Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Hiking the Abby Grind with Kids

Living in Surrey means we have many walks nearby but there aren't any challenging hikes that I'm aware of.  In the past we have gone over various bridges to hike at Golden Ears, Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour and Lynn Canyon, but rarely do we head east.  This morning we drove 45 minutes east to try out the Abby Grind.  It is located off of the Whatcom Exit where you take North Parallel Road (you do need to go over a small bridge to stay on North Parallel Road) and then left on McDermott until you go right past the Abbotsford Fish and Game Club to a big gravel parking lot.

I was so curious: Would it be like the Grouse Grind? How would the kids do?
The Abby Grind is a 2ish km trail that took about 50 minutes to hike on a dirt path with a steady incline.  Nya (aged 4) hiked about 1/3 of the way up and then she needed to go in the carrier.  I would imagine that this trail would be quite muddy in the wet conditions.  I loved that it was shaded and the scenery (ferns, trees, greenery) was beautiful.

I found it easier than the Grouse Grind as there are times where the path is almost flat and it is definitely shorter. The one part that made it difficult for me is that you need to take the same trail down and that is hard on these old knees and quads.  The kids all ran down no problem at all–Nya hiked the whole way down on her own singing most of the way. **Edited to add: there is a fork in the trail at the 3/4 mark so that you can take a less steep trail down which we did not know about**

There are markers along the way for 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 which I appreciated!

There is a small lookout area which is technically the top of the Abby Grind.  This trail is part of a longer one called the Glen Ryder Trail or Taggert Peak.  

There is no shade in the area so we had a quick snack and drink and started back down again.

I recommend using hiking poles if you struggle when coming down hills (like me!)

Overall, we really enjoyed this hike and it was great to have a challenge somewhat close by!  With about 9,500 steps and 90 flights stairs (according to my FitBit), I'd say it was a great start to the day.

Hopefully my Abbotsford friends don't mind me sharing this hike.  Have you done it? What did you think of it?


PS Here's a 36 second video of our hike :)