How to Harrison: Accessible Tourism

Everyone should be able to enjoy the great outdoors.

Most of us don’t think twice when invited to go hiking or boating. Yet, when faced with physical limitations, these excursions take on new meaning and can be more daunting than rewarding.

Throughout British Columbia, tourism destinations are changing their products and services to be more accessible. Defined as “an ongoing endeavour to ensure that a tourist destination’s products and services are accessible to everyone – regardless of a person’s physical limitations, disabilities, or age”, Harrison has committed to creating a destination that is inclusive to everyone, which includes being on the Accessible Tourism List. 


A great example would be the investments BC Sports Fishing Group and Harrison Eco Tours have made to strengthen their offerings to those with disabilities. Tony Nootebos, owner of both companies, has worked with the Rick Hansen Foundation to open the opportunity for guided fishing and experiences in nature to a wider range of people with mobility limitations. Other specialized fishing technologies and tools have been developed to open fishing to a wide range of people. For example, a "sip and puff" fishing rod & reel has been designed that can enable quadriplegics to experience fishing again, or for the first time.
Recently, Tourism Harrison had the pleasure of collaborating with the ‘Man in Motion’, Rick Hansen. Renowned for his passionate support of people with disabilities and having launched a 26month, 34country, 40,000km wheelchair trip around the world to prove the potential of people with disabilities and to raise funds for spinal cord injury research, Hansen is a visionary. Tourism Harrison is honoured to have his support as we continue to make fishing expeditions more accessible.

Rick Hansen and Dan Duffy are both part of the largest minority group in the world. People with disabilities represent 15% of the world’s population – an astounding 1.1 billion people – according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  1 in 7 people (approximately) in Canada live with a disability and the forecast is for this number to grow as high as 1 in 5 people within the next 20 years. All tourist facilities, products, and services should be a central part of any responsible and sustainable tourist policy.

 

To learn more about BC Sport Fishing Group visit ➡️ https://www.bcsportfishinggroup.com/
To learn more about the Rick Hansen Foundation visit ➡️  https://www.rickhansen.com/

Get ready to soar!- Bald Eagles in Harrison Hot Springs

📸 by sandpipergolfcourse on Instagram.

Every fall, thousands of spawning salmon return to the Harrison River. This phenomenon, paired with the migration of returning bald eagles, has the eagles diving to feast. Taking place annually from November to January, and located only 15 minutes away in Harrison Mills, our neighbour hosts the largest winter eagle gathering! In fact, Harrison Mills is the world’s bald eagle capital. 

The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival honors the salmon and eagles with a festival and, this year, it’s on November 17th & 18th. We invite you to stay with us and trek out to see the eagles.

 

PRIME EAGLE VIEWING SPOTS

It’s all about those prime viewing spots. The eagles tend to shift locations, from early morning to evening, so the best spots can change but we have four designated locations to suggest. 

📸 by sandpipergolfcourse on Instagram.

● Sandpiper Resort : Situated on the banks of the Harrison River, Sandpiper Resort is the perfect place to catch the action during the entire season. You can watch the eagles, via their live cameras, at the Clubhouse Restaurant or on the grounds as you golf or walk. In fact, a gazebo was built just for this reason. Be sure to ask about their ‘river to plate’ salmon-themed menu. The Salmon Wellington is a signature dish.

 

📸 by jeanbergen on Instagram.

Tapadera Estates: Located at 14600 Morris Valley Road in Harrison Mills, the public is invited to hear educational talks and witness the eagles, during festival days, from 9 am to 3 pm. Maybe cozy on up to one of the residents and ask for ‘backyard viewing’ privileges!

 

📸 by Kilby Historic Site on Facebook.

Kilby Historic Site: Kilby is an awesome viewing spot, offering hearty, home-cooked eats. During festival days, gourmet smokies, hamburgers, and hot dogs will be on the BBQ.
Enjoy a short walking tour down the dike to the confluence of the Fraser and Harrison Rivers at Kilby Park. A costumed interpreter will explain the relationship between the salmon and eagles, and share Harrison’s history.

 

📸 by vancityexperts on Instagram.

Eagle Point Community Park: Located between Tapadera Estates and Sandpiper Resort, Eagle Point is also open to the public from 9 am to 3 pm during festival days. Meet local volunteers and an expert from Wild Birds Unlimited to learn all about the area’s wildlife.

 

📸 by monalucas_photo on Instagram.

To really experience the eagles in their natural habitat up close and personal, catch a ride with Harrison Eco Tours.  Board a 20-passenger jet boat near Kilby Historic Site. Upriver from Harrison Bay, you’ll travel to the Chehalis Flats Bald Eagle & Salmon Preserve.

