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Abbotsford Circle Farm Tour

Farmland in Abbotsford

(Picture BC photo)

Abbotsford

Geography

Located in the heart of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford is only a 50-minute drive east of Vancouver on Highway 1, and only 5km/3mi north of the US border.

As the largest municipality by area in the province, Abbotsford's 27q km/10sq mi is BC's most productive agricultural belt. It reaps the harvests from rich delta soils of the Fraser River, at its northern border beyond which lie the vistas of the Coast Mountains.

Location

Joining neighbouring communities of Chilliwack and Hope to the east, Mission, Harrison Hot Springs and Agassiz to the north and Langley to the west, Abbotsford is considered a part of Metro Vancouver.

Agricultural Bounty

While the entire Fraser Valley is quite economically diverse, farming is the backbone of Abbotsford's wealth, and there are significant berry, vegetable, greenhouse, dairy, poultry and hog operations.

Abbotsford's industrial sector also reflects these strong agricultural roots with food processing and storage, seed, feed and fertilizer production.

Natural landscapes

Even as residential areas grow and prosper, there's a concerted effort to have parks and gardens prevail.

Sumas Mountain

Sumas Mountain is Abbotsford's signature mountain, rising from the floodplain to a height of 910m/2,986ft. When Abbotsford was first homesteaded, it was a source of brick-clay for the mining community of Clayburn and saw its share of logging operations.

Today, although housing development is creeping up the southwest flank, the remainder is largely untouched save for an access road to a BC Hydro tower and a network of wilderness trails and wildlife. Sumas is a First Nations (Halqemeylem Coast Salish) word meaning "big level opening,"' which refers to the Sumas Prairie south of the mountain.

McKee Mountain

McKee Mountain is a good, easy-to-see geological example of the region's landmass. As one of the most southerly foothills of the Coast Mountains, the sandstone and conglomerates here have been deposited by various glacial advances. They are so compressed that their consistency is that of concrete. Trails explore the thickets and clamber over these ancient rock faces, many of which are slippery smooth with algae.

Other natural landscapes that attract visitors and locals include nearby Cultus Lake Provincial Park and stunning Bridal Veil Falls, one of Canada's highest waterfalls.

Climate & Weather

Abbotsford enjoys the same mild climate as Vancouver. However, its location away from the ocean in the hub of the Fraser Valley also creates a micro-climate that has helped make the flat, prairie lands some of the most productive soils in Canada. Summer daytime temperatures average 22°C/71.6°F and winter temperatures drop to 1°C/34°F. Abbotsford averages 152cm/60in of rain per year; it falls mainly in winter.