Fraser trail network plan gains new park in Surrey

Parsons Channel site newest addition to Experience The Fraser river corridor

Newly acquired parkland in north Surrey along Parsons Channel. The opposite shore across that part of the Fraser River is Barnston Island.

A 12-acre park being created in Surrey along the Fraser River is the latest piece being dropped into the larger Experience the Fraser project that aims to open a network of contiguous riverside trails from Hope to the Salish Sea.

The forested land on Parsons Channel bought by the City of Surrey includes two fish-bearing creeks and will offer viewpoints overlooking the river.

Surrey Coun. Linda Hepner said the new park, located between 182A Street and Golden Ears Way, will attract people from around the region and provide a key Surrey chunk of the Experience the Fraser vision to “enhance recreation opportunities and create a thriving park system along the river.”

More than 43 per cent of the 550 kilometres of planned trails for Experience the Fraser are already in place, mostly in existing parks or along dykes.

The ultimate vision is for twin trails – dubbed the Canyon to Coast Trail – running on both sides of the river throughout the Lower Mainland, ending in Steveston and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.

Surrey Bend Regional Park, Westminster Pier Park, the Pitt River greenway and the Matsqui Trail to Fort Langley are expected to be key sections in the 160-kilometre corridor.

Users could take side trips on linking trails into areas like the Kanaka Greenway or Sumas Mountain Regional Park.

Connections with the Sea-to-Sky trail and Trans-Canada trail are also envisioned.

The Experience the Fraser trails would connect heritage and First Nations cultural sites, amenities like campgrounds and other destinations, from museums to farm gate stores.

An initial concept plan was endorsed last fall by the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional district boards.

The province provided $2.5 million in initial funding to develop the concept plan and help launch two demonstration projects – one on the Mission waterfront and the other a trail through Derby Reach Regional Park between the Golden Ears Bridge and Fort Langley.

Some ideas raised in the plan include self-propelled cable car crossings, “floatels” – floating hotels or bed-and-breakfasts in the river – and a floating event venue on a barge that could move from city to city for celebrations and festivals.

It also suggests developing “experi-turismos” that give visitors hands-on experiences similar to the Italian agriturismo concept.

“Imagine participating in a First Nations’ longhouse and village, working on a pioneer heritage farm, becoming a Royal Engineer for the day, or living at a working Fort,” the plan says.

How the full vision will be funded and governed is to be determined, but a broad partnership that could include the private sector is being pursued.

Inspiration has been drawn from similar trail networks elsewhere in the world, including the Waterfront Trail along Lake Ontario and the St. Clair River, and the $275-million Mountains to Sound greenway in Washington State.

 

Map of how Experience The Fraser trails (red) would mesh with other routes beyond the region.Also download detailed map of Experience the Fraser concept.

Just Posted

District of Kent to implement snow fence pilot project

$8,000 project to help prevent hazardous, drifting snow, and more from Kent council

PHOTOS: Fraser Valley Eagle Festival

Mission photographer Bob Friesen shares some of his images with the Record

PHOTOS: Harrison warms up to Christmas

The Lions Club hosts holiday event for community

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing starts Monday in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Most Read