Sep 17

Accessibility in the Fraser Valley

As the recognition of the need for accessibility and inclusivity strengthens, tourism partners are responding with a variety of activities and experiences that suit a wide range of needs and abilities. From wheelchair-accessible establishments to sensory-friendly tours, there are plenty of options for travellers who want to explore the Fraser Valley while feeling safe and welcomed. Whether you have a disability, illness, or simply prefer a more relaxed pace, accessible and inclusive tourism activities can make your next adventure both enjoyable and memorable. We’ve gathered a few ideas to consider when planning your next trip to the Fraser Valley. Read on to learn more…

📍Wine Tasting at Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery, Abbotsford

Wheelchair Accessibility

This gorgeous, spacious vineyard offers easy access to the front entrance, back patio, and the vineyard itself, as well as wheelchair-accessible tables perfect for your own wine-tasting experience!

📍EcoFarm Abbotsford

Wheelchair Accessibility

Offering a unique, highly interactive learning environment, the EcoDairy experience has been developed in partnership with Science World British Columbia. Take a barn tour, meet the cows, watch a robotic milker in action and try your hand at milking their mascot cow, Vicki! Their guided tours are wheelchair accessible, and their blueberry fields have a wheelchair accessible path, making the berry picking fun and accessible to all.

📍Old Riverside Discovery Trail, Abbotsford

Wheelchair Accessibility, Mental Wellness

Featuring paved areas and boardwalks, this is a 5.1-km out-and-back trail near Abbotsford, British Columbia. This trail is great for birding, mountain biking, and road biking, and it’s unlikely you’ll encounter many other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime!

📍Powerhouse at Stave Falls, Mission

Auditory & Wheelchair Accessibility

With audio tours and full wheelchair accessibility, this historic powerhouse invites you to wander around the larger-than-life generators and turbines, and learn how electricity was conjured in days gone by. Interactive displays and engaging demonstrations are just the beginning of your experience as you explore this breathtaking building. 

📍Mission Visitor Centre, Mission

Auditory & Visual Accessibility

Recently installed hearing loops at the Mission Visitor Centre assist those with hearing loss by eliminating unwanted background noise and making it easier to comprehend when talking to one of their amazing team members. In addition, they offer a free rental program for Enchroma (colour-blind) glasses. You can borrow them for the day and head out to explore all the beautiful colours of the Valley.

📍Stave Dam Forest Interpretive Trail, Mission

Visual Accessibility, Mental Wellness

This 1.6 km interpretive trail highlights the forestry activities and takes you up through forested canopies and rock bluffs to an impressive viewpoint, giving an eagle-eye view as far as Vancouver Island on a clear day. This is part of Mission’s Tree Farm Licence (TFL#26), one of only two in the whole of BC!

📍Fort Langley National Historic Site

Wheelchair Accessibility

Experience what life was like in the mid-1800s when you visit Fort Langley’s historic site! Within its walls, you can find timber buildings and homes, a blacksmith’s workshop, a miniature farm, a schoolhouse, and more. When you enter, experience how fur traders mingled with Californian gold prospectors and listen to Indigenous interpreters tell 100-year-old stories.

The site is wheelchair accessible, and a paved pathway connects the buildings and historic grounds. Additionally, a rentable wheelchair is available on loan for guests to use.

A woman looks upwards towards the sky while sitting in a park, with bushes and shrubbery nearby.

📍Birding in Derby Reach Regional Park, Langley

Visual, Auditory and Wheelchair Accessibility, Mental Wellness

The joys of birding are for everyone! Discover a wide variety of unique birds along the BC Bird Trail in the Township of Langley. Learn more about inclusive and accessible birding with Birdability!

📍BC Sports Fishing Group and Harrison Eco Tours, Harrison River Valley

Wheelchair Accessibility

BC Sports Fishing Group and Harrison Eco Tours have made major investments in strengthening their offerings to those with disabilities. Tony Nootebos, owner of both companies, has worked with the Rick Hansen Foundation to open the opportunity for guided fishing and experiences in nature to a wider range of people with mobility limitations. Specialized fishing technologies and tools have been developed to open fishing to everyone. For example, a “sip and puff” fishing rod & reel has been designed to enable quadriplegics to experience fishing again, or for the first time.

