Nestled between Highway 1 and the banks of the mighty Fraser River lies North Langley in all of its beauty. This serene, yet bustling, modern, yet historic setting provides some amazing contrast in its multiple communities. With that being said, the things to do in this area prove to be just as diverse as the communities themselves. Welcome to North Langley and to get you started here are 5 things to do in the area.
1. Enjoy coffee and live music at the Watershed Arts Café
Take a drive to Walnut Grove for some great coffee often accompanied with live music performances. This café is located on 88th Ave between 202 and 204 street and offers much more than you might initially think. Watershed offers both full breakfast and lunch menus which include everything from bacon and eggs to their soup of the day, as well as organic options. If you’re a fan of locally sourced food, then Watershed is up your alley as well! They source from local Langley farms such as Ennis Farms, Two E’s farm, and Forest Farms. Watershed also does catering so feel free to order in! On the art side of things, this café cannot be beaten. Every month they feature a new lower mainland artist on their wall for all to see and along with the regular live music how can you not want to stop by? If you’d like to read some of their blogs and check out more info about the café head on over to the Watershed website before you stop in.
2.Take a trip back to the pioneer days at the Fort Langley National Historic Site
Have you ever wanted to explore where it all began? Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia, and with that comes a long history that is waiting to be explored. The Canadian National Historic Site is situated in the quaint village of Fort Langley up atop a hill overlooking the beautiful Fraser River. Although this is not the original fort, today’s fort offers a very good representation of what it would have been like to live in the area in the 1800’s. Inside the fort, you will find actors portraying pioneer life, demos of 19th-century technology, and you’ll even find the Lelem’ at the Fort café in one of the buildings. Fort Langley offers much more than your average day trip, however, as you can sleep over in a trader- themed oTENTik inside the fort walls! Also, be on the lookout for themed events and kid’s day camps. More information can be found at the Fort Langley National Historic Site Website.
3.Let the birds serenade your nature walk at Derby Reach Regional Park
West of Fort Langley on the banks of the Fraser River is one of North Langley’s true hidden gems. Derby Reach Regional Park offers beautiful vistas, popular walking trails, and a history that traces its roots back to Langley’s pioneer days. The park can be divided into two sections, the Edgewater bar area, which has its day picnic area overlooked by Maple Ridge on the other side of the river, and the Historic area, where beautiful trails and history meet. In the Edgewater Bar area, there are 38 first come first serve overnight campsites open between March 1st and October 31st if your looking to spend a night at the park. If you’re bringing your dog be sure to keep him/her on leash on the trails but you’ll be glad to know there are off-leash areas as well! As I mentioned earlier in the blog, Fort Langley was actually located in a different spot than its current location. Well, Derby Reach was that spot! The historic area offers plaques which highlight the history about the original location (no structures remain) as well as information about some of the historic apple trees and the royal engineers, who called Derby home. So take a drive (Or a walk) up to Derby Reach Regional Park, you won’t be disappointed!
4.Experience top notch equestrian riding at the Thunderbird Show Park
You may or may not know that Langley is, in fact, the horse capital of British Columbia. The crown jewel of this equestrian tradition in Langley is the Thunderbird Show Park out on 72nd and 248th street. With competition venues that are admired the world over, this gem in North Langley is definitely an experience even the non-equestrian fan must check out. Thunderbird holds six major Hunter & Jumper Show Tournaments a year as well as a variety of different equestrian events and shows. So chances are if you’re over there on a weekend there’s usually some event going on. If you’d just like a tour of the amazing facilities, Thunderbird offers group tours which are a great way to see what the show park has to offer! Call 604.888.4585 for more info on group tours. In all, Thunderbird Show Park is a great symbol for how strong and how important the equestrian community is in Langley which is why it is definitely an awesome place to go check out! Take a look at Tbird’s sleek website here.
5.Conquer the Fraser River with the Fort Langley Canoe Club
Let’s head back to the village of Fort Langley for our last feature. If you walk behind the Fort Pub up to the riverfront you will find a little building that bears the name Fort Langley Canoe Club. At first, it may seem nothing more than a river shack, yet I’d bet it holds more opportunities for adventure within its walls than your average riverside shack. The Fort Langley Canoe Club is an annual membership Canoe & Kayak, Dragon boat, Voyageur and Outrigger canoe club which enjoys both competition and recreational rowing. However, you don’t need to be a member to conquer the mighty Fraser River. The club offers many drop-in sessions for all the different watercraft they employ. The first drop-in is free and subsequent drop-ins are only $10. For those who are new to the paddling world, this is a great way to get your feet wet and enjoy the beautiful river that flows through Langley while you’re at it! If you like it, get an annual membership and enjoy all that the club has to offer. The paddling community is very open and welcoming so don’t be afraid to go try it out. For more info on the club and how to get involved check out the Fort Langley Canoe Club website.