Harrison Hot Springs a fine day trip north of the border


Harrison Hot Springs is known for its heated waters, but the lake offers cool summer fun, too.


When a visit to Harrison Hot Springs comes up, most people think of the luxurious resort with its warm pools and fancy restaurant-ballroom. But there's much more to the small British Columbia town, which was once a stop along the Gold Rush trail. It's about a 90-minute drive from Bellingham, if you take the Sumas border crossing. No matter if the weather is sunny or rainy, Harrison Hot Springs is a fine destination for a day trip. If it’s just a swim you want, you can visit the indoor public pool. If you’re too tired to do it all in a day, you can spend the night at the resort.

See harrisonresort.com about accommodations.

Here are a few ways to spend your day in Harrison.

1. Hike the lake. There are several routes, from a quick 30-minute stroll by the lagoon to a more strenuous hike on Lower Bear Mountain Trail or Sandy Cove Trail. For a change, rent a quadracycle (four-wheel pedal bicycles made for one or two people).

2. Ride a bike. You can mountain bike on nearby old logging roads, or road bike in farm country just south of the village.

3. Canoe or kayak the lake. Be sure to stay close to shore, because winds can create seven-foot waves on the 37-mile-long lake. And don’t forget fishing gear; sturgeon in the lake can reach 14 feet and 1,500 pounds.

4. Soak up some culture. Places to check out include Ranger Station Art Gallery and concerts at Memorial Hall. Also: Depending on when you visit, you can enjoy the Harrison Festival of the Arts in July or the Harrison Craft Market in August. For more about special events, go to harrisonfestival.com. For more ideas, go to tourismharrison.com.

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