Further Afield Trips asks a local in a town well beyond Vancouver’s city limits where to find the best places to eat, drink, chill, and have a good time. Think of it as the country cousin to The Dishes.
Today we hit the Squamish trails for a day of eating, drinking and outdoor exploration with Naomi Horii, the multitalented Restaurant Manager of Squamish’s much beloved Fergie’s Café, the re-opening of which is imminent.
Good morning! Let’s take a walk/hike in nature before it gets too hot. Where should we go?
“Four Lakes Trail at Alice Lake in Brackendale. A magical trail circumambulating Edith, Fawn, Stump and Alice lakes. Perfect for a morning trail run, with tons of connecting trail if you feel more adventurous.”
Is there somewhere along the way we can stop for coffee?
“Park at the Four Lakes trailhead and keep a stove, a small pot, some water, a little bag of Counterpart coffee and an Aeropress in the car, or take it with you on your hike in a backpack, and you’ve got the makings of best damn coffee served fresh lakeside.”
Now we’re starving! Where should we eat? (breakfast/brunch or lunch)
“If it’s a Saturday, go to the Farmers Market downtown Squamish to pick up snacks for later, but on the way stop in at Green Olive Market, where you can get simply made-to-order Italian sandwich, a nice and strong Americano, and a little sweet if you fancy. If it’s still early in the morning, the owner usually has loud piano sonatas playing through the speakers, creating a passionate Squamish-Italian world you never want to leave.”
We’ve got some free time for an afternoon adventure. What do you suggest we do?
“Get up high atop the Squamish gondola – there are so many backcountry trails where you can take in the alpine. Al’s Habrich trail is ridiculously beautiful. Or, if you feel like a shorter, shady uphill stroll, go to Crooked Falls.”
That was fun! Now we need a pick-me-up plunge in some cool water. Can you let us in on your favourite nearby lake to cool off in?
“For me, Squamish holds much of its magic in the rivers, and you can follow river trails for days. I like a good river dip in the Mamquam. Bring a blanket in case you feel the need for a delicious, post-dip nap.”
Where should we head for a post-adventure beer, glass of wine or cocktail?
“Close by is Northyards Cider. Grab a tall cool glass of cider and nibbles to share. They serve Tall Tree Bakery breads and crackers with their trio of dips and their seasonal vegetable is always good. Lots of vegan options too.”
Now we’re hungry again. What’s the plan for dinner?
“I like to order a pizza to-go from Backcountry Brewery, have a cheeky seasonal while we wait, then grab a couple of tall cans of their Trailbreaker Pale Ale and go sit in the back of the truck with some comfy blankets at Tiampo Park on Spit Road at the Squamish estuary. It’s pretty stunning to be sitting at the foot of all the surrounding mountains of Squamish while enjoying well-made pizza and beer.”
Any tips on a good spot to take in the view and watch the sun go down?
“Right there in the estuary. You can stroll on the Chelem Trail or just chill in the back of your truck and take in the view. Bring soft blankets of course. The low light level makes it nice to let the stars and moon emerge.”
It’s time to catch some shuteye, where do you suggest we stay?
“Sunwolf Riverside Resort has the best little rustic cabins in the Sea to Sky. No wifi, no tv. Go to sleep listening to the Cheekeye and Cheakamus rivers convergence.”
Anything we absolutely have to pack in our suitcase while visiting?
“Definitely pack comfy blankets and a little stove and things for impromptu cozy times and coffee-making.”