Pacific Spirit Regional Park
People who live in Vancouver typically have a love and hate relationship with the rain. It keeps the city beautiful and green but too much rain can get to you, especially in the winter. However, I’m a firm believer in not letting the rain keep you inside. One of my favourite rainy day walks is Pacific Spirit Regional Park as it does provide some shelter from the rain and wind. It’s also beautiful to walk around and explore.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park is located on the University Endowment Lands with the University of British Columbia on one border and the shores of Georgian Strait in the Pacific Ocean on another. If you would like a map of the trails you can discover, MetroVancouver.org has a great one. You can explore over 73 km of trails with many of trails being of mixed use to walkers/runners/dog walks and even horseback riders. Multiple posts could be written about this park but I’m going to write about one of my favourite parts, the northern end. You can start and end this trail at Spanish Banks, Central Parking spot. You can reach it by car or jump on the bus!
The off season is my favourite time to go to the beaches in Vancouver as they are quieter and you get to see a side of them that you usually don’t. This trail is terrific and there is the beach at the end. Since I’m usually with one of my best friends and his adorable dog, and we start off on one the multi use trails, such as 17, and then head to trail 7, 27 and finish off with 1. No matter what the season, you will see walkers, runners and bikers getting in their workouts and enjoying nature. You also get moments of being completely alone, especially when you get off the multi-use trails and can savour the rain drops dripping off the branches, with the sun occasionally peaking in. This trail is scenic with the mosses growing and surrounding the old cedars. If you have time, come back and try different routes and find out which one you enjoy the most.
If you have a dog, this is the place to go. A lot of the trails are off leash, which well behaved dogs love as they can run around, chase balls or simply enjoy the freedom of being off their leash. There is a small section of the park where no dogs are allowed on weekends but in comparison, it’s extremely small. My friend’s dog loves it here as she loves to chase rocks and run the length of the trails. She gets tired and burns off a ton of energy by running to each thrown rock and then running back to us, waiting for the next rock to be thrown.
There are washrooms in the park but bring your own water and snacks. The walks can be long, so plan your walk so you finish the walk before before you are too tired. The reason why I like starting our route at Spanish Banks is you get to end it there, and the car is right there. I love the days when it had starts off raining and then stops and you finish your walk savouring the view of the mountains and the city while the sun is setting on what was hopefully a wonderful day.
You can explore walks along the ocean, a bog or the forest. There are many starting and ending points for the trails so figure out what area calls to you and go explore!