By Tim Pawsey
Most travelers are familiar with Abbotsford viewed from a busy stretch along Highway One, but even a few minutes detour off the road in either direction can lead to hours of entertainment fit for the whole family. Abbotsford is also easily accessible from Washington directly through the Sumas-Huntingdon Border Crossing.
Coming from Vancouver, take exit 92 South and follow Clearbrook and Vye Roads to discover Maan Farms, a multi-faceted, small scale theme park that puts on a different, happy face according to the season. In fact, there’s so much to do that families often come here for a good part of the day. Drive up to the large parking lot and you might be greeted by a display of pumpkins or a cornucopian show of mouth-watering fruits and vegetables. However, there’s more than meets the eye at this spacious farm market, where, while Mom and Dad are tasting through Maan’s estate made fruit and grape wines, the kids can hang with the goats or pet rabbits at next door’s petting zoo, and make friends with a veritable menagerie of farm animals, from pigs to sheep and peacocks.
Beyond the paddock awaits the “adventure zone,” with its pedal cart track (with cars for wannabe racers big and small), a giant air-filled bouncing pillow, a wooden fort for climbing, and miniature zip line, to take it all in. A prime lure in fall is the corn maze—scarily haunted in Halloween; while, in a massive burst of orange, a giant pumpkin patch appears across the road.
All those pumpkins get a welcome helping hand from a hive of visiting bees, that every year ensures the best crop possible. Such purposeful pollination comes courtesy of Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm & Meadery, a few minutes west, just off Huntingdon Road. Part tasting room, part apiary and educational centre, Campbell’s offers everything you need to know and understand about bees, from beginning to end. Owner / apiarist Judy Campbell heads a team that does it all, from wrangling 400 plus hives to extracting the honey and even making mead. Visitors to the overflowing boutique and gift shop have a chance to sample over a score of flavoured honeys, including the likes of jalapeño, chocolate mint and licorice. In addition, says Campbell (who has her own bee costume for special occasions) the farm teaches workshops and certified courses for everyone from kids to seniors, as well as making candles, raising queen bees, and selling specialized bee equipment and loans hives to fruit farmers.You could say, she’s as busy as a bee.
790 McKenzie Road
Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm & Meadery
2595 Lefeuvre Rd