Pack a picnic before picnic season ends
There's still plenty of time to grab a meal, walk to a pretty spot and nosh next to a burbling river. Freelance reporter Sarah Morin recommends three of her favorite adventure-to-eat locations in the Fraser River Valley.
Fact: Dining indoors at a restaurant can’t touch the fun and beauty of a mountain picnic. The Fraser Valley has countless options to lay out and simply enjoy nature, no downhill mountain biking or backcountry marathon running needed. Just acknowledge your hunger, grab a backpack and follow our Epicurean lead to some of the best restaurants to get takeout and three prime spots to spread your blanket.
First stop: Winter Park Wolf Park
Nestled as it is just off the downtown hustle and bustle, Wolf Park is a perfect spot for a family outing. Find a large covered picnic area, playground for kids and a public tennis court that overlooks the Continental Divide — think picturesque sunsets. Before heading there, stop by Rollin’ Street Bakery at 301 Kings Crossing Road in Winter Park. They offer niche European baked goods, specifically their chimney rolls, which come in savory or sweet. For the sake of the picnic, you may have to go without ice cream. Try Rollin’ Street’s “Prague” chimney sandwich with a homemade roasted red pepper spread. Pair that with an Italian soda and you’re eating like Stanley Tucci (except with Eastern European food and in Grand County)!
Second stop: The Fraser River
You can’t beat eating beside a burbling river, and this Fraser River-side trail has picnic tables scattered throughout multiple locations, many quiet outlets to sit on the river bank and is perfect for a midday bike ride punctuated by a picnic all alongside town. For fancy and delicious finger food try out Fraser Valley Distillery. They offer three different charcuterie boards and takeout craft cocktails that pair perfectly next to the river.
Fraser Valley Distillery is located at 410 Zerex St. in Fraser. The Fraser River Trail can be accessed right behind this restaurant road.
Last stop: Granby
Lake Granby, about a 45 minutes from Fraser, is worth every minute on the highway. If you’re looking for an all-ages hike, hit the 4-mile Monarch Lake Loop Trail. In the first half-mile, there are picnic tables overlooking Monarch Lake. Moose also enjoy this area, so keep an eye out — they can be cranky. On your way to Lake Granby, stop by Debbie’s Drive In. With locally sourced meat, their hamburgers are worth every penny! Pack them up, hike them to your chosen spot and gorge — you’re earning it! Debbie’s Drive in is located at 663 West Agate Ave. in Granby. Monarch Lake Loop Trail is located along Lake Granby, past the Arapaho Bay Campground.
This story originally ran in the summer 2022 edition of Explore Magazine.
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