Harrison Hot Springs: family fun beyond the resort

The resort town of Harrison Hot Springs offers more than the relaxing hot springs and resort on its lakeshore. Here are five fun things for families to do. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

The resort town of Harrison Hot Springs offers much more than the relaxing hot springs and resort on its lakeshore. {See my detailed post about visiting the springs at Harrison Hot Springs Resort.} In less than two hours from Vancouver, you can enjoy fun in the water, hiking on scenic mountain trails, and touring local family farms while sampling freshly made goods. Here are 5 fun and active family-friendly things to do in Harrison Hot Springs and nearby Agassiz.

1. Splash in the Water

Harrison Watersports features sea-doo and bumper boat rentals, banana tube rides, and the highly-popular inflatable water park. Kids 6-10 require adult supervision in the park, while older kids are free to roam on their own. The $28.58 +GST admission includes individual PFD (life jacket), a banana boat ride to the water park, and in & out privileges. The lake can be on the chilly side, and wet suits can be rented for $5 per day.

The resort town of Harrison Hot Springs offers more than the relaxing hot springs and resort on its lakeshore. Here are five fun things for families to do. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

Got wings? Fly boy fly off the blob at Harrison Watersports

My teens spent most of the hot summer day bouncing and playing in and on the inflatable water park. Their favorite activities included the rope swing, climbing pyramids, and ‘the blob’ – where they were launched from a giant inflatable pillow as other kids jump onto it. They were pretty sore at the end of the day, and exhausted from all of their activity. Perfect night’s sleep – guaranteed.

More sedate water activities, including kayaking, fishing and boat rental cruises, can be arranged through the Harrison Lake Marina.

2. Play in the Sand

The beachfront of Harrison Lake is popular with families and seniors looking for calm waters, sunny skies and sandy shores. The sandy beach is a good place to spread out a blanket or set up chairs for a picnic and day out. The lake is calm and great for swimming, though it may be a bit on the chilly side for the wee ones.

The lakefront walking path runs parallel to the main street of the Village – Esplanade Avenue – where you can find a variety of ethnic restaurants, cafés, and ice cream parlors. During our stay, we enjoyed authentic German cuisine (think schnitzel, spaetzle and black forest cake), at the Black Forest Restaurant, tasty, home-made breakfast at Chuck & Kitty’s, and huge sushi portions at Yukiya Sushi (easy take-away).

The resort town of Harrison Hot Springs offers more than the relaxing hot springs and resort on its lakeshore. Here are five fun things for families to do. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

Gelato that was too good to share from Chantilly’s, Harrison Hot Springs

3. Go for a scenic walk or hike

There are hikes and walks galore in this scenic valley, many of which can be accessed from the town’s centre. Below is just a sample. Pick up the handy Hiking & Adventure Guide at the Visitor Centre. [TipsOn the moderate+ hikes, leave early on a hot day, pack lots of water, and wear proper footwear. You’re on holiday – don’t get injured while you’re having fun!]

Easy:  Harrison Lagoon Walk – Distance: 4 KM  Allow: 1 Hour  

Walk begins in town along the Lakeshore, heads west to the hot springs source, then backtracks back and loops around the Lagoon. You can continue east past Rendall Park and backtrack back to the start.

Moderate:  Sandy Cove/Whippoorwhill Trail: – Distance: 4 KM  Allow: 1.5 Hours

Trail leaves from Harrison Hot Springs Resort heading west, past the hot springs source and up along the shoreline, with lake views. Sandy Cove is a secluded beach, perfect for a break or lunch. You can choose to continue onward 300 metres to Whippoorwill Point, or track back to the trail head.

Difficult: Campbell Lake Trail – Distance: 10 KM  Allow: 6 Hours

This strenuous hike is Harrison’s answer to North Vancouver’s Grouse Grind. It leaves from the Visitor Centre in town, then find the Kiosk describing hikes in the area and the start of this trail. The climb ends at the ‘helicopter pad’ – a plateau overlooking Harrison Lake that was used when the mountain was first logged.

The resort town of Harrison Hot Springs offers more than the relaxing hot springs and resort on its lakeshore. Here are five fun things for families to do. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

Exploring country life at Farm House Natural Cheeses, Harrison Hot Springs

4. Take a self-guided Circle Farm Tour

You are in farm country. Take the self-guided Circle Farm Tour and discover area history and the delicious food offerings in the eastern Fraser Valley. Tour maps are available online and in brochure form, and detail the artisan studios, working farms, cheese makers, and corn huts dotting the area.

We slowly made our way around the tour, stopping to sample (and purchase) fresh food items from Farm House Natural Cheeses, Canadian Hazelnut farm, and Sparkes Corn Barn. As you can see, our delicious haul included a variety of cheese, local honey, garlic, blueberries, Chilliwack super sweet corn, and three varieties of hazelnuts.

The resort town of Harrison Hot Springs offers more than the relaxing hot springs and resort on its lakeshore. Here are five fun things for families to do. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

A fresh foodie paradise found on the Circle Farm Tour of Harrison and Agassiz

If you need a break from sampling on the Circle Farm Tour, visit the Agassiz-Harrison Museum. The Museum celebrates the agrarian history of the region, and is one of the oldest standing wooden Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) stations in the country.

5. Spend a night at the stock car races

If you like fast cars, head over to nearby Agassiz and its Speedway. On select summer Saturday nights, adrenalin is pumping as stock cars and hot rods race around the oval track.

Photo Credits: C. Laroye

The writer travelled to Harrison Hot Springs and Agassiz as a guest of Tourism Harrison and the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. As always, our opinions are honest and our own.

Have you visited Harrison Hot Springs or eaten your way through the Circle Farm Tour? Share your comments and tips below!

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