Working (or schooling) from home getting to you? Want to feel like you’ve escaped the city for a little bit? Need to reconnect with nature? Same! Surrey is home to plenty of trails perfectly suited for taking a break and going for a walk with your family or by yourself to recharge. One of our favourites is South Surrey’s Semiahmoo Heritage Trail, a 5.3 kilometre out and back trail that is accessible year-round and great for all skill levels.
“Semiahmoo Trail is a significant historical route that was used by Indigenous peoples and early settlers. In 1874 the “Semiahmoo Road” spanned 40 km from New Westminster to the settlement of Semiahmoo (now Blaine, WA). It was one of the first “roads” in Surrey – originally only accommodating trail walkers, horses and wagons.” (SurreyParks.ca) If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Semiahmoo Trail, the website SurreyHistory.ca has a great article.
Today, the trail is a peaceful place for Surrey residents and visitors to go for an easy walk to enjoy the forest and maybe even spot some local wildlife. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for birds of prey, like Barred Owls and eagles.
Start your walk at 151A Street and 20th Avenue where you’ll see the marked entrance to the trail. Tucked in behind neighbourhoods and meandering through the forest, the trail is easy to follow and well-marked. Watch for the huge Douglas fir near 22 Avenue. Designated a Heritage Tree (there are over 200 trees in Surrey that enjoy this honour), you can’t miss it as it reaches an impressive 48 metres (157 feet) tall. At 148th Street you’ll emerge from the forest and cross the street via an overpass that leads you into a corner of Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest. If you want to extend your walk, there’s a great loop through Sunnyside. Alternatively, just stay on the Semiahmoo Heritage Trail pathway and cross 28 Avenue. At this point, the trail turns to a paved, shared laneway for about 850 metres as you pass through a charming neighbourhood.
If you’ve brought lunch or snacks (see below for some suggestions of where to pick up lunch before your walk), or just want to take a quick break, head off the main path after about 10 minutes (650 metres) and you’ll come across a small park and picturesque pond. At 32 Avenue, you’re back on the forest path until the trail comes to an end at 144 Street & Crescent Road. From here, you can turn around and head south back down the trail or choose to carry on along the banks of the Nicomekl River to Elgin Heritage Park and the Historic Stewart Farmhouse.
Notes & Tips:
- The Semiahmoo Heritage Trail is 5.3 kilometres (3.3 miles) long
- Click here for a map of the trail
- Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash
- Parking is limited at the trailhead at 151A Street
- Start at the Crescent Road end of the trail and park at Elgin Heritage Park. This makes the walk uphill at the start of your walk and downhill to finish!
- Take out ideas that would be perfect for a picnic lunch: