Are you living in Clayton Heights and looking to set out for a scenic winter hike? Residents near Surrey and Langley have excellent options for enjoying the wilderness, even when colder temperatures sink into the valley. First and foremost, remember to prepare yourself for the elements – be aware of weather conditions before setting out and remember than sunset occurs earlier and earlier as the winter solstice approaches. Make sure you have the proper hiking gear, and always be prepared for some snow. Hiking Clayton Heights, Cloverdale, and beyond is an excellent way to exercise and immerse yourself in nature. Here are three of the best Clayton Heights hiking trails that you’ll want to explore this winter.
Explore the Opening of Indian Arm
Near the terminus of the Burrard Inlet, a steep-sided glacial fjord named Indian Arm runs northward. There at its eastern shores, you’ll find beautiful year-round trails with low to modest changes in elevation that provide scenic views of North Shore ranges and a winding coastline. Park at the Belcarra Picnic Area and head either north or south. In the northerly direction, the 5.5km Jug Island Trail (intermediate difficulty) leads to a small, rocky beach. In the winter, snowy mountain ridges appear blissfully in the water’s reflection. Heading south from Belcarra, alternately, the easier Admiralty Point Trail extends 5km to Burns Point along the shoreline. On the way, you can enjoy the views of Deep Cove, Mount Seymour, Burnaby Mountain, and even downtown Vancouver on a clear day. Driving time from central Surrey is about 40 minutes.
The Marshes of Minnekhada Regional Park
Lying above the Lower Pitt River, Minnekhada Regional Park northeast of Coquitlam boasts beautiful marsh and forest trails. Integrated into nearby marshland nature reserves, this is a great location for spotting wildlife. The Fern and Quarry trails wrap around the south and north sides of the marsh, respectively, while the Log Walk / Mid Marsh Trail bisect it in the east-west direction. A full loop will take 2.5 hours to complete, on average. Catch the sight of windblown snow over the frozen marsh after snowfall, or gaze at the surrounding peaks that mirror themselves on the still waters earlier on in the season. On the east side of the loop, side trails can be found leading up to the Addington and High Knoll lookouts, which provide beautiful views of the Pitt River down below. Driving time from central Surrey is about 30 minutes.
Overlooking the Fraser Valley from Sumas Peak
On the south shores of the Fraser River east of Abbotsford, Sumas Mountain rises above the floodplain. It’s easily recognizable and provides a challenging climb up to a magnificent eastward lookout. This intermediate trail has an elevation gain of 715 metres and can be quite muddy following rain events – so beware. The round-trip ascent and descent is about 13.5km and takes 6-7 hours on average. Watch for orange markers and signs directing you around logging areas. The trail wraps around the calm, Douglas fir-lined Chadsey Lake. A rewarding summit yields views of Mount Baker, Chilliwack, and the upper Fraser Valley. Driving time from Surrey is about 45 minutes.
Clayton Heights is home to a number of beautiful hiking trails for every ability level. Whether you’re already a resident, or just an avid hiker interested in Clayton Heights real estate, those are three top-notch hikes likely to take your breath away. Now all you need is a thermos with your favourite warm drink!