It’s one of those days when, as a child, I would grab my bike from our garage and meet up with my neighbour on the corner where our two streets met. We’d spend the next few hours exploring the forest trails of a local park followed by laying out in the sun on a grassy hill speckled with dandelions. Condensation from Slurpee cups cooled our hands as we talked about our next adventure to another park or playground. It’s days like today that remind me how fortunate we are to have so many outstanding local parks and green spaces. As such, I’m adding a new entry to the Metro Vancouver Park Series: Royal Kwantlen Park.
Surrey is formerly known at the City of Parks and Royal Kwantlen Park is one of the very first I ever explored as a child. Whether you’re a spectator at a soccer, softball, or baseball game, letting the kids enjoy the playground, or cooling off in the pool during the summer, there are beautiful mountain views to enjoy on a clear day.
How to Get There
The park is located at 13035 104th Ave with a parking lot on the corner of Old Yale Road and 104th (near the lacrosse box) and another parking lot off 106th Ave near the fields. Kwantlen Park Secondary is on the corner of 104th and 132nd, the park is just West of the school. You can take Highway 1, exiting onto 152nd and turning West onto 104th Avenue or turn onto 104th from King George or Scott Road to reach the park that is bordered by Old Yale, 106th, 132nd, and 104th.
Courtesy of KwantlenPark.ca:
After talks with all parties involved, Surrey purchased the 40 acre reserve in 1954 for $40,000 from the Kwantlen First Nation. The municipality used a 10 acre strip on the east side to give the school board a new school site [KB Woodward -- West Whalley Junior Secondary was then built in 1957]. After much planning, hard work and repeated requests, in 1959 Surrey decided to use the remaining portion of the former Kwantlen Reserve to create a park for Whalley.
There are remnants of an old wading pool at the top of the park’s highest hill and in the 1980s an adventure playground was installed along with a fitness circuit in the forest. In the late 90s the adventure playground was replaced with a more modern installation, a skate park was added on the south side and the tennis courts were expanded to accomodate a basketball court.
The park has a full playground, washrooms, two soccer fields, baseball diamonds, two all-weather (gravel) sports fields, tennis court, basketball court, skate park, lacrosse box, walking paths and forest trails. In the summer, I believe opening July 1st each year, there is a free outdoor pool on the south side, off 104 Ave. The forest is home to racoons and the occasional bunny, there is a patch of daffodils on the south side that pops up every spring, and the lacrosse box works just as well as a street-hockey venue.
Check out all 50 entries in my Metro Vancouver Park Series for fun, recreation, and local day trip ideas.