Dubbed the Raspberry Capital of Canada, Abbotsford is one of the most beautiful and productive agricultural areas in British Columbia.
Tucked perfectly between majestic mountain ranges on the wide plain of the Lower Fraser Valley, the fertility of the soil and the gentle pastoral beauty have made the Abbotsford area a popular place to homestead.
Abbotsford was established just before the turn of the nineteenth century and named after Henry Abbot, a General Superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway and brother of Sir. J. Abbot, Prime Minister of Canada.
Abbotsford was once a small farming community that has developed into one of Canada’s most rapidly growing communities. If you enjoy an active lifestyle, then Abbotsford has some of the best recreational facilities and parks for you to explore.
Since its construction in 1920, and during its 60 years of operation, the old Barrowton Pump Station in Sumas served the area well, draining the Sumas lake bed, approximately 16,000 acres of rich agricultural land and 5,000 acres of steep hillside.
Take a self-guided tour of Abbotsford’s popular Visitor Centre, featuring exhibits, a walk-in beaver lodge, and an interesting and informative slide show.
The MSA Museum is housed in Trethewey House, built in 1920 for BC timber baron J.O. Trethewey using local fir processed by the Abbotsford Lumber Company on Mill Lake. Exhibits include the Heritage Gallery, archives library, host tours, and special events.
While in the Abbotsford area, take a side trip to the secluded little historic village of Clayburn, established in 1905. Historical sites of interest include the Clayburn Village Store and the Clayburn Pioneer Church, built in 1912. Time your visit to celebrate Clayburn’s past on Clayburn Village Heritage Day in late July.
When was the last time you had fun…real fun? Castle Fun Park is Abbotsford’s year-round family play centre. Fun at Castle Fun Park spells one 18-hole outdoor and two indoor mini-golf courses, indoor softball and baseball batting cages, over 130 video and skill games, and a Go Kart track. Facility admission is free.
Dairy Farms: Surprise the family with a visit to a local dairy farm – a highly technical and computerized business nowadays. Take home some fresh dairy products…and stop at an apple farm.
Farmlands: Absorb the beauty of berry and flower fields, and dairy and produce farms, while driving or cycling along the many paved rural roads criss-crossing the valley.
Outdoor Adventure: Thrill to the challenge of seven majestic mountains, conveniently situated one or two hours drive from Abbotsford. Schuss down snowy slopes, ski cross-country…or hike and bike through alpine meadows during balmy seasons.
Hiking in the Fraser Valley
Mountain Biking in the Fraser Valley
Skiing & Winter Activities in the Fraser Valley
Golf: Abbotsford offers 2 golf courses: Fraser Glen Golf Course is a fun and challenging mid-length, 18-hole, Par-62 golf course located just off the Trans Canada Highway. The flat, tree-lined fairways make for an easy walk, yet the greens are well bunkered, making the course a challenge for golfers of all levels. Fraserglen is the course for you if you are looking for a fun course that can be played in three hours yet is challenging enough to make you use every club in your bag. Ledgeview Golf & Country Club on the west-facing side of McKee Peak in the north east corner of Abbotsford features one of the most challenging and enjoyable 18 holes of golf in the Fraser Valley. The Par 70, Les Furber designed championship course provides rolling fairways and panoramic views of the north shore mountains. Vancouver Golf Vacations.
Graced by a boardwalk and a majestic view of Mount Baker, the picturesque Mill Lake and Centennial Park offer the perfect setting for walking, jogging, picnicking, trout fishing and watching wild fowl in their natural habitat.
Paved shoulders on the Langley backroads around Aldergrove Lake Regional Park provide the extended length that you wish you could find everywhere for cycling and in-line skating. They are wide and smooth and, best of all, there is only a hint of traffic along most of the route. As you ride or skate along, you can relax and let your eyes drink in the views of the surrounding farm fields with Mount Baker towering over them. A note of caution: Although you can in-line skate in the park, a steep hill dropping down to the lake will prove too challenging for novice skaters. When measured by the amount of fun that trail riding provides, the diminutive park outperforms its size. A network of easygoing mountain biking trails, about 7 miles (12 km) in total length, lead through the wooded park. Mount Baker’s snow cone towers above the valley and is best appreciated when seen from a viewpoint along the Rock N’ Horse Trail.
Sumas Mountain Park is ideal for Horseback Riding along the forest trail and dirt roads of this wilderness park, which includes Chadsey Lake and hiking trails with viewpoints of Sumas Prairie and Vedder Mountain.
Cultus Lake Provincial Park, on the east side of Cultus Lake, lies nestled in the folds of the Cascade Mountains, about 7 miles (11 km) south of Hwy 1. There are four campgrounds within the park, at Entrance Bay, Clear Creek, Delta Grove, and Maple Bay, with a combined total of 296 vehicle/tent sites. The warm waters of Cultus Lake have attracted visitors to frolic and splash on its beaches for decades. Small private cabins clustered around Cultus Lake Municipal Beach’s maze of swimming wharves testify to this tradition. The warm water is so clear that at midday the gold sand on the bottom of the lake perfectly complements the colour of the summer sun.
During the month of August, Abbotsford’s clear blue skies play host to the roar and excitement of one of North America’s top air shows, the Abbotsford International Airshow. Civilian and military aircraft, from the smallest gliders to the sleekest jets, come from all over the world to wow the crowds. Not to be missed!
The Agrifair and Trade Show, an annual event held in late July or early August at the Abbotsford Exhibition Park, showcases the rich heritage and truly amazing bounty of this pastoral paradise.
The bounty of hundreds of raspberry, blueberry and strawberry farms in the area are celebrated each summer during the Abbotsford Berry Festival, a colourful event that draws locals and visitors alike, and is guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s sweet-tooth.
Abbotsford Airport (YXX) has proudly served the surrounding communities of the Vancouver Lower Mainland for over 30 years. In 2008 Abbotsford International Airport served a milestone 503,693 passengers. Come to Abbotsford and discover for yourself why more and more people are choosing to fly YXX.
Abbotsford Circle Farm Tour: From apples on the trees to busy buzzing bees, the Abbotsford tour offers a farm fresh, honey sweet experience. Country markets feature quality poultry, local produce, seasonal berries, flavoured honey, gourmet ice cream, and hand-crafted soaps. Two nurseries have beautiful display gardens, plants of all sorts, home and garden décor, and unique gifts. Check with the Visitor Centre for more details.
Directly west of Abbotsford, and south of the Fraser River, Aldergrove takes its name from the lush growth of alder trees in the area, although fields upon fields of farmland attest to the growth of more than just trees. Like neighbouring Abbotsford, Aldergrove is also home to vast crops of strawberries and raspberries.
Across the Fraser River north of Abbotsford lies Mission, nestled in the rugged Coast Mountains, named after the first and largest mission in the Pacific Northwest, the Roman Catholic St. Mary’s Indian Mission, founded in 1861. Dubbed the Gateway to the Fraser River, Mission was a popular stopping place for trappers, settlers, and other river travellers, and remains an important junction to this day.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on a driving Circle Tour. Head north out of Vancouver for the scenic Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island Circle Tour, or stay on the intensely scenic Sea to Sky Highway, passing through the magical winter resort town of Whistler and Coast Mountains Circle Tour. To explore the rural farmlands and forests of the fertile Fraser Valley, take the Fraser Valley Circle Tour, travelling outbound on the scenic route north of the historic Fraser River, returning westwards along the Trans Canada Highway 1 to Vancouver. Circle Tours in British Columbia.