Along the Vedder River, just West of Chiliwack in British Columbia, is a beautiful oasis for a variety of wildlife on the land of Stó:lō peoples.
Having been born and raised in The Fraser Valley, the scenic views hold a special place in my heart. The 30 minute drive was over before I knew it and filled with breathtaking views of the magnificent mountains, rich farmlands, and beautiful cloudy skies.
Rotary Interpretive Centre.
Upon arrival, I would highly recommend popping into the Rotary Interpretive Centre. You are greeted by the warm and helpful volunteers who can answer any questions you may have and can read all about the Stó:lō peoples in a peaceful atmosphere. There is also a gift shop and warm drinks available!
Armed with the knowledge from the Rotary Interpretive Centre, we headed out on the Salwein Creek Trail, which loops back to where you begin. We were immediately greeted by the beautiful chirping of birds and the soft wind moving through the trees.
The other trail options were Vedder Rotary Trail East Loop, Vedder Rotary Trail West Loop, Centre Trail, Heron Colony Loop Trail, and the Tower Trail.
Parent Pro Tip.
A PSA to all parents out there...this is a beautiful, educational, and wonderful experience for children. Yes, including toddlers! My 3 year old practiced not only being quiet to be able to see the birds but also took this a step further and brought his very first camera along to join in the photography fun!
Click on the link above to link to this durable, affordable, and child friendly camera!
Along the trail, we came to a look out point that was mostly boarded up but with spaces to look through. This helps the wildlife feel more comfortable in venturing out into the open and gives visitors the opportunity to spot them in their natural habitat without disturbing them. This is know as a "bird blind".
We had the incredible opportunity to be only a mere few feet from a majestic Great Blue Heron. This beautiful creature fished in front of us, explored, and even let my son get close enough to take some shots! A proud mama moment.
We kept going along the trail and eventually circled back around and across the bridge to the Tower Trail.
As we headed across the bridge, we stopped to admire the scenery around us once again.
In the distance, I saw this incredible lookout tower that is a huge attraction for fellow birders and photographers. At each point, you can stop to admire the world around you and do your best to spot any wildlife. Once you reach the top, you are greeted with a GORGEOUS 360 view of this incredible reserve.
Would I recommend?
I absolutely would. From start to finish, this was a wonderful trip. It is educational, free, and best of all? It is preserving the environment of not only The Great Blue Heron but of other wildlife residing there. I can't wait to go back for my next visit!