The resort town of Harrison Hot Springs offers much more than the relaxing hot springs and resort on the shores of Harrison Lake. A 90 minute drive to the eastern Fraser Valley along Highway 1 reveals green farmland and scenic mountains that offer a wide variety of water fun, hiking options, and an appreciation of country life for a day.
The sandy beachfront of Harrison Lake in Harrison Hot Springs is popular with families. The Lake is calm and good for swimming, though it may be a bit chilly for the younger ones. It’s a great place to stretch out a blanket and chairs for a picnic from home. Or purchase some local takeaway from one of the local restaurants and diners on Esplanade Avenue, just in front of the lakefront walking path.
Kids six years old and up – as well as adventurous adults – may want to give more active water play a try at Harrison Watersports. Here, you can rent sea-doo and bumper boats, or test your endurance on the very popular inflatable water park. Kids six to ten require adult supervision while climbing on the inflatable pyramids or flying off of the blob in the water park, while older kids are free to play and splash on their own. The $28.58 +GST admission includes individual PFD (life jacket), a banana boat ride to the water park, and in & out privileges. Wet suits can be rented for $5 per day.
If you’re interested in a calmer aquatic experience, kayak and boat rental cruises can be arranged through the Harrison Lake Marina.
Hiking and Walking in Harrison Hot Springs
The lake and resort town are surrounded by beautiful and scenic mountains, perfect for walks and hikes that begin right in the town centre. Pick up a Hiking & Adventure Guide at the Visitor Centre, and don’t forget to read the Vancouver Mom’s Hiking with Kids: Quick Guide before you go. The Harrison Lagoon Walk is an easy and flat hike along the lakefront. It is stroller and wheelchair-friendly. A more adventurous (read: strenuous) hike is the Campbell Lake Trail, Harrison’s answer to the Grouse Grind.
Circle Farm Tour
You’re in the country. It’s the perfect opportunity to visit local family farms and taste some of the local specialities. Drive (or bike) the self-guided Circle Farm Tour and discover the history of the Harrison Hot Springs area. Tour maps outline an easy-to-follow route of artisan studios, working farms, cheese makers, flower markets, and corn huts dotting the landscape. You can stroll through hazelnut orchards, and see a wide variety of animals, such as chickens, cows, goats, and friendly farm dogs. If you visit in spring, make a plan to include the Tulip Festival on Seabird Island as part of your trip.
A good pit stop choice would be the Agassiz-Harrison Museum, which is part of the Circle Farm Tour. The Museum is in downtown Agassiz, and is located in one of the oldest standing wooden Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) stations in the country. A second option a bit further afield is the Kilby Historic Site in Harrison Mills. The rural past of 1920s British Columbia is brought to life in the summer, with interpreters staffing the general store, museum and farm.
Claudia lives in Vancouver. She's the mother of two teenage boys, and has a thirst for travel, chocolate, and pineapple margaritas. She writes and blogs as thetravellingmom.ca, offering a modern mom's guide to family travel sanity. She is much too active on Twitter as @travelling_mom.