Chilliwack is a city of about 80000 residents located in the picturesque Fraser Valley about 60 miles east of Vancouver.
The city is surrounded by protected farmland, 2 major rivers, and majestic mountains. On a clear day it is truly a sight to behold. Needless to say, outdoor recreation is one of the top reasons to visit Chilliwack.
It is also quite famous for it’s Corn. Chilliwack Corn is sold at stands around the town and beyond during the summer. If you have the opportunity, be sure to try it.
About 10 minutes south of the City you’ll find Cultus Lake Provincial Park where visitors and locals enjoy every watersport imaginable along with great camping, and hiking. The park can get very crowded during the summertime, especially on weekends. During pre and post summer months things get a lot quieter.
A very popular trail in Cultus Lake Park is Teapot Hill where you will be rewarded to nice views of the lake and Columbia Valley at the top. Its a pretty easy hike for anyone in reasonable condition, with about a 330 metre elevation gain.
The fun around Cultus Lake isn’t just limited to the natural features, there’s a world class waterslide park, an 18 hole golf course and an amusement park all located near the entrance to the park.
For those wishing for a more challenging hike, there are many mountain trails located up the Chilliwack River valley. Some, but not all are best accessed by 4-wheel drive. Elk Mountain is popular and the trailhead can be reached by car. It offers spectacular views that include the Chilliwack River Valley, Mount Baker, Cultus Lake and much of the Fraser Valley. The trail reaches right into the alpine meadows. Keep in mind that you need to be well prepared for these types of hikes and that they are weather dependant.
The two rivers boarder both the south and the north edge of the city. Both are popular for fishing. Along the Vedder River on the south side on can enjoy walking or cycling along and extensive trail network that forms part of the Trans Canada Trail.
One of the nicest city parks is Sardis Park, hidden away in the suburbs south of the Freeway. It’s a great little park to relax, enjoy a picnic, or just stroll around the large pond and its abundant waterfowl.
As far as the city itself is concerned, it’s large enough to offer the amenities one expects in a city of this size, but small enough to not feel overwhelming. You’ll find the usual big box stores and Cottonwood Mall for shopping, but for a more boutique shopping experience you’ll want to check out some of the older shops along Wellington Avenue just west of 5 corners in the heart of the downtown core.If dining is your thing, Chilliwack is a smorgasbord. You’ll find every type of fast food restaurant imaginable, but lots of unique restaurants too. One of the newer restaurants called Frankies offers good food and good value. It’s located on Vedder Road a little ways south of the Freeway. For a relaxed coffee try Decades on Wellington Avenue or Waves down in Garrison Crossing.
If you are interested in learning about the history of the city, be sure to visit the Chilliwack Museum located in the Old City Hall. It’s a good thing it is preserved, because as of lately the city has not done much to preserve its heritage and has lost number of old buildings to demolition. Like many growing cities, new development tends to draw people away from the historic downtown core making it difficult for the smaller businesses located there to make a go of it.
There’s a 5 pin bowling, ice skating, two indoor aquatic centres and 2 cinemas – plenty to keep you busy on a rainy day.
If you visit Chilliwack during August you’ll want to try and take in the annual Flight Fest, a free airshow at the local airport. If you’d like to enjoy a scenic flight over the city there are some local air services that can accommodate you.