Guest article by Melanie Montgomery.
These days it is hard for families to avoid falling victim to a work to live and over committed society that seems to be becoming the norm. Too often, families are dealing with costs of living and budgeting for the next I want item, the next I need vacation, or just getting food on the table and keeping the lights on. Many are booking up days full of activities that divide the kids into different age groups, and the parents into different social groups.
As a young family of five in the Port Moody area, we have made it a regular part of our family lifestyle to get outdoors to explore and enjoy local trails and parks. We are so lucky to be surrounded by fantastic natural playgrounds, leisure walks, bike trails / parks, and gorgeous viewpoints, which are all set amongst, rivers, inlets, farm lands and old growth forest. Save yourself the toll of driving over a bridge to get somewhere, and save yourself the gas by exploring your own area! It is all right here in the Tri-Cities! The best part of all: it is family-friendly, free, and in the fresh air!
There are three great local gems I would like to share with you. Each one is unique in its own way, however all provide fun and a great amount of family exercise.
Alfred How Green Way
This walk is located just off the Barnet Highway, and it is not long. It offers a steady climb up a winding gravel trail, which leads to the Westhill area. We found some sand dunes, and did what any mom and two boys would do, rolled down them! We were dirty, and then let ourselves run back down to the car…with many laughs from the down the curvy hill all the way. The trail is alongside a residential area, so it is not isolated, and we did run into other walkers.
Check out this trail on Coast Meridian, at the top of Burke Mountain. I was surprised to discover this is a wonderful little journey, which could have easily been planned as a half day or more with more food and a map to figure out all the different trails. The trailhead is close to gun range, so it would be easy to find your way back if you wind up off course – just follow the gun shots. In summer, there is a falls to check out, which would make a great destination to relax and snack before looping back. Wonderful large old growth trees make for another BC forest to appreciate.
It is nice to park near all the community gardens and see how many people actually get their hands in the soil. This trail is all levels of walk friendly and bike friendly. It’s an easy spot for kids to get their bike peddles moving. The trails range over farmland with no forest. It’s a nice change being in the country, and it feels like you are miles away, when in fact the highway is very close by.
These are just a few places I wanted to mention, since they’re not particularly well-known, and they’re so close to home. There are way more popular places if you prefer, of course. And I would say around the Tri-Cities, all trails and parks are pretty much amazing! We should take advantage of the natural beauty. We need to open our doors way more, and step outside to connect not only with nature, but with ourselves and our families.
Before we know it, days can start to quickly slip by, and so too does quality family time and the appreciation of the simple things in life. Take time to enjoy the quiet times and simple things, which are actually far richer in value, and greater than any dollar amount earned.
Melanie Montgomery is a local mom of three, who loves to explore many gorgeous lush green hiking trails with her family to de-stress, get active as a family, and appreciate nature! Melanie has been creating unique community events in Port Moody over the last couple of years, which have been geared at moms, families, and the outdoors. Her new venture as Co-Owner of the local Younique Fitness Studio is a passion that offers more active outlets for women, such as Zumba, Bellyfit, Yoga, Shapefit, Core and more. At Younique, they are “connecting you to your unique fitness needs”. Childminding is available, and spouses are welcome. Check out www.melanieyounique.blogspot.com for her wellness, personal, and fun updates!