Community Papers

Exploring Semiahmoo heritage

Volunteers Keith and Margaret Gilley will be a part of the annual Semiahmoo Heritage Trail Walk set for this weekend. - Contributed photo
Volunteers Keith and Margaret Gilley will be a part of the annual Semiahmoo Heritage Trail Walk set for this weekend.
— image credit: Contributed photo

It’s not exactly a walk down memory lane, but the annual Semiahmoo Heritage Trail Walk will take participants along a path rich in history.

The annual walk – which will take place May 31 as part of Surrey’s Environmental Extravaganza – will also mark the 140th year since the Semiahmoo Wagon Road was completed between Brown’s Landing on the Fraser River to Blaine.

The stretch of trail that participants will walk along will also include portions of the wagon road, Friends of Semiahmoo Heritage Trail volunteer Keith Gilley noted.

“It’s the exact spot where the wagon road was, all that 140 years ago,” he said, adding that there is still evidence of Brown’s Landing along the Fraser River. “It actually became Brown’s Hill.”

The annual walk, organized by passionate volunteers like Gilley, and his wife, Maggie, will feature a number of activities.

Hugh Ellenwood, the archives manager at the White Rock Museum, will give a brief history of the wagon road and trail as participants assemble for the walk. Also active in the walk will be Lynn Pollard, a general naturalist and birder, Al Schulze, an environmentalist and birder and Ron Meadley, also an environmentalist, who will speak about the trees of the trail.

“The guys who lead love to be asked questions,” Maggie said. “The volunteers are just amazing people.”

This year, in honour of the anniversary, the city will also be gifting participants with native seedlings.

The Gilleys noted people who are interested in participating with the group in the future are able to volunteer with the bi-annual restoration projects – including children and youth.

For the youth, Surrey Parks supplies children’s tools and gloves, Maggie noted.

She recalled one young volunteer who added a personal touch to the plants she planted.

“She named all of the plants she and her mother planted together after characters from the movie Frozen,” she laughed.

The annual walk will kick off at 2 p.m. at the southeast corner of 148 Street and 28 Avenue.

For more information, visit

To become a member of the Friends of Semiahmoo Heritage Trail, contact Ron Larsen at


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