Rice lake is a great walk to do if you are short on time. I decided to do this trail on Easter to prepare myself for a big Easter dinner and was able to complete the loop in about an hour. This lake is very popular with fishermen so it was fun to sit on the dock and watch to see if anyone got lucky. Unfortunately for the fishermen it seemed like a nearby falcon was the only one getting lucky for fish that day. It is a very beautiful and serene walk and it is one of my favourite spots to see beautiful reflections in the water. The forest almost makes the lake look green. It is a great short trail that can quickly get you that nature fix. There are also several lookout points of the water with benches to relax on. It is the perfect place to either go for a leisurely stroll or really work out your legs with a brisk walk or run.
The Veledrome Trail leading up Burnaby Mountain is one of my favourite warm up hikes for hiking season. This hike is about 45 minutes long and is a great leg warm up because it has over 500 stairs! It is not overly challenging, but still provides a great workout and definitely gets the heart beating. The trail is well kept up and has good markings as well. The reward is getting to the top of the mountain and seeing the beauty of the Burrard Inlet. There is a restaurant and park at the top of the mountain as well. The flower gardens and totem poles are also a nice touch. If you look over the totem poles you also get a glimpse of a city view of Burnaby which is also quite beautiful. I am excited to hopefully get to this trail a few more times to whip these legs back in shape for summer!
Pitt Lake is one of my favourite parks to go to in all seasons. I first discovered this park last year and since then always rant and rave about it every time I go. It is an easy flat walk that is about an hour and a half long. The only thing that you really need to watch out for is some mud and goose poo as this seems to be a popular stomping ground for the Canadian goose. The mountain views around this park are absolutely incredible especially this time of year where there is still some snow on them. This year the waterfall that falls from one side of the park through the forest is quite visible because of all the snow and rainfall we have had. I always love the serene sound of walking close to a waterfall and the joy I have when finding it. I felt very lucky this last time I went to the park because all wildlife seemed to want to make an appearance. I was able to see a snake, swans, and even two river otters which was quite an experience. The river otters were not shy around people and I was even able to see one of the river otters catch a fish and then stoop up to the log in the picture above to finish his dinner. This park always seems to bring a unique experience when I go which I love. You can rent kayaks here so I am hoping in the summer time to hopefully rent one and try that out. While driving to this park really make sure you take in the beauty of the back road that leads you here with its peace and mountain views.
Deer lake Park is one of my favourite places to walk during all seasons especially when I don’t have a lot of time. The walk is flat and easily accessible for people of all abilities. Parts of the trail are boardwalk and the trails are clearly marked as well. This park is especially mesmerizing on a sunny spring day which I was lucky to find on Sunday. The water is a beautiful rich blue and along the trail you can see gorgeous mountain views as well as city views of the tall buildings in Burnaby. I find always find this interesting because it brings together the best of both worlds. There is also a viewpoint on one part of the trail which allows you to get a bit more of a bird’s eye view of the trail. There are opportunities to see wildlife in this park and I was lucky enough to witness about five turtles sunbathing on a log in the lake which was exciting to see. You definitely have to keep your eyes open to see these treasures. Starting on Easter the kayak rentals will reopen and I hope to come back to try out kayaking in the warmer months as this is the perfect quiet lake to test this hobby out. Needless to say I will definitely be back to this trail and am excited to see where this spring weather takes me!
During Spring break I went somewhere where I have never been or to be honest ever heard of until a few months ago. I went to Pender Island which is an island consisting of North and South Pender Island that are connected by a bridge. These islands are inhabited by around 2000 people. I was not sure what to expect when going to Pender Island, but from what I had heard and seen online I expected it to be at least pretty. When I got there my breath was really taken away and my whole body filed with anticipation and excitement. The first thing I saw when getting off the ferry was a pet pig in someones’ backyard which alone made me never want to leave this place haha! I stayed at a place called Woods On Pender which was absolutely perfect. It was a dream stay for me. I stayed at a little cabin with a hot tub and a porch swing. To say that I never wanted to leave is an understatement. There is something about being able to start your day and end your day in a hot tub that is absolutely mesmerizing. I loved hearing the birds chirp from the comfort of the hot water around me in the morning as well as being able to relax in comfort and look up at the stars while feeling like my troubles were no where to be found at night. Pender Island has 32 different beach lookouts which of course I didn’t get to all of them, but definitely did explore quite a few. I hit up a few parks and hikes every single day, but here are some of my favourites from the trip:
Mount Norman: This is the highest lookout hike on Pender Island. The hike itself is not overly difficult, but is quite steep and uphill for the majority of the hike so wear good shoes. The view at the top is incredible and there is a sign up top with a detailed map of what island you are looking down at which I thought was an added bonus.
