Take the opportunity to spot nature’s finest creatures as you travel the Scenic 7 BC! Find various wildlife all along this route from Coquitlam to Hope. We have the scoop on some of the best places to see all sorts of these majestic beings along the way, so we’ve created a list that you can follow on your next trip down the scenic route.
7. Lafarge Lake, Coquitlam
📸 by reytorr on Instagram.
Lafarge Lake is located in Town Centre Park in central Coquitlam. This beautiful, five-hectare man-made lake is home to many species of wildlife, including waterfowl, beavers, rainbow trout, and much more!
Lafarge Lake is well known as a place where beginner anglers come to fish, with an easy access point and one that boasts a high catch rate. However, for those unfamiliar with this lake or who have yet to visit, there is another inhabitant that has often been spotted here… turtles! Not as easily seen, as they can blend into the surroundings, or are mistaken for rocks, you’ll need to keep your eyes out for these slow-moving fellas.
6. Stave Lake, Mission
📸 by captainjill on Instagram.
Stave Lake is located on the northern edge of the District of Mission, and serves as part of the Stave River System, which is used in the production of hydroelectricity for the area. It’s a popular area for recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, hiking, and much more. It’s also a great area for wildlife sightings!
You may expect to see deer, various waterfowl, like the Blue Heron, numerous species of fish, such as trout and salmon, and even the odd bear. Bears inhabit our backcountry in the mountains, and as we build our communities out towards them, encroaching on their territory, we’re bound to cross paths!
The sandstone cliffs, flowing waters, and surrounding rainforest of Kanaka Creek Regional Park are what draw visitors into this wonderful place in Maple Ridge. From the nature trails to the fish hatchery, there are a variety of activities to enjoy and experience when taking a trip to this park.
Check out the Bell-Irving Hatchery to see and learn more about the lifecycle of salmon, or follow your own path and discover the various birds you’ll come across in this regional park! Some are longer-term residents than others, but you’ll often see Great Blue Heron, Canada Geese, and a great assortment of ducks. From Mallards to Buffleheads, to different types of Mergansers, you’ll catch them swimming in the waters of the park. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for Belted Kingfisher, Black-Capped Chickadee, a variety of seasonal songbirds, and even Bald Eagles!
4. Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs
📸 by rykusch on Instagram.
Harrison Lake is significantly larger then it looks from the village view in Harrison Hot Springs, covering over 200 square kilometres! Because of its size and depth, this lake supports a very rich biodiversity of both permanent and seasonal animal species. Those living amongst the waters of Harrison Lake range from trout and salmon, to sturgeon and seals! There are plenty of waterfowl that pay visits to the area or have made it their home, as expected with the type of surroundings and the food available.
It is not uncommon to spot Black Bears as you travel either the East or West Harrison Forest Service Roads, due to the plethora of fish available for feeding from this vast lake. They make their way through the surrounding wooded area down to the lake to feed, and can be spotted either along the shores or running through the forest!
3. Harrison Eco Tours, Harrison Hot Springs
📸 by rhonda.leee on Instagram.
One of the best ways to see wildlife while visiting Harrison Hot Springs or Agassiz/Kent, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the area is booking a tour with Harrison Eco Tours! Offering a great variety of eco-tours and wildlife viewing, as well as guided kayaking, this allows visitors plenty of sighting opportunities.
Join in at this incredible time of year to witness the abundance of Bald Eagles flocking to the area, and feeding on the spawning salmon. With upwards of 10,000 eagles, it’s an incredible sight! The Eagle Watching Tour runs around October until February, depending on when the eagles decide to come and go, and you don’t want to miss out on this one! Take in the moment while relaxing on a jet boat tour with Harrison Eco Tours this season.
2. Suckers Creek, Hope
📸 by deegreenyogamama on Instagram.
Suckers Creek is a small channel connecting Thacker Marsh and the Coquihalla River, which is filled with spawning Chum and Coho Salmon in the Fall. Located a short distance from downtown Hope, this area is perfect for taking the kids to learn about the salmon, all while watching it happen in real time!
You’ll find a boardwalk and bridges over the creek along the trail, providing fantastic views of the surroundings. Follow the path to Thacker Marsh and see all of its wildlife inhabitants, like geese, ducks, and heron.
1. Harrison River, Harrison Hot Springs
📸 by titima_rujo on Instagram.
Harrison Hot Springs is truly a great place to venture to when you want to see some beautiful scenery and equally beautiful wildlife. Take a drive, head out on foot, or better yet, paddle your way along the river to discover the greatest view of all! Hop in a canoe or kayak and make a day of this adventure.
The Harrison River is filled with life, from numerous species of fish, to river otters, seals, and even Trumpeter Swans. Nearby, you’ll find bears, beavers, sturgeon, eagles, seagulls, and more! This is surely the greatest area to find the largest assortment of wildlife, both on land and water! Pay the Harrison River a visit at any time of year, and you won’t be disappointed.
*Bonus: Weaver Creek Spawning Channel, Sts’Ailes
📸 by scog7 on Instagram.
The Weaver Creek Spawning Channel, measuring approximately three kilometres in length, serves as an additional spawning habitat for Sockeye Salmon, as well as Chum and Pink Salmon deposit their eggs naturally. The channel was built as an extension to Weaver Creek, which provides added space for spawning, rather than the existing creek alone.
If you would like to learn more about these wildlife areas and spots, other must-see road trip stops along the Scenic 7 Highway, or if you are interested in learning about other communities and attractions, please contact Scenic 7 BC by filling out a contact form on our website.