Our favourite hikes and trails for kids

From Teapot Hill to Cascade Falls, these are some of the best hikes for kids in the Fraser Valley, as chosen by staff and readers.

By Tyler Olsen | August 15, 2022 |5:00 am

The Fraser Valley has some of Canada’s best hiking and walking trails—including some of the best trails for kids.

The proximity of accessible, interesting, and fun walks and hikes makes hitting the trail one of the most popular weekend activities. But it’s not always easy to discover fresh and interesting destinations to keep a young walker entertained.

We recently talked to author Stephen Hui about what makes a great hike for kids and parents. And we talked to our kids.

Drawing on those conversations and our own experiences, we have put together our own Fraser Valley-centric map and list of great places to walk or hike with kids. If you want to look further afield, you can also check out Hui’s book, Best Hikes and Nature Walks With Kids In and Around Southwestern British Columbia.

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Downes Bowl (Abbotsford)

This urban hike provides a great diversity of terrain, and enough twists and turns and boardwalks to keep kids eager to see what is around the next corner. A lack of signage to navigate the trail system and a paucity of benches are the downside. But Downes Bowl’s central location and cool temperatures in summer make it an Olsen Family favourite.

Teapot Hill (Cultus Lake)

Teapot Hill Trail in Cultus Lake is filled with things for kids to find. 📸 Garnold/Shutterstock

This extremely popular standby can be handled fairly easily by older elementary school-aged kids. The teapots are popular, though getting young ones through the difficult (and sometimes boring) early stretch can be a challenge.

Spirit Trail (Harrison)

This is a short trail, but one that can entertain youngsters with artist-created masks adorning trees. A larger loop trail provides more of a trek, though the views aren’t great. The short trail also pairs nicely with a trip to the Harrison Lake waterfront. Don’t forget to pack the bug spray.

Fishtrap Creek Park (Abbotsford)

Another Central Abbotsford trail, this one is paved for much of its length, offers a variety of cut-off points and is less busy than Mill Lake. Great for pushing a stroller, looking at ducks, and enjoying some shade on a warm day without exerting oneself too much. Not so great if you want an actual hike.

Lindeman Lake (Chilliwack River Valley)

The hike to Lindeman Lake is a good one for older kids to tackle, although often quite busy. 📸 inEthos Design/Shutterstock

The hike to this lake is well-known and sometimes verges on over crowded. While best to avoid on beautiful weekends, it’s a challenging but do-able trek for younger kids with some hiking experience.

Peach Creek Trail (Chilliwack)

Chilliwack’s Rotary Trail along the Vedder River is hardly a secret, but its long straight pathways can get tedious for kids. The Peach Creek Rotary Trail, on the other hand, features enough twists, turns, and things to look at to keep kids entertained for the whole walk. It’s mostly flat, has a couple bridges and surprising forest sections. You can either do a there-and-back-again walk on the trail, or return via the parallel Vedder trail.

Cascade Falls (north of Mission)

Cascade Falls has something that many children will love: a suspension bridge over a waterfall. 📸 AURELINA FILMS/Shutterstock

The hike at Cascade Falls is relatively short and you’ll spend more time driving, probably, than hiking. But it comes with a beautiful and exciting payoff with the suspension bridge. Plus, it’s as cheap as a suspension bridge over a waterfall gets: free.

Hicks Lake loop (Sasquatch Provincial Park north of Harrison)

A longer walk, with minimal elevation gain, the Hick’s Lake loop pays off with a nice beach at the far end. However, younger kids might get bored or tired on the hike. The north side is easier and drier. The south side is in the trees and more interesting, though muddier.

Chilliwack Community Forest (Chilliwack)

Chilliwack's community forest trail Three Bears trail is one of the best in the region for kids, author Stephen Hui says. 📷 Tyler Olsen
Chilliwack’s community forest trail Three Bears trail is one of the best in the region for kids, author Stephen Hui says. 📷 Tyler Olsen

Read our story with Stephen Hui about what makes this trek so popular with parents and kids.

Willband Creek Park (Abbotsford)

A nice stroll around a pond and plenty of birds to look at. Great on a crisp fall or spring day when you want to enjoy (and not hide from) the sun.

Hillkeep Park (Chilliwack)

Hillkeep Park remains a sanctuary of greenery on top of Chilliwack Mountain. 📷 Tyler Olsen
Hillkeep Park remains a sanctuary of greenery on top of Chilliwack Mountain. 📷 Tyler Olsen

Rarely busy, the loops in this park atop Chilliwack Mountain have just a couple challenging sections but are relatively easy to navigate. The loop can be done in 30 to 60 minutes and you’re never too far from the car if your child is prone to bouts of “My legs don’t work anymore.” A second spur trail to a platform is short and offers a great view.

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Of course, those are just our suggestions. These are some of the trails and hikes beloved by Fraser Valley Current readers just like you.

Flood Falls Trail (near Hope)

The Flood Falls near Hope was one of our reader submitted suggestions for the best hikes for kids. 📸 Jason Wilde/Shutterstock

There is a lovely easy hike just off Exit 165 (near Hope). The first trail entrance leads to a lovely waterfall, and other trails connect to take you eastward to a large rockfall that people use for bouldering. Children love to explore the cave-like areas between the giant boulders. The area is relatively flat and easy for young feet to traverse.
—Brigette B.

Mt. Thom (Chilliwack)

For hiking with younger kids in Chilliwack, we like Mt Thom (starting in Ryder Lake), Hillkeep, and the Community Forest. We did Lindeman Lake once with preschoolers and it was stressful, but no one had warned us!
—Mary W.

Rolley Lake and Falls Loop (near Mission)

Rolley Lake offers families a two-for-one trail deal, with one going around the lake and another heading up to a waterfall. 📸 Elena_Alex_Ferns/Shutterstock

A beach at the start and end makes for a fun hike/swimming outing, though the walk gets very busy on summer weekends. The Falls Loop is an optional extra, depending on how long you want to spend.
—Dave W.

Lower and Upper Ambidextrous Trail (Abbotsford)

Also known as the Caves, these are fun for kids, though probably better for older ones. Be sure to use a map, such as TrailForks or AllTrails, because it can be a bit confusing with all the crisscrossing mountain bike trails.
—Dave W.

Thompson Park (Chilliwack River Valley)

For younger kids, Thompson Park is a good refuge in the hot weather. Although the Chilliwack River Valley has many great stretches for kids along the Trans Canada Trail, the FVRD’s Thompson Park has a very short (under 1km), stroller- and wheelchair-accessible trail through a lovely forest with a pond, bridge, beaver dams, and playground area as well.
—Edna H.

Bosumarne Falls (Chilliwack River Valley)

I don’t know if it’s the best around, but my son and I enjoyed Bosumarne Falls in Chilliwack. He was about eight years old when we did it. Some steeper parts, but mostly pretty level. Only gains 135m. Very short—one-way is only about 30-45 minutes. Always great to have a waterfall at the end! And it’s a great one. Also some other attractions: a teepee of sorts that is fun for littles to play in.
—Alex J.


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Tyler Olsen

Managing Editor at Fraser Valley Current

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