Cates Park - North Vancouver

notes from Nathan


One of the neatest parks I've ever been to is called Cates Park.  What's neat about it is that it has totem poles and a war canoe that Indian people used to ride in on the water.  Also if you go for a walk along the forest path, it leads you to a burner base from the old Dollarton Mill.  It has tunnels in the wall which are the best for playing hide-and-seek or tag.  Jen likes all the swings and slides, and Mom and Dad like walking along the beach.  You can find lots of neat things in the tidal pools, but good luck getting your parents to let you take them home.

Age group:

All ages

Expense rating:

This is a free outing.  During the summer months there's a concession stand at the park where you can buy snacks.


Cates Park is especially nice for families with young children.  It has a playground, beach (equipped with a lifeguard), and lots of forest area to explore.  There's also a paved pathway through the forest leading to another smaller park (with swings and a slide, plus the armoury).  This is perfect for strollers.  Every time we've gone we've always managed to get a parking spot.


I've noticed in the North Shore News that Cates Park sometimes has a high coliform count.  At times you are advised not to swim in the water.  If it's a boiling hot day and swimming is the main event, you'd be wise to check the water's coliform count.


You take the first exit off the Second Narrows bridge and follow the directions to Deep Cove.  After exiting the bridge, you travel along the Dollarton Highway past the Maplewood Flats Wilderness Conservation Area towards Deep Cove; you'll see a big billboard sign for Cates Park on the right-hand side of the road about five miles from the bridge.  For more information call (604) 990-3800. 


North Vancouver 


All seasons

Educational highlights:

There was a dude named Malcolm Lowry who lived in a squatter's shack in Cates Park in the 1940s, and he wrote a book called Under the Volcano.  I've never read this book, but it's quite famous. 

Fun for the adult?:

Notes from Mom:  I enjoy Cates Park because it has a little bit of everything.  We go beach-combing along the shoreline until we reach the other park, let the kids play in the old Dollarton Mill burner base, and then walk back through the forest.  If the kids are still game, we let them play on the equipment at Cates Park or go exploring in the forest.  Cates Park is perfect if you have young children, because nothing is too rigorous.