Location: 210 Street and 132 Avenue, Maple Ridge
Jerry Sulina Park is actually an off-leash dog park which is situated along the Trans Canada Trail. The park itself consists of a fenced area enclosing a small pond and marsh area with a short series of trails. The pond and surrounding habitat is apparently home to many animals including turtles, cranes and several species of waterfowl, although spotting these animals is a rarity due to the area's popularity among dog owners. Either way it is entertaining for kids to watch the dogs chase sticks into the pond!
The Trans Canada Trail system that runs through Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge is one of a kind. In total the portion of the TCT that runs through our communities is over 21 km. It winds its way along the dykes and through city streets. A map of the western portion can be found here and a map of the eastern portion can be found here. There are many places to access the TCT trail system, Jerry Sulina Park is just one of them.
The sections of the TCT which are along the Alouette and Pitt rivers are absolutely stunning. The waterways and blueberry fields with the Golden Ears mountains as a backdrop summarize the beauty of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows perfectly. Our family walks the dyke system regularly and every time we do so we are reminded of how fortunate we are to have it in "our backyard".
In our many trips along the TCT between 203 Street and 210 Street we have spotted eagles, hawks, blue herons, salmon, bears, beavers, otters and several bird and waterfowl species. We spoke with a couple during one of our walks who told us that they spotted a seal in the Aloutte River last year!
There is a hobby farm at the corner of Neaves Road which offers the opportunity to purchase "ancient chicken feed" (i.e. corn) for 25 cents. Don't be that parent and forget your quarters! There is a resident hog who lives amongst the chickens and is the highlight of the visit whenever he's not hiding in his shelter.
The trail is perfect for family bike rides as it is flat, wide and gravel-based. It's also a nice place to take your jogging stroller if you are lazy like me and loathe hills!
If you want to make a day trip out of it bring your kid's bathing suit and sandals and let them catch minnows in the slower moving waters of the S. Alouette River. However, please be mindful that the area is habitat to many important species and do your part to preserve it.
Child Review (2 years old):
Kayla absolutely loves watching the dogs along the pathway, looking for animals, feeding the chickens and catching minnows.
Shade: Very minimal.
Seating: There are a couple of benches within the dog park and several along the dyke paths.
Toilets / Facilities: Porta-potty in the Jerry Sulina Park parking lot. (Caution: these are only for desperate times! Seriously.)
Pathway: The dyke system is gravel which is stroller and bike friendly.
Overall Rating: Very Good - great scenery and a lovely walking/biking trail which is almost always bustling with activity. A nice walk or ride any time of day but can be scorching in the summer as there is very minimal shade.