MAP: Where to go on a rainy spring day

Our list, and map, of some of the best Fraser Valley outings, inside and out, when the rain is coming down.

By Joti Grewal | April 13, 2022 |5:00 am

April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. And it seems to speak some truth about the weather this particular April. But showers shouldn’t put a damper on your spring season so, with your help, we’ve put together a list of all the places to explore in the Fraser Valley on a rainy day.

Stay sharp

There are a number of places across the valley to visit that can help exercise your mind while keeping dry. The Powerhouse at Stave Falls in Mission is a 100-year-old former generating facility open to families. The National Historic Site of Canada offers historical displays, electricity demonstrations and interactive exhibits. There is also no shortage of museums or libraries to visit.

The Mennonite Heritage Museum in Abbotsford tells the story of the Mennonites spread over 500 years. The museum provides digital displays, video interviews, as well as seasonal exhibits of Mennonite history and faith in the valley.

The Fraser Valley Regional Library has more than a dozen locations across the region. Visit one to explore a new book, music, or The Playground—STEAM learning experiences like birdwatching backpacks, puzzles, telescopes, or virtual reality. The reading area at Abbotsford’s Clearbrook Library overlooking the International Friendship Garden is particularly cozy on those rainy spring afternoons.

See the evolution of the telephone at the Alder Grove Heritage Society & Telephone Museum. Run by volunteers, the museum preserves local history and is available to anyone looking to learn more about it.

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Exercise your green thumb

Brian Minter at Minter Country Garden is a wealth of knowledge about all things gardening. He has been sharing his passion for plants with Chilliwack and Fraser Valley gardeners for more than 60 years. The business has grown to include 14 greenhouses that include plants from around the world. Looking to learn how to build a sustainable garden, how to grow strawberries, or all about mason bees? Brian is the go-to expert. (Have some time? Check out this long interview with friend-of-the-Current Aaron Pete.)

The outdoor experience, indoors

A rainy day shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a swim. Cities across the valley have numerous recreation centres, including the Walnut Grove Community Centre that features a pool with a 300-foot water slide. The pool also includes diving boards, a dive tower, a leisure pool, sauna, steam room, and whirlpools. Drop-in for a leisurely swim or sign up for an aquatic fitness class. The rec centre also includes fitness centres and gyms.

Find a shop, or a mug

There’s nothing like ducking out of the rain and into a locally run shop or café. And in a rainy region, Hope might be the rainiest spot. Hope’s Blue Moose Coffee House is particularly well-loved, and sits in the middle of downtown near many other quaint shops.

Downtown Abbotsford, Chilliwack’s District 1881 area, and Fort Langley are obvious other places to gaze out at the pouring rain, but maybe get off the beaten path and check out how Downtown Mission has changed the last couple years.

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Hit the trail

Real Lower Mainlanders don’t mind a rainy hike. The trees can absorb much of the rain, and a spring drizzle brings out the verdant greens while adding a splash of sound to bubbling streams and waterfalls.

We and our readers have several favourites: Cascade Falls is particularly raging in mid-spring and the suspension bridge makes the park a prime attraction—one that is totally free and extremely accessible. Bridal Falls is the other obvious major waterfall.

The rain can turn some trails into muck, while others are almost built for wet-weather hiking. Teapot Hill and Mt. Thom are great in a fine drizzle, even if the views are sometimes compromised by clouds. The Browne Creek Wetlands feature a lesser-known series of trails on the south side of the Vedder towards Yarrow, and Chilliwack’s Community Forest offers plenty of tree cover and kid-friendly treks.

In Abbotsford, Fishtrap Creek Park’s boardwalks and paved trails are easy walking, with enough tree cover to enjoy the patter of rain on the ponds. And Old Riverside Park (access off of Horn Street) has a little-known loop of trails that drain nicely and don’t leave you too far from the car if the rain increases.

If you’re feeling bold, head to Langley to enjoy the Fort-to-Fort Trail connecting Derby Reach and Fort Langley together. Start at the Derby Reach end and dry off at a Fort Langley coffee shop before taking the return journey.

Did we miss something? Join the discussion on our Facebook page, and we may add your favourite to this list.

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Joti Grewal

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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