Campbell Valley Regional Park, British Columbia

ANNAND-ROWLATT FARMSTEAD

There is in every human heart,
Some not completely barren part,
Where seeds of truth and love might grow, 
And flowers of generous virtue flow;
To plant, to watch, to water there,
This be our duty, be our care. ~Sir John Bowring

This beautiful, large park located in Langley, British Columbia has 2 entrances, a North Valley Entrance and a South Valley Entrance. There are almost 30 km of trails to walk, run and ride your horse.  There is an equestrian centre, a visitor centre and the old Langley speedway.  As you can imagine, Campbell Valley holds a lot of history.

We planned out a route following various trails that connected throughout the park.  At the north entrance, there is a large map outlining different information and providing pamphlet maps to help explore the area.  Our route started on the Vine Maple Trail and meandered through a few smaller trails before coming out to South Valley Trail and finally, on our main trail, Shaggy Main.  This is a very large walking trail that is also a horse trail so be prepared.  On a Saturday afternoon we came across about 20 horses of all ages and breeds.  It was pretty incredible to see.

Along the way, the trails were well marked and consisted of gravel, dirt and some boardwalks.  The trails are very family friendly and we encountered many people walking their dogs.  There were at least as many dogs as horses.  Everything is very green and there is a lot of vegetation (cedars, fungus, etc) and animals (squirels, ducks, etc) to keep things interesting.  If you are into birdwatching, this is a good place to be.  For these reasons several nature programs are offered at the park and organized through the visitor centre.

As we walked along the paths, we were greeted by many smiling, friendly faces who seemed to be as happy being there as we did.  When we neared the end of our walk, we passed a little bridge overlooking a marsh filled with ducks.

watermarkedcampbell2623

On a nearby bench, a man had taken a break from walking his dog, pulled out a flute and began playing.  It was very enjoyable to stand on the bridge, watch the ducks play, and listen to the flute.  This was the most varied walking area I have ever encountered.

The Highlight of the Park

Because this area is quite historic, it was bound to happen that during our 2 hour walk we come across the old Annand-Rowlatt Farmstead.  Built in 1886 and developed by 2 pioneering families of the area, the Annand and Rowlatt families, it is an important landmark that is still well maintained.  What an amazing feeling to walk around the grounds and read the various plaques detailing life on the farm long ago.  It took me back to a simpler time and it was a nice pause midway through the walk before making our way back to where we started.

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