A woman pours liquid from a thermos into a small cup while kneeling on the forest floor. In front of her is a blanket, upon which sit various objects such as pinecones, small tree branches, and small ceramic bowls.

📍Ya Doma Nature and Forest Therapy, Harrison River Valley

Mental Wellness

For those with mental health-related disabilities, Ya Doma Forest Therapy offers Nature Experiences to promote healing of trauma and psychological dis-ease. They currently offer sessions in Forest Therapy, Jikiden Reiki, Cold Water Immersion and Breathwork, as well as Clinical Counselling. Clinical Counsellor Kim Verigin holds services in the heart of nature, which is proven to be a powerful setting for regulating the nervous system. Take part in one of the morning meditation group gatherings to build connection and support.

📍 Sts’ailes Heritage Trail, Harrison Hot Springs

Visual Accessibility, Mental Wellness

Take in the pristine wilderness of the Sts’ailes Heritage Trail, formerly the Chehalis River Fishing Trail. Come explore where history meets nature. The Sts’ailes Heritage Trail is a recently redeveloped trail linking past and present in our natural surroundings. Learn the history of Sts’ailes culture and traditions while enjoying 5 km’s of trail which includes viewing platforms, boardwalks, and interpretive signage. The trail runs along the pristine Harrison River, the first salmon stronghold and a mecca for the bald eagles.

📍 Sasquatch Museum & Harrison Hot Springs Visitor Centre

Auditory, Visual, and Wheelchair Accessibility

The new Sasquatch Museum and Harrison Hot Springs Visitor Centre has just recently opened, creating an accessible museum and an enhanced multi-media and sensory visitor experience for all to enjoy. The Sasquatch Museum primarily focuses on the Sasquatch but now also features exhibits, including the Land of the Giants and the Sts’ailes Longhouse room. From compelling artifacts and historical narratives to firsthand witness accounts and scientific exploration, it promises an immersive journey through the realms of both fact and folklore. With braille signage, a hearing loop, push button open/lock systems for doors, a wheelchair-accessible picnic table coming soon to the outdoor space, and various other features that prioritize accessibility and inclusivity, the museum is ready to welcome you!

📍Maple Bay Wheelchair-Accessible Cabins at Cultus Lake, Chilliwack

Wheelchair Accessibility

Featuring newly constructed wheelchair-accessible cabins, Maple Bay is the perfect area to kick back by the campfire and take in the natural surroundings. With beds low enough to transfer in and out of a wheelchair and restrooms spacious enough to maneuver around independently, this is an ideal location to experience those summer camp vibes without the worry of having a comfortable experience.

📍Farmhouse Brewing, Chilliwack

Wheelchair Accessibility

On an 11.5-acre farm in Greendale, Chilliwack, Farmhouse Brewing is a farm-based brewery that grows its own barley! Founded by a husband-and-wife team with three children who had previously operated a smaller hobby farm, the brewery is located in a custom-built facility with a tasting room, heated patio and outdoor picnic area. Even before opening, they harvested their first annual crop of barley to be used in the brewery. The tasting room kitchen features artisan-style pizzas and pretzels baked in a Goliath Forno Bravo oven along with other appies and snacks.

This is a family-friendly spot with lots of outdoor space where kids can play while parents enjoy samples and snacks. The tasting room also serves non-alcoholic apple cider and kombucha.

📍Hell’s Gate Air Tram via car access in Hope, Cascades & Canyons

Wheelchair Accessibility

Take in an exhilarating view of the North Cascades mountain range in this one-of-a-kind Fraser Canyon experience that is fully wheelchair accessible! Follow the treeline up the mountain via air tram and experience the natural wonders and stories of regional history this famous attraction has to offer. 

A picture of the sky at dusk, which appears purple and slightly orange, as well as tall, looming trees.

📍Cascade Lookout – Panaromic Views via car access in Hope, Cascades & Canyons

Wheelchair Accessibility

Located across the highway directly opposite from Manning Park Resort, turn left at the first intersection and drive up to the lookout point to take in stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the valley below without a hike! The lookout is open 24/7, so you can also take in amazing stargazing as well.

Inclusive travel is not only about providing access to those with disabilities, but also about recognizing the diverse needs and preferences of all travellers. By embracing inclusivity, we can create a more welcoming and enjoyable travel experience for everyone. Let’s continue to explore new ways to make travel more accessible, comfortable, and enjoyable for everyone. Happy travels!