Trail: Lower Falls Trail
Date Completed: July 12, 2019
Distance: Approximately 5.6 km
Type of trail: Out and back
Location: Golden Ears Provincial Park, Maple Ridge
Distance from Vancouver: Approximately 1 hr 15 min
Directions: Click here for Google Map
Ages of children: 3, 5, 8, 11
Stroller Friendly: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes, on leash
Cell Service: No
Time to Complete: 2.5 hours
Jelly Bean Rating: 3/5
The Lower Falls Trail is at the very end of the road in Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge.
Be prepared for no service here, but expect a beautiful hike with a spectacular waterfall destination.
When you get to the parking lot you’ll see signs directing you to the Lower Falls Trail. This parking lot can get really busy on a warm weekend day, so you may have to park along the road.
There are washrooms here that are a good idea to use because there isn’t another one until right before you head up to the falls.
At the far end of the parking lot, you’ll see a sign for Lower Falls Trail. Follow that little dip down to the trail.
The trail is nicely maintained. It is, however, quite long.
Fortunately, there are some big boulders and such to explore right alongside the trail to switch up the terrain a little bit for those who are getting restless (like my children).
While the trail is mostly amongst the trees it does open up a couple of times to give beautiful views of the creek. There are a few entrances about mid-way through the trail that bring you right down to the water if you need a good spot to have a quick snack before carrying on to the falls.
As you get closer to the falls you’ll be walking amongst the trees and along the creek. There are a few old growth stumps that have been turned into art installations and also provide awesome photo opportunities!
Once you hit this bridge you’re getting really close to the falls. My kids were starting to fade here, so that’s when I busted out the jellybeans! (We don’t call ’em Jellybean Ratings for nothing!)
Finally, we reached the falls! We enjoyed the misty spray on the hot summer day coming from the waterfall and then made our way to eat lunch on a log.
Who needs a picnic bench?
Now, the thing with an out and back trail is that once you get to the destination point you have to get back to your car. Sometimes we don’t make it to the destination because once we’ve made it halfway there we realize our kids don’t have it in them that day and we decide to turn around.
I lucked out on this day and my kids were able to get to the waterfall, but it was in the back of my mind the whole time I was reminding myself that we still had to get back. This is definitely something to check in on when you’re at about the halfway point and figure out if your kids are done or if they’ve still got loads of energy and enthusiasm (and if you’ve got enough jellybeans, of course).