Print Edition: July 3, 2013
Summer rolls on, or at least that is what I am told. With the weather still behaving as though it is mid-April, finding a decent day to get out and enjoy the sunshine has been a challenge in itself. While I appreciate that the constant rain makes it easy for me to commit to my online courses (sigh), my desire to be outdoors often takes greater priority than the readings in front of me; I will find myself out doing something outside on a day that is much less than ideal.
Such was the case this last week, when I found myself driving up to Bridal Veil Falls with foreboding rain clouds looming overhead. While my heart was saying get outdoors, the forecast was saying, “grab your poncho.” The 40-minute drive from UFV to Bridal Falls brought me from dark skies to darker skies. Not exactly prime conditions for a hike, but I was determined to get a look at the waterfall that had been so highly praised by many of my friends. As I unloaded my daypack from the car, the first drops of rain began to fall from the sky. Not to be deterred by a little rainfall, I headed up the well-maintained path.
I immediately noticed the obvious benefits of being the only one brave (or stupid) enough to go hiking on a day this gloomy. Not a soul in sight. Just me, the forest and the running water. The hike up the hill was light and accessible, perfect for anyone new to hiking. Bridal Veils Park is a beautiful area with plenty of old growth trees, mossy groves and interesting rock and boulder formations. In this way it is an amazingly accessible representation of the British Columbia wilderness, giving a tourist a good look at some of the beauty BC has to offer. The park definitely serves its purpose, and it is geared towards young families and those with accessibility issues. The seasoned veteran hiker may want to look elsewhere for adventure!
As I headed up the incline, the clouds opened up and the foreboding clouds finally began to unload their rain, turning the hike conditions from gloomy to miserable. By the time I reached the viewing platform, the falls were completely shrouded in mist and rain and I could barely make out the promised cascade of water. I decided to make a hasty retreat back to my car.
Heading down the path was a lot quicker than on the way up, as I decided that running might be appropriate under the weather conditions. By the time I had reached the bottom my clothes and backpack had been sufficiently soaked through. Driving home I managed to soak the interior of my car with the rest of my wet hiking gear; just a beautiful reminder of what British Columbia does best no matter the season – rain.
All in all Bridal Falls would make a great spot to take a date, walk a dog, or take a young family. For those looking for a serious hike, look elsewhere. For those who are looking for a casual summer activity this park would be highly recommended. Just try to choose a sunny day to make the trip!