Interested in time travel? An outing to Fort Langley is an opportunity to journey back in time to the 1800’s. As a closet history buff, I thoroughly enjoy a day exploring the Fort Langley National Historic site. Founded in 1827 as a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, this site is considered by some to be the birthplace of British Columbia. It is almost surreal that within minutes from Vancouver you can feel so removed from big city living. While strolling through the grounds, I could almost hear the blacksmith forging his products and visualize fur traders trading their pelts at this post.
A visit to the area isn’t complete without a walk or a cycle along the Fort to Fort Trail. The early bird may get the worm, but in Fort Langley the early bird basks in glorious sunrises and there is no better place to capture an image than from the Jacob Haldi Bridge. Originally built in 1932, the bridge spans the Bedford Channel, is a popular spot for aspiring photographers and a perfect place to begin your day on the Fort to Fort trail.
Easily one of my favourite day trips, the shared use trail is hard-packed and a pleasant, short, easy ride. Views of the Coastal Mountain Range, giant cotton wood trees, heritage fruit trees and wildlife habitat abound. The trail provides the opportunity to experience the south shore of the Fraser River as you pass Brae Island on the way to Derby Reach Regional Park. It has been argued that the Fraser River is one of the world’s great rivers, rivaling the Mississippi and the Nile. I tried to imagine the fur traders navigating these waters as I cycled along the trail. What was this special place like before the traders arrived?
Steeped in history, the Fort to Fort Trail also offers an exciting vision for the future. Experience the Fraser is an ambitious plan to create a 550 km trail connecting Hope to the Salish Sea. The Fort to Fort Trail is a key component of this exciting plan. I wonder what the Hudson Bay Company traders would think.
Looking to explore more of the area? Take a day and venture out on the Langley Heritage Society walking tour.