Swimming in Maple Ridge

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Before reaching the Sloquet hot springs or the Skookumchuck hot springs, which are also called the T'sek hot springs, water travels for miles through Earth’s mantle, warming itself by means of geothermal heat and collecting minerals that help promote wellness. These natural hot tubs spur visits from travellers to this tranquil and remote area. The team at BC Hotspring Tours shepherds visitors there to take advantage of the water’s beneficial properties, offering scenic, round-trip transportation. The team also runs full-day sightseeing tours of Fraser Valley with many scenic stops that include Chilliwack’s Vedder River and White Rock’s beaches.

32796 Kudo Drive
Mission,
BC
CA

At Valley Wake Park, visitors to this evergreen-lined oasis can lounge on the shore or carve the calm waters on wakeboards. Tow cables attached to a series of towers give thrill-seekers the momentum they need to perform daring stunts, such as jumping off tall ramps and diving headlong into the water. Calmer floating can be found aboard stand up paddleboards or in the designated swim area.

31515 Walmsley Ave.
Abbotsford,
BC
CA

The waters of False Creek reach into the city of Vancouver like an arm. For years, the passage of water was used for industrial purposes, but all that changed in 1980 when the city of Vancouver decided to develop Granville Island. One of those developments was False Creek Community Centre.

Today, the centre fills False Creek with an array of recreational boaters, including kayakers, canoeists, dragon boaters, and whale surfers. Back on land, the facility boasts a pottery studio, a fitness centre, tennis courts, a water park with a large kid's area, and a talented staff of instructors who teach programs and classes for kids and adults alike.

1318 Cartwright St
Vancouver,
BC
CA

Recipient of a British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association award for facility excellence, Watermania shelters aquatic attractions and swimming areas that drench bathing-suit-clad attendees of all ages. Patrons can practice backstrokes in a 57-metre competition pool, leap from 1- and 3-metre springboards, or use a pair of slides to drop into the water with more ease than an inflatable submarine. A wave pool enthralls tykes with a giant play structure boasting sprayers and a large seahorse that dumps water into a massive tipping bucket. Visitors aged 15 and older can relax in the steam room, whirlpool, and sauna. Rigorous workouts come to fruition in Watermania's 3,000-square-foot fitness centre equipped with 20 cardio units, Olympic weights, and exercise balls.

14300 Entertainment Boulevard
Richmond,
BC
CA

Two fields, a soccer shop, five indoor tennis courts, and an outdoor, heated pool. Those are just some of the amenities inside Sportstown Sports Complex, but it's also got something a little unexpected: its own sports bar. In the glow of TVs or outside on the hundred-seat patio, visitors to the kid-friendly Sportstown Tavern find brews, food, and detailed instructions on how long to wait before eating and swimming. If your thirst for competition isn't quelled by beers—or by the Thai curry mussels and housemade pizza—you can keep up the spirit of play with a game of pool or Texas Hold 'Em on Tuesday nights.

4991 No. 5 Rd
Richmond,
BC
CA

If there’s a whale breaching on the protected waters of the San Juan Islands, there’s a good chance a passenger on Mystic Sea Charters’ 100-foot vessel will see the splashy spectacle. The company’s five- to six-hour tours have an impressive track record when it comes to spotting the gargantuan mammals, introducing tour-goers to different species of whale up to 99% of the time. Onboard the ship, a naturalist divulges facts about ocean life as passengers watch for whales from the heated cabin or from the deck, which has 4-foot railings so guests can hold on if whales start singing and dancing to the hit song “Rock the Boat.” The company promises that voyagers will see at least one gray, orca, humpback, or minke whale, depending on the season. If not, they’ll receive a follow-up whale-watching tour for free.

819 Commercial Ave
Anacortes,
WA
US