Malcolm Knapp Research Forest – My search for local adventure!
This week I was thrilled to have a good friend (who I only get to see every couple of months) join us for a full day playdate. I’m not going to lie – it is chilly here (-3 degrees) and my desire to stay inside and stay warm and cozy was STRONG this morning. However, “you can’t write an adventure blog and “stay inside” and so I knew we had to go find some fun adventure! I posted the question to my local mom Facebook group – “Looking for local treasures?” and I am SO glad that this was recommended. Not only did someone recommend the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, but Malcolm Knapp’s granddaughter is actually a member of our group and was happy to see the park being recommended. Another great aspect of online community development, but alas, I digress. I googled the park and it is only a 20-minute drive from Langley over the Golden Ears Bridge. Today was a BEAUTIFUL day, but we packed mittens and extra layers as it would be colder outside of the sun’s reach. After we were parked and loaded we were headed for the trails. We passed the kids at the Maple Ridge Environmental School, which was a neat treat to see. I love the concept of full time outdoor education and can’t wait until that opportunity is available in Langley. (Fingers crossed!) Our goal was to hit the red trail and connect up with the green loop. We had a map, and the trails were well marked. Within a few minutes we discovered that the recent wind storm had been tough on the trails and there was a LOT of trees down, and even more debris on the trail. It was actually so thick it felt like walking on Christmas wreaths. My dear son tried to clear every branch out of our way, but we ultimately had to talk him out of this very kind gesture.
The Malcolm Knapp Research Forest trail was amazing. Even though it was an easy grade I wouldn’t say that it was a stroller-friendly trail. There were lots of big roots, swooping turns, and steep terrain that would make stroller passage impossible. But the trails were very kid-friendly, ranging from 2km to 6km you could choose your route and how long you wanted to be out there. Speaking of being out there, our plan to hook up the green line never materialized. We realized that we had gone the wrong direction on the path and actually were in a completely different spot then we intended to be. Apparently my Girl Guide skills were left at home today! Needless to say, though we really had a great time and will be back. There were AMAZING trees to climb, pose with, and even a MASSIVE uprooted tree on its side that we got to pose inside. I’ve honestly never seen tree roots so big! So if you’re from Maple Ridge you probably know about this little secret in your back yard. But for Langley moms or anyone who hasn’t taken the time to check it out, I give it 5 stars! I can’t wait to go back! Recommended things to wear/pack:
- Appropriate footwear… running shoes if it’s dry or a light hiking boot.
- Layers, the temperature swing between the sunshine and the forest was amazing.
- A MAP… or two… or GPS. We “knew” what we were doing and got lost. However, the trails are clearly marked with coordinating colours and the trails are wide and well maintained… so you could get turned around easily but not truly lost?
- The bridge at the end of the green loop is out… so be prepared to backtrack if you plan to spend some time riverside.
Thank you to those that recommended this jewel. The Malcolm Knapp Research Forest really is a local treasure and I can’t wait to go back! Feel free to connect with me if you have any questions! Jami