quaint coffee truck serving 49th Parallel coffee, nestled right in the forest of Vedder Park. Enjoy a fresh cup close to the river.

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Passing Through the Valley of Many Streams

Let the quiet hum of the local waters, which often host herons and kingfishers, be your soundtrack as life slows down.

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    Island 22 Regional Park
    44955 Cartmell Rd

    A 132-hectare park featuring walking trails, an off-leash dog park, and a bike skills park, as well as equestrian and boat launch facilities.

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    Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park
    Entry on Elgey Road

    A 107-hectare park made up of lake, marsh, and forested areas. Known to be home to over 180 different bird species.

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    Cultivate Cafe
    10015 Young Rd

    A family-run cafe connecting the community with refreshing brunch and lunch dishes using local ingredients. Vegetarian and vegan options and a kids menu are available.

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    Harvest Store & Cafe
    9381 Mill St

    Feel right at home at this family-run bakery and cafe. Nourishing breakfast and lunch options are available, as well as freshly baked cookies and muffins.

 Food
 Shopping
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    District 1881
    46140 Yale Rd

    Located in downtown Chilliwack, this is a walkable, heritage, cultural hub where locals come together, and where entrepreneurs set up shop with local retail.

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    The Book Man
    45939 Wellington Ave

    A community favourite, this carbon-neutral bookstore not only has a huge selection of books and vinyl LPs, they also have two friendly store cats named Beatrix and Nietzsche.

 Accommodations

Explore More

Learn the land with Sto:Lo Cultural Tours

Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve hosts monthly educational programming for all age groups, particularly special during nesting season.

Harrison River Valley

Not only do the sandy beaches of Harrison Lake, thirty-two kilometres north of Chilliwack, inspire some of the most dynamic outdoor adventure opportunities in the province, but they also provide a unique habitat for migratory birds and birders alike.

Getting Here

A day in the heart of Harrison

Harrison Hot Springs is nestled on the southern tip of Harrison Lake, with easy access to everything you need to stay put – or water-based transport to access unique bird habitats inaccessible by land.

 Cafe
 Birding
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    Harrison Eco Tours
    100 Esplanade

    Walking, kayaking, and boat tours. Their Bald Eagle-Fish Viewing Tour in the fall takes you on the river to see the large groups of bald eagles feeding on salmon.

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Spread Your Wings

The more you fly through the outskirts of the Harrison River Valley, the more super, natural experiences you’ll find hidden amongst the many Fraser River access points. 

 

 Birding
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    Lhá:lt/Harrison-Chehalis Wildlife Management Area
    14282 Morris Valley Rd

    Stretching the entire Harrison river, this area is renowned for bald eagles feeding on the salmon in the fall and trumpeter swans in the winter. Follow the Eagle Viewing Trail at the Sandpiper Resort for the first of many spectacular views. 

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    Sasquatch Provincial Park
    Entry off Rockwell Drive

    A beautiful park with pocket lakes perfect for a variety of outdoor activities. Bald eagles, woodpeckers, warblers, and vireos are some of the more common birds seen in the area.

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    Kilby Provincial Park
    215 Kilby Rd

    Situated where the Harrison and Fraser rivers meet, this park is a common resting and feeding area for many migratory and resident birds.

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    Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park
    Entry on Elgey Road

    A great spot to see a variety of birds. Easy walking trails go through forest and marsh habitats and a floating boardwalk leads to a viewing platform on the lake.

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    Fraser River Lodge
    7984 McDonald Rd S

    This luxury wilderness resort sits on an 18-acre estate, directly on the shore of the mighty Fraser River. Only a short drive from Harrison Hot Springs, their rustic lodge has woodsy rooms with river or mountain views.

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    Rowena’s Inn on the River
    14282 Morris Valley Rd

    Once owned by the Pretty Family, this 1800s manor is now a boutique hotel, offering rooms within the historic hotel or charming cottages, all on a 160-acre estate overlooking the Harrison River.

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    Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge
    15500 Morris Valley Rd

    Located in Sts’ailes, this historic and eco-friendly B&B generates their own hydro-electric power from a nearby waterfall. Learn about Sts’ailes values and history through creative workshops and guided tours.