Sunday, July 4, 2010

Deas Island Regional Park, Delta

If you’ve never been on Deas Island, chances are you’ve at least been under it. Located atop the George Massey Tunnel, the park offers plenty of variety for its relatively compact size. The name is actually a bit of a misnomer, since the “island” has long been connected to the mainland with a roadway. If you can overlook the inaccuracy of its name, the park is a lovely spot to kick through piles of fallen leaves and enjoy a quiet afternoon stroll.

Unfortunately, this is one walk you'll pretty much surely need a car to access. From the south end of the George Massey Tunnel, take the second exit and follow the signs for River Road North. A short distance along River Road, you will see signage marking the park entrance. Turn in and park in the first parking lot.

Wide, flat trails of loose gravel with lengthy sections of sand. The route winds its way through trees along the shores of the island, so expect a fair bit of shade.

In general, large-wheeled strollers will have an easier time on these trails. There are significant sections of sand that would not make for easy pushing if you didn't have large wheels. Umbrella strollers are not recommended for this reason.

Departing from the first parking lot, the trail runs less than 5 km (return). With a few looping options, it’s easy to customize your walk depending on your available time (or how long junior sleeps).

Benches, washrooms (no change tables), picnic tables and large grassy areas are all readily available. Kids young and old may enjoy watching the cars stream into the tunnel from this unique vantage point.

It’s not every day you get to see a shipwreck, but that’s exactly what you’ll see across the water from the southern side of the island. There is also a low tide beach located near the tip of the island which offers a spectacular spot to stop for lunch or just to watch the boat traffic along the river. The views of the Fraser River and Deas Slough are lovely from the trails, but are best seen from atop the viewing tower.

There are a number of horse stables nearby and the community of Ladner is a short drive down River Road. On the island itself are a few heritage buildings including Delta Agricultural Hall (1894), Burrvilla, a grand home (1906), and Inverholme, one-room schoolhouse (1909). Some folks (myself included) may enjoy watching the traffic enter the tunnel under the island...that's an attraction, right?

Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Bikes are only permitted on the roadways throughout the park.

IMPORTANT: Any adventure in the outdoors carries a certain level of risk. The route information and maps contained in this blog are provided as rough guidelines only and are based on just one person's experience. Baby Meets Trail and its authors are not responsible for any harm that may occur while attempting one of the posted walks. We will, however, take credit if you have an excellent time!