We’d head out to Derby Reach as a family on a Sunday afternoons cruising past farms on back country roads, in those years before Walnut Grove had a space station movie theatre.
Derby Reach is tucked away along the Fraser River between Walnut Grove (Langley) and Fort Langley, which makes it accessible and a great addition to my Park Series.
Metrics: 297 hectares / 733 acres with 9.5 km of walking trails, 4 km of horseback riding trails, and 4.5 km of cycling paths. The picnic shelter seats 60 and there are 38 unserviced campsites.
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How to Get There: From Highway 1 take the 200th North exit, and travel north to 96th Ave where you’ll turn and head East to 208th. Turn East on Allard Crescent and follow the signs to enter the park.
Features: The park circles around wetland, tree-covered trails, the Langley Bog (currently not accessible to the public) and cranberry fields. Aside from the trail network, there is also fishing along the Edgewater Bar, picnicking, camping, and leash-optional areas for dogs. It is also the site of the first (original) Fort Langley.
History: The 4km Fort-to Fort Trail begins at Derby Reach and runs from the original site of the Fort Langley trading post (1827) to the current National Historic Site (1839) next to the village [source]. The first fort at Derby Reach was the first permanent settlement and cultivation of land in the Lower Fraser Valley. The site was traditional hunting and fishing grounds for the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations.
Notes: There’s a lot to see and explore in this park and what it lacks in shiny playground equipment or wading pools, it makes up for in its natural beauty and varied landscapes alongside the river with Golden Ears as a backdrop.