Pacific Spirit Regional Park - Vancouver
Activity:I can't think of why my husband and I didn't do much hiking until we had our kids. I could kick myself now because Kelvin and I have had to put many glorious hikes on the "waiting list" until our kids get older. Luckily Pacific Spirit Regional Park is one of those glorious hikes our kids can easily handle NOW. It's 763 hectares of forests nestled inside the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands. The park has 35 kilometres of trails for you to pick from, and it's all pretty flat. Nathe and Jen usually ride their bikes or walk, and Coleman sits in the stroller and enjoys the scenery. He likes the bumps.
Sometimes we venture over to the university and show the kids around. They had a hard time picking Dad out of his graduation picture. Nathe was sold when he counted over 10 sports facilities. Jen was sold on the salmon berries. If you're really adventurous you can hike down the Point Grey cliffs to the beaches below. You may want to leave the kids at home for this one, because these beaches are "clothing optional".
Age group:All ages.
Expense rating:Generally free, except parking at the University of BC.
:What I like about Pacific Spirit Park is that it's an easy carefree walk in the heart of an magnificent, awe-inspiring woodland. The kids are happy; we're happy: who could ask for more? An added bonus is that the University of British Columbia, Museum of Anthropology, and Spanish Banks beach are minutes away.
:So far we haven't found anything to complain about.
Details:A good place to start your visit is at the The Park Centre and West Area Office, located on the north side of 16th Avenue, 400 metres west of Blanca Street, at 4915 West 16th Avenue, Vancouver. For more information call (604) 432-6350.
The Museum of Anthropology - Vancouver is also next to the park.
Season:The park is open all year round, and it's beautiful anytime. It does, however, get a bit mushy after it has rained a lot.
Educational highlights:Before going to Pacific Spirit Park I'd never seen a bog before. To be honest with you, I didn't even know what a bog was. Now I can tell you a bog is a dried up marshland that has evolved an ecology system all of it's own. Camosun Bog is in Pacific Spirit Park. It is approximately 12,000 years old, the oldest spaghum bog in the lower mainland. If you add the educational highlights of the university your list could go on forever.
Fun for the adult?:Pacific Spirit Park is one of those places where you can't go wrong when you take your family there. It is agreeable to everyone because the trails are flat and wide enough to take a bike or even a stroller. I enjoy it because it's relaxing, stress-free, and very pretty. Plus it give me a chance to see the whole family having fun, which doesn't always happen inside our house. The park also has a number of side attractions close by. For instance, one hot summer's day we took the kids for a dip in the outdoor pool at U.B.C. to cool off.