Located on the Fraser River between Surrey and Pitt Meadows, Vancouver’s Barnston Island is a perfect place for rural cycling.
Rural Barnston Island
Barnston Island is mostly farmland. It’s a tiny community of around 155 inhabitants. It’s a peaceful place and is especially perfect for bike rides for young children, as it has a flat perimeter road with almost no traffic. On the island are a number of farms, plus a First Nations reserve. It’s probably close to 10 kilometres or so around.
Barnston Island is only accessible by a free barge, which runs just whenever you arrive. The ferry ride takes about five minutes and ferries run from about 6:00 am until late at night. This is a great place for city people wanting to get into the country. If you’re from the country, however, then it’s nice, but nothing special.
Tips & Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most of your trip to Barnston Island.
TIP #1: There are no amenities on the island (i.e. no food for sale and no stores). Pack a lunch (and Band-Aids just in case for the little ones).
TIP #2: This is a good place to take the kids for a bike ride in the spring and fall, and in the summer – but not on really hot days. There is very little shade on the road, so if it’s a scorcher, then it’ll be no fun riding.
TIP #3: If you are looking for other places to take the kids for a bike ride, then consider North Vancouver’s Seymour Demonstration Forest, which has lots of shade, so is ideal on hot days. Also, the Stanley Park seawall is probably the #1 “best place” for level pavement cycling, absolutely anytime of the year, except for when it’s raining.
To learn more about the Barnston Island Ferry, see the BC Ferries‘ website.
For more ideas on things to do with the family, check out Vancouver’s best places for children.