Exploring a community is a natural opportunity for outdoor activities, window shopping and making great discoveries, and there are plenty of options in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Last week, I was invited to a press trip with several other local bloggers. As I rarely venture out this way, I was looking forward to experiencing what the region has to offer. You can get to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows from Vancouver via the Golden Ears Bridge from Surrey, or the Pitt River Bridge from Coquitlam. It’s actually much closer than I thought, as it is only about a 45-minute drive (with light traffic) from downtown Vancouver.
Golden Ears Cheesecrafters
Our first stop of the day was Golden Ears Cheesecrafters, an artisan cheese processing facility that can produce over 600 kilograms of cheese per week. In addition to cheese, Cheesecrafters also offers many other local gourmet products to enjoy at their shop or to take away. We toured their cheese processing facility, admired their handiwork, sampled some of their cheeses, and even enjoyed a light breakfast which included a bell pepper and chive omelette topped with their own melted Gouda. Their triple cream Brie cheese is made from milk from Davison Family Jersey cows and is probably the best Brie that I’ve ever had.
Address: 22270 – 128th Avenue, Maple Ridge, BC V4R 2R1
Hopcott Premium Meats
After breakfast, we headed to Hopcott Premium Meats, where toured this 3rd generation community minded family-run butcher shop. They grow some of their own produce as well, but are known for their cranberry fields, and their no-spray yellow and red raspberries, blackberries, and their newest berry called the tayberry, which is a cross of the two. Their meats are very high quality and are sourced from three ranches in the Interior, and their cattle are grass fed. Hopcott meats are currently available at their store in Pitt Meadows, but they are also at the Yaletown Farmers’ Market every Thursday. They are also exploring other distribution points as well.
Above: Mike Lindsay (General Manager) led us on a tour and explained how they process their meat. Once the Hopcotts pick the cattle up, they are brought back to their farm and fed a very clean, homegrown silage for the last quarter of their lives. The meat is then dry-aged for 28 days or more and does not include needling. I took home some delicious Octoberfest sausage, which May used for her delicious potato and yam hash. I’ll definitely be back again to stock up on some beef.
Address: 18385 Old Dewdney Trunk Road, Pitt Meadows, BC V2Y 2R9
One of the largest corn mazes in the Pacific Northwest, Meadows Maze is more than just a maze, as other on-site attractions include a Petting Zoo, Bee Observatory, Lions “Goat” Bridge, hay wagon rides, and more. We didn’t get to experience the corn maze because it doesn’t open until August, however we did enjoy a tractor ride and a nice BBQ for lunch, as we roasted sausages over an open fire pit.
Address: 13672 Reichenbach Rd., Pitt Meadows, BC V3Y 1Z1
WildPlay Adventure Park / Leghorn Ranch Trail Rides
The highlight of my day was definitely our visit to WildPlay Adventure Park. WildPlay operates 4 theme parks in BC, and 1 in Yukon Territories. Their Monkido Aerial Tree to Tree Adventure Course is a treetop aerial adventure that includes ropes, wobbly bridges, scramble nets, and ziplines. After a quick lesson on how to operate our safety harness, many of us made our way through the course which starts from the ground but ascends up to 60 feet off the ground. It was really fun, and because there are 4 different levels of difficulty, it is really designed for both beginners and experienced thrill seekers in mind.
Address: 23485 Fern Crescent, Maple Ridge, BC V4R 2S9
Leghorn Ranch Trail Rides offers horseback trail riding tours. They offer horseback tours to suit every skill level. As I had never ridden a horse before, I was thrilled at the opportunity to enjoy a brief trail ride around the park. Owner and guide Hanif Jinnah was really easygoing and made the experience really enjoyable.
Address: 20254 Old Dewdney Trunk Road, Pitt Meadows, BC V3Y 1Z1
Big Feast Bistro
Big Feast Bistro was recently featured on the Food Network show “You’ve Got To Eat Here” this past spring. Featuring locally sourced sustainable food, Big Feast is a small town bistro with a trendy, urban feel. Owner and chef Mike Mulcahy is proud of his menu, which features many gluten-free options including desserts, pastries, sauces, pastas, and even soups. Their muffins and cookies were quite tasty, but I’ll make sure to try more of their menu items the next time I’m out there.
There are so many more attractions and destinations in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows region. This summer, take some time out of your busy schedule, get away from the city, and explore your backyard. You never know what you’ll stumble upon!