View of Cultus lake and Chilliwack Valley from Mt Thom
Submitted to Our Canada Magazine -  Accepted – published Sept 2013 issue

Destination, Chilliwack, British Columbia 

The short trail climbs up the hill between the alder trees at a moderate incline rising about 100 meters. You will find it a moderate climb, but you might need to stop to catch your breath if you haven’t been doing much walking lately.  The amazing view from Mt Thom in Chilliwack BC is worth the effort. You will be greeted by the green corn and hay fields stretching between the mountains that enclose the valley.

I live in Chilliwack, I hike the trails, fish the rivers, sail the lakes, and have enjoyed many exciting adventures since moving here. The Tourism Chilliwack web site is www.thegreatoutside.com which is what you will find in Chilliwack.

Chilliwack is a city with a population of 80,000 in the Fraser valley. This a major dairy and agricultural area in British Columbia, located 100 kilometers east of Vancouver. The area was populated by as many as 40,000 Stolo Indians, 10,000 years ago.  Chilliwack is  still home today to the descendents  of these original inhabitants.

 In 1857 gold was discovered in BC and by 1858 up to 30,000 miners had arrived and travelled to the goldfields by way of steamships , up the Fraser River to Chilliwack. By the 1860’s small farms had been established in the Valley to supply the gold seekers with produce and the township of Chilliwack was incorporated in 1873.

There are dozens of trails in the Chilliwack Area varying from 12km steep mountain hikes to the flat rotary trail along the Chilliwack River.  The Rotary trail is great for viewing the fall run of spawning salmon. You will find trail access is by two wheel drive roads to most trail heads. The Rotary trail which is right in the town of Chilliwack is 15 km, and has multiple access points so you can walk 1 km or 5 km or bike the whole trail. You can pick up trail maps at the Tourism Chilliwack office or on the website.

The trails provide you with opportunities to view, Bald eagles, song birds, ducks, and wood peckers amongst other wildlife.  The Blue Heron Nature preserve trails allow for viewing a nesting site for the great blue Heron. The Herons start nesting in March and can be spotted in the fields, and along the creeks and ponds, hunting for food for the growing chicks.

The world’s largest gathering of bald eagles occurs in the Fraser Valley, you will see eagles perching in trees, along the farm roads in the area.  The eagle fest in Mid-November hosts lectures and events , and you can view  the  1000’s of eagles by taking a boat tour of the Harrison River from Kilby Heritage farm

The eagles are attracted by the five species of Salmon that spawn in the Fraser River and its tributaries.  If you are looking for the thrill of a lifetime book a fishing charter for Sturgeon. Sturgeon reach up to 1000 lbs and 12 feet in length. Hooking one of these giants or just enjoying a day on the secluded areas of the Fraser River is a great adventure you will remember for the rest of your life.

Come check out ”The Great Outside” in Chilliwack

Resources for Chilliwack:

Chilliwack Tourism http://www.tourismchilliwack.com/

Sport Fishing BC – Fraser River Charters -  http://www.bcsportfishinggroup.com/

Hancock Wildlife Foundation – All about Eagles  http://www.hancockwildlife.org/



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