 

A few tips…be sure to dress for the weather. Layers are best and bring waterproof gear. Do not forget to bring binoculars and a camera. Happy eagle-ing!

 

Learn more about Bald Eagles in Harrison Hot Springs 👉www.tourismharrison.com///bald_eagles

Book your accomodations during the Bald Eagle Festival 👉 www.tourismharrison.com/stay

Tips for Hot Springing while visiting British Columbia

📸 by: fieldworkblog on Instagram


Who can deny the enjoyment of a long, warm soak whether it’s in a jacuzzi or your own bathtub? But nothing beats natural hot springs that promise a rejuvenating and relaxing experience. Known for having curative properties, for some, visiting the springs has even become an annual pilgrimage. Here's our tip list of ‘how to hot spring’ in Harrison.

📸 by: emilymmasse on Instagram

- Don’t come early. Your body is just waking up, and stabilizing its temperature and blood pressure after a restful sleep. A sudden spike in temperature can throw you off, so sleep in if you like and save the back-to-basics spa experience until later in the day.

- Be prepared to soak in almost nothing but your birthday suit. Mineral-rich waters can cause staining and tarnish jewelry.

📸 by: higuysitsdolly on Instagram

- Do. Not. Dehyrdate. The name says it all…’hot’ springs, which means you need to stay hydrated with plenty of water. The only downside is the frequent trips to the bathroom. And, don’t forget sunscreen on those summer days. 

- To enjoy a longer soak but prevent overheating, keep your head cool. It’s been known that the Japanese use cool clothes to keep their head temperature low in their hot springs (onsen culture). Helps to prevent headaches, too.

📸 by: kathaffner on Instagram

- Soaking yourself is exceptionally good for your skin. The heat envelopes you and helps to soothe aching muscles, while the minerals stimulate certain bodily processes. It’s like a multivitamin for your skin!

- Lemon-infused hot spring water cocktails?  While visiting natural Hot Springs, some believe that drinking the hot springs water is healing and will have even add a slice of lemon. In our opinion, we don’t recommend drinking untreated water.

📸 by: steven.brekelmans on Instagram

📍 The Source

- Leave Fido at home. We understand that the thought of bringing your pup with you is appealing, but the heat can create bacteria and affect the poor pup’s health.

- Soaking any time of year is a treat but the winter feels are second to none. The crisp fresh air against the streaming water is truly blissful. Plus, winter tends to bring more aches and pains and a hot springs soak is the perfect medicine.

📸 by: gingerceilidh on Instagram

- Don’t bring glass. Bring your beverage in a can or durable plastic bottle. An unintended slip can cause broken shards of glass making it near impossible to clean and is dangerous.

- Each hot spring has different mineral content so know Harrison’s therapeutic benefits. The minerals will boost blood circulation and reduce stressors.

- Forget warm milk. Hot spring at the end of the day and we promise that you’ll sleep like a baby.

 

Harrison’s hot springs can be experienced at the Public Pool or at the Harrison Resort and Spa. Guests staying at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort may access the resort pools; whereas, the public pool is centrally-located at the junction of Hot Springs Road and the Esplanade, and is accessible by everyone.  To learn more, visit our website.

To learn more about , Check out our previous Hot Spring blog!

 

How To Harrison: LGBTQ+

Come Be You…In Harrison Hot Springs

Harvey Fierstein said it best, “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life. Define yourself.”

Located an hour and a half from Vancouver, Harrison Hot Springs is a small community of less than 2,000 people.

Like most small towns, people move here for the lifestyle…to hike the forest, bike the countryside, and paddle the waters. But, mainly, to just…’be’.

Corporate office attire starts to collect dust and high-heeled shoes rarely make an appearance. Mornings are spent walking the lakeshore as opposed to accommodating an aggressive alarm. Playlists come in the form of nature sounds. And, people stop to have real conversation.

People stop complaining about not having enough time or always answering a “How are you?” question with the standard answer, ‘Oh you know, busy as always.’ The days are said to last longer and being in the moment—self-reflection-- is a daily practice.

Harrison has managed to keep its small-town authenticity and continues to offer a strong sense of community, while embracing new residents and tourists from all over the world.

People enjoy:

Private moments with their loved ones in lush forest.
Waterfall hikes hand in hand.
Kayaking excursions on the stillest of waters.
Group bike rides, exploring the farm lands.

All in a safe and inclusive environment where freedom of thought and spirit can soar.

It is a land that celebrates the interrelatedness of all living things and strong diversity of people.

The resonating message is, simply, to “Come Be You”.
 

Visitor's Guide