Alouette River Dyke Trail, Pitt Meadows

 

Pitt Meadows offers a  plethora of  flat, picturesque, dog-friendly trails along the dykes bordering the Fraser River, Pitt River, and Alouette River, all of the trails perfect for cycling, strolling, or jogging.  With the snow-capped Cascade Mountains towering in the north-east, the Alouette River Dyke Trail wends its way through sprawling blueberry and cranberry fields and bucolic equestrian farms.  Overhead, the occasional single-engine airplane lazily drones by as student-pilots from the Pitt Meadows airport practice various aspects of flight.

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The western end of the Alouette Dyke trail, on the north side of the river.

Although the rare signpost states that it’s an `on-leash’ trail, almost all dog-owners here take advantage of the wide-open spaces by allowing their dogs to roam about off-leash.  Be mindful that from April-July, Canada Geese and their goslings abound in the area, as well as a variety of other nesting bird-life and waterfowl.

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Zeus, appreciating the marsh flowers at the rivers’ edge, where the Alouette Dyke trail turns northeast and follows the Pitt River.

A number of docks and jetties line the fresh-water river, and a charming little riverside community resides at the very western end of the Alouette River, where it joins the Pitt River.

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Nature enfolding an old tug-boat in her arms.

On hot days, the river is enjoyed by paddle-boarders, kayakers, and the occasional passel of kids jumping off of bridges or docks into the water.

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The Tribeca Equestrian facility, located at the north-western end of the trail

There are two trails that follow the Alouette river, one on the south side and one on the north.  The southern trail forms part of the impressive Trans-Canada Trail, while the northern trail starts/ends just shy of Pitt Lake.  There are numerous access points to the dyke trails from various roads , and the length of your route depends on how long you wish to be out enjoying the countryside.  I’ve heard it touted that you can do a loop of these dyke trails in about 9 hours, but personally, I think that’s an excessive amount of walking in one day!

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Heading down to the Pitt River for doggy to get a drink of water.

There are no amenities, so bring your own food & water, and be prepared to duck into a bush if you become urinarily urgent.  See here for a map of Pitt Meadow’s  network of river-dyke dog-friendly bike routes.

To reach the Alouette Dyke trails from Vancouver by car, get on the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 E and head east.  When you see the highway signs that a toll bridge is coming up (Port Mann Bridge), stay in the 2 far right hand lanes!  You don’t want to take the toll bridge. Take the 7 East ramp to Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge/Mission and follow the Mary Hill Bypass/BC-7B.  You’ll cross over the Pitt River Bridge with a wonderful view of Pitt River to your left and a romantic rail bridge crossing the river on your far right.  Immediately after the bridge, get in the left hand lane and turn left onto Old Dewdney Trunk Rd, which will take you directly to Harris Road.  Turn left on Harris Road and follow it until you reach a short bridge that crosses the Alouette River.  There is plenty of parking on the immediate right, just before the bridge, and some gravel parking spots on both the left and right just after the bridge.  Pick a trail where you park and follow it!

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