Metro Vancouver is home to numerous wonderful parks and places to walk in nature. One such place is the North Alouette Greenway in Maple Ridge.
Maple Ridge is famous for its dykes and walking trails that run along them. This particular trail along the North Alouette River is an especially popular one for horseback riding, cycling, walking and jogging. The route is both stroller and wheelchair accessible. It is also a dog-friendly area (so long as canine companions are kept on a leash).
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The North Alouette Greenway
Located about 10 minutes north of downtown Maple Ridge by car, the North Alouette Regional Greenway features a dyke trail and beautiful scenery.
The greenway is a popular destination for locals wanting to get a taste of the outdoors. People from across the Lower Mainland visit the region too. The path along the dyke offers views of the North Alouette River as well as the Coastal Mountains on a clear day. All around are farms, marshlands, open fields and forest.
Where is the Greenway?
The North Alouette Greenway is a path that runs north to south along the North Alouette River. The first part of the trail runs parallel to Park Lane just a few blocks north of 132nd Avenue.
Parking for the greenway can be found at 13360 Park Lane. It’s not a huge parking lot – there is space for perhaps around two dozen or so vehicles, plus maybe more on the street. The parking area is about half a kilometre from the Maple Ridge Equi-Sports Centre which is located just around the corner at 21973 132nd Avenue.
To get to the North Alouette Greenway from Vancouver via Highway 1 and Langley, take the 192nd Street exit north and then turn right onto Golden Ears Way. Follow the road over the bridge until it turns into 128th Avenue. From there, turn left on 216th Street, right on 132nd Avenue and then finally left onto Park Lane.
The start of the Greenway begins at the parking lot. After about 1.2 km or so you come to the end, where you can either turn around and go back or just keep going. Although the North Alouette Greenway officially ends, the trail keeps on going.
About 1.2 km from the parking lot you come to a junction where you can either turn right or left. If you turn right you can keep going all the way to Pitt Meadows. If you turn left you’ll head south to where the trail connects with 216th Street. At the intersection where the trail turns into 216th Street, if you turn left, you can follow 132nd Avenue back to Park Lane and your car.
Walking the North Alouette Greenway
The greenway is a 2.3 kilometre-long multi-use path. In addition to walking, both cycling and horseback riding are also permitted. Dogs are also allowed on the trail as long as they are on-leash.
The majority of the trail is wheelchair accessible as the surface is flat and made from compacted gravel and dirt.
The North Alouette Greenway connects to a variety of other trails and paths around the area. From here, visitors can connect to a larger greenway network around the Alouette River Dyke as well as other smaller systems within Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
At the end of the first straight bit of the trail in the North Alouette Greenway, just before it veers to left toward the blueberry fields, there is a trail off to the right. If you follow it you’ll cross a bridge which connects with Tim’s Trail and leads to a nice spot down by the river.
Instead of turning off the main trail (towards Tim’s Trail), if you just keep going you’ll pass blueberry farms on your left and eventually come to the end of the greenway. The dyke connects with other trails, however, so you can actually continue on for miles! It’s a beautiful area to explore!
Cycling along the Greenway
If you’re looking to go on a leisurely bike ride, the North Alouette Greenway is a great place to do so. The surface of the trail is hard-packed dirt and the route is level pretty much the entire way. You can go for a short bike ride to the end of the North Alouette Greenway part of the trail and back, or you can continue along other connecting trails for a longer ride.
If you keep following the trail in a northwest direction you’ll reach Neaves Road which marks the border between Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. At Neaves Road there is a small parking area, so you can start your ride here too if you want. From the North Alouette Greenway parking lot to Neaves Road, by bike, takes about 25 minutes or so depending on how fast you peddle. So it’s not so far.
If you continue west from Neaves Road you’ll find that both the trail and the North Alouette River start to turn southwest, then south and then southeast and then east (so kind of in a big circle). The route makes a loop and keeps going until you come back to the north end of 216th Street (which is just a few blocks from the North Alouette Greenway parking lot where you might have left your car).
Because it’s flat and there is no traffic anywhere to be seen, this trail is among our top most recommended places in the Lower Mainland for cycling with young children. It’s also great for people just wanting a leisurely ride. It’s a gravel path, so not appropriate for road bikes with extra thin wheels. It’s good though for pretty much every other type of bicycle.
North Alouette Greenway Video
The following video is of the area in late winter. The video starts on the dyke near the parking lot just off Park Lane. As you’ll see, there is a large open grassy field on the left and a forested area on the right. Also on the right but not quite in sight is the North Alouette River (which is about the size of a creek).
The video ends near the start of a blueberry farm about halfway along the trail (which then connects with other trails).
This video was filmed in late February in 2021. In late spring and the summer the trees are full of green leaves. Between late September and early November there are autumn colours. Year-round the area is popular for walking, cycling and horseback riding.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your time in the area.
TIP #1: Be sure to take your bike, dog and/or friends (and even your horse if you have one). The trails are wonderful places to explore!
TIP #2: Dogs are permitted on the trail along the North Alouette Greenway when on leash. Be aware though that horses sometimes also use the trail. (Also, watch your step and things your dog might want to roll in!)
TIP #3: Either before or after your walk or cycle, enjoy a hot drink, lunch or dinner at one of Maple Ridge’s many coffee shops or restaurants. Also, if you go on a Saturday between May and October, check out the Haney Farmers Market which happens at Memorial Peace Park in the centre of town. It’s a great place to pick up fresh produce and picnic ingredients.
TIP #4: Not far from the trail head of the North Alouette Greenway is an equestrian centre and a rustic restaurant with a large wrap-around patio overlooking the riding areas. The Ranch Pub & Grill is a family-friendly place in a lovely setting (and since early 2021 its patio has outdoor heaters). It’s also a very dog-friendly restaurant where furry friends are welcome to join their owners on the outdoor patio.
TIP #6: Some of Maple Ridge’s other best places to explore include Alouette Lake, Golden Ears Provincial Park and Kanaka Creek Park. Maple Ridge Park is also very nice, as is Whonnock Lake. To learn about the area’s history, check out Haney House and the Maple Ridge Museum. And for some adventure with friends or family, Wildplay Elements Park is a fun place to be.
To learn more about the North Alouette Greenway visit the Metro Vancouver website.
For more information about the area see the City of Maple Ridge‘s website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Maple Ridge Dogs, Parks and Patio Restaurants
- Best Places for Walking, Jogging and Cycling
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Vancouver Hiking Trails
- City of Maple Ridge
Note: No restaurants or other businesses in this article paid to be featured in this article. We do, however, thank the City of Maple Ridge for helping us make this article possible.