For nearly 70 years, Loon Lake Lodge & Retreat Centre has proudly called Maple Ridge home. Often referred to as “the best-kept secret in the Lower Mainland”, our hometown is a place filled with incredible beauty and wonderfully rich in both history and character.
Situated a short 45-minute drive from Vancouver, not surprisingly, the early settlers to the area were engaged primarily in forestry and agriculture. At one point, Maple Ridge housed multiple logging camps and saw mills. Large forests close to the river were the ultimate place to build logging camps, enabling the loggers to transport the logs swiftly to the sawmills. Today, playing homage to its roots, forestry companies remain the largest private sector employers in the district.
Home to a population of over 76,000 people, the current day Maple Ridge offers a marriage of authentic activities for all ages and interests. From hiking, horseback riding and golf, to farm touring, music, theatre and shopping, there is much to be explored in our neighbourhood.
We polled our team here at Loon Lake asking them what are their favourite things to see and do are in Maple Ridge and came up with the following list:
Visit to Golden Ears Provincial Park
One of the largest parks in the province, Golden Ears Provincial Park is cherished for its recreational opportunities with an extensive system of trails that provide an excellent opportunity for hiking and horseback riding. Activities available in Golden Ears include canoeing, climbing, cycling, swimming, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, boating, water skiing and windsurfing. As the traditional hunting and fishing grounds for the Douglas-Lillooet and Katie Coast First Nation, Alouette Lake is a great place to head with the family for a day out on the beach.
Treat yourself to a visit and some cheese at Golden Ears Cheesecrafters
Run by sisters Jenna and Emma, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters is the Fraser Valley’s newest Artisan Cheese processing facility. Bringing their passion of food to what they do, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters offer a variety of artisan cheeses, fresh cheddar curds and cultured butter carefully hand-crafted using 100% Canadian quality milk. The milk they use is taken directly from their family dairy, located right next door, fresh and free of hormones and antibiotics. With a shop, bistro and open-style kitchen, Golden Ears has become the destination of choice for those looking for local products, gifts and a delicious dining experience.
Go wild at WildPlay, Maple Ridge
At WildPlay Element Parks, aerial adventures and zip lines transform a casual nature day into unforgettable outdoor recreation for adults, teens, kids, and groups. WildPlay is heralded as offering the most adrenaline-packed adventures in the Lower Mainland. The Monkido Adventure Course involves climbing, ziplining, jumping and swinging through obstacle games while the What’s To Fear Jump is an unnerving loose-line plunge from the edge of a 40-foot perch.
Grab a pint at the Billy Miner Pub & Ale House
Billy Miner was a noted American criminal, originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky who served several prison terms for stagecoach robbery. Known for his unusual politeness while committing robberies, he was widely nicknamed the Grey Fox, Gentleman Robber or the Gentleman Bandit. He is reputed to have been the originator of the phrase “Hands up!” Set in the former Bank of Montreal, the wall behind the bar is where the old vault used to be. When Don and Bernice Gehring purchased the building in the 70’s they had the intent to create a neighbourhood pub and chose the name because the tracks he rode on and stole from run east-west right across the street.
Pick up some locally grown fruit and vegetables at the Haney Farmers Market
Haney Farmers Market, open on Saturday mornings from May 7 through October 8 from 9 am to 2 pm, takes place in Memorial Peace Park on 224th in downtown Maple Ridge. A vibrant outdoor Saturday market, the Haney Farmers Market sells fresh farm produce and fruit, eggs, salmon, beef, lamb, pork, sausage, preserves, jams, jellies, home baking, artisan crafts, creams, lotions, fine art and fibre art. Children's crafts, a giant chess set and lively entertainment go great alongside a Sizzling Smokey Dog made from beef grown locally, buns made nearby and vegetables from the growers at the market.
For more information about Maple Ridge, visit our friends at Tourism Maple Ridge for more details.
Photo Credit: Golden Ears Provincial Park via Shutterstock