Winter is a special season in Chilliwack. The towering mountain peaks that surround the city are majestically covered in crisp snow while the Valley floor often remains lush with green farmer’s fields and forested hillsides. Special events and travelling may be on hold this season, however there are still plenty of activities to enjoy right outside our back doors. Whether you enjoy the hunt for snow packed adventures or prefer to avoid that white stuff, we’ve got a few ideas for you to make the most of a Winter spent close to home this year.
Each year approximately 35,000 Bald Eagles gather in the Fraser Valley from November to February. They are actually named Sea Eagles; however, their unique white feathered head has them referred to as being bald. The birds arrive from northern BC, the Yukon and Alaska as the rivers and food supplies freeze up, forcing the eagles to travel south in search of food. They begin to arrive as the salmon are spawning in our creeks and rivers providing the perfect area for them to spend their winters. These impressive birds are notable for their size, with the males having a wingspan up to 6 1/2 feet and the females being somewhat larger with a wingspan of up to 8ft.
Although no longer an endangered species, they are protected as they were close to extinction not that long ago. Here are few etiquette tips to consider when out eagle viewing.
- Remain in or near your vehicle at roadside viewing locations.
- Avoid loud noises, such as yelling, car door slamming, horn honking and unnecessary movement.
- Use binoculars and a spotting scope instead of getting too close.
- Don’t do anything to try to make the eagle fly.
These impressive creatures are easily spotted along the Vedder Rotary Loop Trail and Prest Road. For other bird watching tips and knowledge head over to the BC Bird Trail or check out their Instagram page.
Snowshoeing is a great winter sport for so many reasons! First off, it is a fantastic, low impact exercise that doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise. It gives you the ability to enjoy the great outdoors during a time of year that trails are usually less busy. It is also a fun way to socialize, try it as a date idea or take some time to catch up with a friend.
Don’t own snowshoes, and not sure if you want to commit to buying a pair? No problem, you can pop into Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors and rent a pair for the day. You can pretty much try snowshoeing anywhere there is snow, however some of the most popular areas for snowshoeing in the Chilliwack area are Elk Mountain and Chilliwack Lake. Pack yourself a picnic and bring a camera and you’re sure to have a blast! If you are planning to head into the backcountry at all we recommend you visit BC Adventure Smart for advice on planning your trip before you head out.
Yes – we said fishing…Steelhead fishing is actually popular this time of year, if you’re willing to brave the cold to catch one! The Chilliwack (Vedder) River is the most productive Steelhead stream in the Lower Mainland! Other Winter fishing opportunities include Coastal Cutthroat Trout in the Fraser River backwaters and White Sturgeon fishing. Rainbow Trout are an option as well if you like to fish in a lake, although it’s a little slower in the cold season.
New to fishing and not sure where to start? That’s alright, there are many experienced guides in the area willing to share their experience. One fun idea is the Steelhead Walk and Wade Adventure provided by Great River Fishing. Please see our list of Fishing Guides to learn more.
Cozy Drinks to Keep You Going
Whether you like to start off your day with a java to-go or prefer to reward yourself at the end of a successful adventure with a warm treat, (or even both), we’ve got the most amazing coffee shops serving fresh hot beverages all day long.
45450 Petawawa Road
44688 South Sumas Road
Wooley Dog Alley, District 1881
Cedar and Moss Coffee
51935 Hack Brown Road
9381 Mill Street
Hofstede’s Country Barn
45796 Luckakuck Way
Take only photos; leave only footprints and experience the magic of Chilliwack’s great outdoors! Get inspiration for your next outing at Tourism Chilliwack.
And, as always, be sure to tag us in your #ShareChilliwack moments!