Profiles of Historic Sites



Cascade Falls
Noel Hall fonds/0208-B12-02701
Courtesy Mission Community Archives

Cascade Falls Regional Park


Location:
Ridgeview Road, Northeast of Mission

Neighbourhood:
McConnell Creek

Date of Original Construction:
Designated 1986

Resource Type:
Landscape

Current Owner/Occupant:
Fraser Valley Regional District


Site Description:

The park is 22 hectares in size and is located just northeast from Mission, 14 km down Sylvester Road, near the eastern end of Ridgeview Road, located in the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD), Electoral Area F. (Please see link in "Further Information" below to visit the website for the FVRD).

There are several large pools in the boulder strewn creek, and a series of smaller falls within a deeply incised gorge. The highest waterfall drops 30 meters into a large pool and is the highlight of the park. A fifteen minute walk leads from the parking lot to a viewing platform next to the falls. Cascade Creek drops 18 metres of elevation to the valley floor to where it empties into Stave Lake.

Three picnic tables are located next to the creek. The trail system varies in difficulty from easy to moderate and continues to upper pools above the waterfall.


Site History:

The park is a lovely cool spot on a hot summer day, and has been a popular recreational and picnic site since people first moved into the area. The park has been called one of Mission's best natural treasures.

In 1984 the possibility of the site becoming a regional park was indicated by the Dewdney-Alouette Regional District (DARD) and negotiations continued with the province. At this time the site was located within the Douglas Provincial Forest. Also during this time there was a dyking project (or flood protection works) underway below the falls.

The official opening of Cascade Falls Regional Park occurred on Saturday June 7, 1986 at 2:00pm at the park. Following the ceremony refreshments were served at the McConnell Creek Farmers' Institute Hall.

A Fraser Valley Record article dated February 1989 states that an ambitious plan to quadruple the size of the park was unveiled to area residents. It called for the acquisition of 18ha of crown land and 22ha of private land to create a network of parks and trails that would link the majestic Cascade Falls with the marsh areas adjacent to Stave Lake. [The Heritage Places would appreciate any information on whether this plan was ever implemented. Please Email us.]

In the fall of 1999 "the Fraser Valley Regional District commissioned a geotechnical study which found some of the edges of the ravine lining the creek could collapse. The experts recommended the public be kept at least five metres away from the edge of the canyon." Safety measures to assure the public stayed the proper distance away included a chain link fence, a new platform, and deactivating old trails and building new trails.

In 2000 the park was being redeveloped to make it more attractive to visitors, particularly families. This first phase of redevelopment would cost $25,000 in 2000. It provided easier access to those with mobility problems and safer recreation opportunities for young families. The lower parking lot was expanded. Picnic tables and benches installed and a new outhouse toilet replaced the old vandalized toilet.




People Associated with the Site:

Dewdney-Alouette Regional District (DARD)
Norman Cook, Regional Administrator, DARD, 1984
Abe Nuefeld, Director for Area E, 1983
Cascade Creek Property Owners' Association
B.C. Forest Service
P. John Gairns, Administrator, DARD, 1985/86.
Fraser Valley Regional District
Doug Wilson, Assistant Parks Manager, 2000
Dick Ainsworth, Regional District Director, 2000
Dewdney Alouette Regional District's electoral area directors' committee
DARD Regional Parks Committee, 1985


Features:

Trails are easy to moderate with some stairs. Allow 15 minutes to reach the viewing platform from the parking lot. The Upper Pools Trail is another 20 minutes beyond the viewing platform. For your safety, remain on the trail at all times.

Dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times. Please clean up after your dog.

Three picnic tables are located next to Cascade Creek at the lower pools.

Black Bears and Cougars are sometimes encountered in the park and need to be respected at all times.

Warning: Playing near the falls can be dangerous, particularly during wet weather and flooding. A number of people have lost their lives or been severely injured playing near the falls, or jumping into the pools below. Swim at your own risk. There are no lifeguards on duty. Diving or jumping into the water can cause serious injury or death. See newspaper articles below.

More information on park safety and etiquette can be found at Fraser Valley Regional District Website-Parks and Trails



Landscape:

The park is located in a rural area, just off a paved road. It is 22 hectares in size.

The major attraction is the waterfalls and pools. Steep trails lead through the forest of large fir, hemlock and cedar trees, to viewing platforms. Along the trail large ferns, salal, huckleberry bushes and similar undergrowth are abundant.

A gravel access road switchbacks to higher levels; it is closed to vehicle traffic, but is an easier, if somewhat steep, walk to the top. Above the falls, there are several large pools in the boulder strewn creek.


Where to get further information:

Mission Community Archives File 700.3 Mission City Record. August 17, 2000. "Shoring up the Falls."
Fraser Valley Record. August 6, 1983. "Camping ban a Cascade Creek."
Fraser Valley Record. August 19, 1999. "Rafter Drowns at Cascade Falls."
Fraser Valley Record. August 8, 1984. "New Regional Park at Cascade Falls?"
Fraser Valley Record. July 10, 1985. "Cascade waiting."
Fraser Valley Record. May 28, 1986. "Cascade Falls Regional Park Official Opening."
Fraser Valley Regional District Website
Mission Chamber of Commerce Website
Fraser Valley Regional District, Geotechnical Study Fall 1999


1 Quotes are from Mission City Record, "Shoring up the Falls" Aug 17, 2000.




Last Modified November 29, 2013