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004 - Cascade Falls Regional Park
- Pre-1890 (designated in 1986) (Creation)
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Area: McConnell Creek
Location: Ridgeview Road, Northeast of Mission
The park is 9.5 hectares in size and is located just northeast from Mission, 14 km down Sylvester Road, then near the eastern end of Ridgeview Road.
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.
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.
In February 1989 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. [Please contact Heritage Places if you have information on whether this plan was ever implemented.]
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.
Cascade Falls was the setting for the dramatic climax of the locally produced movie Big Bully, and featured a fight scene over the falls between Tom Arnold and Rick Moranis.
People Associated with the Site:
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
Dewdney-Alouette Regional District (DARD)
The park is located in a rural area, just off a paved road. It is 9.5 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.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
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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, Aug 17, 2000.