The Beating Heart – the root of the Sts’ailes community, which rests on the shores of the Harrison River, was created in a battle between a shaman and Xals, the Transformer. Up the west side of Harrison Lake, the battle took place, and Xals turned the once powerful shaman to stone. With the shaman’s powers limited, spreading broken pieces of his body amongst the territory conserved him, as each piece created landmarks. The village of Sts’ailes lies in the place where his heart landed. His heart beats on.
“We have always been here” is how the relationship with the land is described by Stó:lō elders. The connection has been tied from their arrival in S’ólh Téméxw, through transformations of animals and fish. The Xexá:ls, or transformers, fixed the world – including the people and the animals that walk the earth. This established our current landscape.
The connection is both spiritual and physical. Answer the spirit, and it will turn into a song. The song will turn into something very important to you - an animal, the trees, the water. That song is the healing for the people.
Come together to cherish and respect the land.
Sx̲wōx̲wiyám: Legend or traditional story
Tém:éxw: Earth, land
S’ólh Téméxw: Traditional territory
What comes to mind when you think of Harrison, besides hot springs?
And, we would like to think that we aren’t just any beach, but the go-to beach! From shoreline picnic grounds and soft sand you’ll want to be buried in to boat launches, a playground and floating water park, we aren’t really sure why you would ever want to leave.
The quintessential summer treat... a perfectly mounded, double-scooped ice cream cone! There is nothing better than cooling off at Baskin Robbins –conveniently located in the heart of Harrison Village at Muddy Waters Café -- with a variety of flavours to choose from. Not up for ice cream? Head down to Chantilly Ice Cream and enjoy Harrison's largest selection of authentic Italian gelato and sorbet.
2. Lakeside Sports
Lakeside volleyball is where. it’s. at! Pull out your volleyball, grab a group of friends, and get your serves and spikes in all while absorbing the views of the aquamarine colours in Harrison Lake! If volleyball isn’t your choice, try soccer, frisbee, football, or badminton. Or bring a kite!
If you don’t want to hang by the water, then get in it. You will find everything that you can think of at the waterdock –kayaks, speed boats to rent, seadoos, wakeboards, banana tube rides, and even guided salmon and fishing tours.
📸 by: crystaldriedger on Instagram
4. Beach Time
Laying on the beach and doing absolutely nothing. Ahhh, to have glowing sun-kissed skin and melt away stress and worry. Grab your fave beach towel, set up an umbrella (nothing fun about looking like beat-red at the end of the day), grab that book you keep meaning to finish off, and doze off. Not one to be a beach bum? Splash in the shallows, or go build a sandcastle. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!
It's a little know fact that the bluffs in Harrison Hot Springs offer some of Canada's best rock climbing routes. This set of granite bluffs is similar in nature to the Squamish Bulletheads. The Harrison bluffs are located behind the golf course as you drive into the village of Harrison Hot Springs. The cliffs are several tiers with routes up to 6 pitch long. The bluffs mostly offer trad routes with a couple short sport climbs.
To get there take highway 11 towards Harrison Hot Springs from Agassiz. Following the golf course, you will find a gated road (on the left side driving towards Harrison) with space to park your vehicle near the entrance of the village welcome signs. Follow the dirt road by foot for about 5 minutes then follow the board walk through the swamps near the powerlines. The trails from here go left, right and up the gully to various other walls.
Photo Credits: John Valecko via Fraser Valley Climbing Facebook Group
Tattle Tales, Carmen Pelligrino, Vertibrae, Crystal Ether, Raul Silva, Skyfall, Murder in the dark are shown above but many more routes and areas are available for climbing at the bluffs.
You are what you eat, so it’s important to treat your body like a temple. What’s true for the body holds even more true for the soul. Have you ever evaluated what your ‘food groups’ are or what your soul food is? Situated in a land of forest and water, a place of rest and refuge, and a hub of fertile farm land, Harrison’s soul food means:
📸 by: kannyah on Instagram
Practicing stillness is a venerable art in many cultures. Sit on one of our beachside benches and drink in the views as you recharge your spirit.
While solitude can be therapeutic, we also need community. Giving and receiving are, equally, healing.
📸 by: circlefarmtour on Instagram
The word ‘foodie’ conjures up images of eating in an upscale restaurant, or a blogger speaking in lingo. The true definition is, simply, someone who appreciates real food.
Discover your inner foodie by visiting our local farms, learning where our food comes from, embracing the slow-food movement, and enjoying farm-to-plate foods.
Cheeses made right in front of you, antioxidant-packed and vitamin-rich vegetables and fruits (we are talking about heirloom tomatoes, garlic, corn, raspberries, blueberries to name a few!), real and natural honey from bee hives, freshly-picked hazelnuts, dark-roasted artisan coffees, happy and free-roaming hens, and so much more.
Whether by foot, bike, or car the best way to experience our farm scene is through our self-guided Circle Farm Tour.
Suggested Farm Stops:
Dan & Lynda invite you to visit their pottery & basketry studio, or watch coffee being roasted in a circa 1919 Flame Roaster. Head out to the barn for antiques, collectibles, and other home or garden décor items. Character buildings, chickens, goats and vegetable gardens create a welcoming experience.
Farm House Natural Cheeses
A certified organic farm producing a wide variety of grass-fed artisan cow and goat milk cheeses, butter, and yogurt. Watch the cheese-making process through the viewing window and be sure to visit the animals.
Earthwise Society Agassiz Farm
Take a tour of this certified organic farm, explore the garden and trails along the Miami River, and shop for fresh local produce.
On July 21st, we honour the slow food movement with the Agassiz Farms Cycle Tours – a 30 km flat, countryside route! As an added bonus, a shuttle service is available to collect your purchases and bring them back to the registration area, so you can pick them up when you are done for the day.