On a sizzling summer day at the end of August, against a backdrop of rustling cornfields and the towering Cascade Mountains, we cycled this lovely path along the meandering Alouette River. This flat gravel path forms part of the longest network of recreational trails in the world, the Trans Canada Trail, https://thegreattrail.ca/about-us/annual-report/ With easy parking access at the southeast end of the Harris Road Bridge in Pitt Meadows, this section is ideal for joggers, baby-strollers, walkers, cyclists, picnickers, kayakers, and dogs. Until 1914, the Alouette River was known as the Lillooet River, until some bright cookie realized that there already was a Lillooet River, a major waterway of the southern Coast Mountains of British Columbia, beginning at Silt Lake, 80 kilometres northwest of Pemberton. So the name was changed to something similar: Alouette, which is French for “lark”.
The soft splash of paddles from kayakers and paddle-boarders combined with the occasional lazy drone of an airplane overhead were the only sounds on a roasting hot summer day. The Pitt Meadows Paddling Club is located on the southwest shore of the Alouette River at the Harris Road Bridge (14411 Harris Rd) http://www.pmpc.ca/homeAll along the south of the Alouette River, muddy banks, rocky beaches, and a few sandy spots make for wonderful picnic spots.
The Alouette River is a tributary of the Pitt River and is formed at the confluence of the North and South Alouette Rivers.
It’s easy to spot herons on the riverbanks, patiently fishing for salmon smolts.
Stopping for frequent photos and dips into the river, we spent over an hour cycling the easy segment from Harris Road, southeast to Neaves Road, where a picturesque bridge was our turnaround point. For those wishing to carry on, the Trans Canada trail continues along the river in a winding south-easterly, then jogs abruptly away from the Alouette and follows a canal south to 128th Avenue.