Boundary Bay

Whenever the local forecast calls for SOME rain yet no one, let alone Environment Canada, knows exactly when or how much of it, on days like that I reach for my list of regional parks. Oh, bless the creators of Metro area regional parks. Never more than one hour drive away, often accessible by transit & bike and offering a good selection of easy trails in interesting places – they are great when you have a 4-hour window like we did today. Today our choice was Boundary Bay.

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Yak Peak

If you have ever driven Coquihalla Highway you will recognize one of the most prominent sideway features – the east face of Yak Peak. An impressive vertical, one smooth piece of a granitic block, it rises above the highway and begs the question how does one (and that means one without a rope or climbing skills) get up there. Well, there is a trail, next to the face, that will, shockingly, take you aaaall the way. To. The. Summit.

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Howe Sound Crest Trail

This is an absolute gem of a trail, perhaps one of the best on the North Shore, taking you through the most spectacular places that the area has to offer. The views of a sparkling ocean dotted with islands are stunning, the trail follows a beautiful granite ridge line, passing immediately next to the Vancouver’s iconic mountain, The Lions, and leading you to some exquisite swimming tarns.

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Pasley Islands

Here’s one for a Canada Day weekend! So close to Vancouver and so seldom visited – Pasley Islands are a group of small islands tucked away behind Bowen Island. Yet with a kayak they are certainly within your reach. As a reward, you will have most beaches entirely to yourself, you’ll camp in a beautiful campground at Plumper Cove Provincial Park and you’ll have an unforgettable and wonderfully local Canada Day.

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Mount Bishop

Mount Bishop summit has been eluding me for a few years now, but not for the lack of trying. On our last attempt (#3) we got REALLY close but had to retreat because we were running desperately out of daylight. And that happened because after having biked all the way to the Seymour Hatchery, the obedient citizen Chris refused to trespass over a newly constructed Bear Island bridge (which was like 2 days before an official opening), so we had to backtrack aaaaall the way to the Hydraulic Connector, loosing 1.5 hrs of daylight in the process? Well, no hard feelings there but it left me with an urge to get to up Mt. Bishop for real.

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Widgeon Lake

I like, ehm, logistically involved trips. Those which involve multiple means of transportation and complicated arrangements from water taxis (at a minimum) to scheduled float plane pick ups in order to just get to the starting point. The trip to Widgeon Lake was somewhere in the “moderate-low” range of that scale but offered great rewards for that little bit of extra effort.

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Not here

Aah, you’re wondering what happened to April and May adventures. Well, we’re not here. Here, as in BC here, and missing out on all the great weather the spring of 2015 has brought to the Pacific Northwest. Instead, we are exploring the notoriously windy land of volcanos and waterfalls that is called Iceland.

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Burns Bog

Burns Bog is a large swath of wetland covering most of the area between highways 17, 91 and 99 in Delta. It is eight times larger than Stanley Park but only a minuscule part of it is accessible to the public. I always imagined Burns Bog as a bubbly swamp with fog rolling over it and a monster’s hand reaching out from the depths and after you ankle. Well, on Sunday we went to find out.

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Belcarra Park

As part of our All Regional Parks quest we decided to visit Belcarra Park in Port Moody. There are many ways how to explore Belcarra – hike, bike, stroll, swim, kayak or enjoy a picnic. We had a few hours to work with before the forecast rain was supposed to hit at 2 pm so we brought our bikes to cover some good distance and set off down one of the trails. And were we ever pleasantly surprised!

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