George Hill: This was the second hardest hike I did on Pender Island, but again it was not overly challenging just a bit steep in a couple sections. This hike also has some beautiful views from the top and I was lucky to watch some ferries passing through.
Enchanted Forest Trail: This is an easy mostly boardwalk trail. The mossy trees and ground lead to a magical feeling while in this forest and this time of year also leads to a small waterfall.
Oak Bluffs: This shorter hike leads to a beautiful lookout with a bench and also a picnic table. I was lucky because the sunshine decided to make an appearance on this day so it was so peaceful to just sit in the sunshine and marvel at this view.
Thieves Bay: This park is a popular spot for viewing orca whales which is what led me to check out this spot. Unfortunatley I was a bit too early for whale viewing as apparently they are seen mostly in the summer, but it was still fun looking into the water and trying. I was lucky to see a seal popping his head out of the water. On a side note on my way to Pender Island on the ferry I was very blessed to be able to see a small pod of orcas which was definitely a dream come true for me!
Disc Golf: This was something that surprisingly became a highlight for me on this trip. There is a disc golf park on Pender Island with some discs free to use under a little hut in the park. I have walked trough disc gold parks before, but never actually tried it myself. It was fun trying something new even though I was definitely not very good at it!
Those were some of the highlights of my trip. I look forward to returning to Pender Island to explore more. I loved the abundance of hikes, parks, and lookouts on this island. I also liked how the hikes are not very long so you can get through a lot and explore a lot even if you only have a few days. This island definitely resonated with me and made me feel like I was at home. I am also excited to hopefully explore some other islands as well after realizing how many there are to explore out there.
Thanks for reading!
This last weekend I decided to check out a park that I had never even heard of until recently. I went to Pinecone Burke Park in Coquitlam and did the Woodland Park Trail up to Sawblade Falls. One of my goals has been to explore new parks and start to do longer hikes out of my comfort zone and this hike did both of those things. This hike is about three hours long and is not super hard, but you do have to be careful about following the markings on the trail (thankfully well marked) and make sure that you wear proper footwear as it can be a bit slippery in some sections this time of year. I would also recommend bringing bear bells as Coquitlam is a popular bear area and when I was hiking (at around 3pm) there was no one else doing this certain trail at the same time. With how much rain and snow that has been melting the streams are in full force to the extreme of at some points during the trail I was literally walking across a stream and up a smaller stream. Yes, waterproof shoes are a must! There was also a bit of leftover snow at the top of the trail by the waterfalls that you need to be careful with walking though. The Sawblade Falls this time of year are incredibly powerful and a sight to see for yourself. I love this time of year with the sound of rushing waterfalls and streams. The forest throughout this trail was absolutely gorgeous and I was able to catch glimpses of neat looking fungi, nurse logs, and stumps. I even found a stump with a face on it, see if you can find it! I am very proud with taking the chance to explore a new park and challenge myself. Was definitely worth it! In the next few days I hope to also post about my Spring Break trip to Pender Island. It was also an adventure to remember! I’ll keep you posted! 🙂
Another beautiful park I recently visited was Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge. I have been to this park in the summer where I walked to Alouette Lake as well as the lower falls, but had not been there in quite some time. The day I chose of course was quite a cold and rainy day where there were also quite a few trees laying across the trail. It was a bit of an obstacle course going over and around these fallen tress, but made the trail even that more interesting. The true beauty of this forest made up for any treacherous thing that mother nature had planned for that day. The rich green moss on the trees was absolutely a magical sight it almost made it seem like I was on a different planet with the views I saw. While walking I also got some great views of the snowy mountains and the fog in front of the trees was a sight that I could of stared at for hours. The lower falls were in full force when I got there due to the rain and standing there feeling the mist flying at me just made me realize even more how amazing nature really is. Overall this is a great trail to do. It is flat, but at this time of year there was still a bit of snow left on the trail, however, with proper footwear and clothing this should be no problem. I am still dreaming of going back to this magical forest to this day. It is amazing how much the forest changes from season to season.