Guest post by Cherish Bryck.
Just south of South West Marine Drive, on your way to UBC, you may be surprised to learn that there are miles of ranch land and farms. The neighbourhood is known as the “Southlands”. I discovered this neighboured by chance one day after getting lost and have been returning often to get my fix of rural life, right here in the city. This lush Musqueam-owned area is brimming with horses, stables, acreages, farms and various other vestiges of country life. In fact, it’s suggested that there are more horses than people in this area. What I do know for certain is that this unique pocket of Vancouver is a wonderful place to bring your children to experience a little bit of rural life within the boundaries of the city.
There is plenty to do once you get down to the Southlands. This neighbourhood backs onto the Fraser River. Along the water there is a lovely walking path and in amongst the acreages you will find several equestrian paths. Pack a lunch and head down to the west side of Deering Island (a small island connected by bridge) for a picnic. If you are in the market for some greenery, head over to KJM Country Gardens. This nursery provides a plethora of plants and flowers for all your landscaping needs and all of it is provided within an open country farm feel. The experience is completed with horses to greet you at the parking lot, plenty of chickens wandering around and there is even a little cafe tucked away in the lush greenery.
Vancouver Farm? Just Visit the Southlands.
My latest favourite spot in the Southlands has got to be the Southlands Heritage Farm. A trip a few weeks ago proved to be a big success.
This Vancouver farm offers up the opportunity to see horses, pigs and goats, as well as a chance to explore the meadow, gardens and more. On Sundays, the farm has a small farmers’ market and pony rides are available from 12pm-3pm.
There are kids farm-camps available and you can even host a birthday party in the barn! Who doesn’t love a ride on an old fashioned tire swing?
You can certainly get your ‘horse fix’ here, and if you or your kids can’t get enough, they offer riding lessons for all ages.
If you are like me and you find yourself pining for country life, head to the Southlands – Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash soundtrack optional, and check out a real Vancouver farm.
Cherish Bryck Photography
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.