Monday, November 8, 2010

Beaver Lake (Stanley Park), Vancouver

The beavers the lake was named after may be long gone, but Beaver Lake still has lots of interesting wildlife to hold your attention as you make your way around its shore. Whether it’s a stately blue heron, a noisy family of ducks, or one of the park’s many squirrels or racoons, you’ll more than likely get a chance to point out some of these big city animals to your kids. The trail is a popular one with dog walkers, cyclists and birdwatchers, so it can get a wee bit busy at times.

From either the North Shore or Downtown, enter Stanley Park and make your way toward Malkin Bowl and the Stanley Park Pavilion (located on Pipeline Road). Parking within the area is limited, so transit is an excellent option. To access the trail, head to the northwest edge of the Rose Garden and look for the trailhead and marker indicating the South Creek Trail. The South Creek Trail meets up with the Beaver Lake trail after a short distance.

Wide, flat paths of mostly compact gravel. Expect a fair bit of shade as the route travels through Stanley Park’s stunning coastal forest. The route takes you directly along the water’s edge.

Umbrella, all-terrain or anything in between.

Walking at a decent pace, the loop will take about 45 minutes. With plenty of other trail options in the area, it’s easy to extend your walk with any number of alternate routes which are clearly marked.

Washrooms (available at the Pavilion), benches, and a playground (including toddler equipment).

The path was designed to accommodate wheelchairs and incorporates several wooden platform rest areas. These are perfect to park the stroller and let little ones out to peer down into the boggy marsh and waters of the lake.

Since the trail is located in the heart of what could arguably be called the greatest park in the world, there are plenty of attractions to stop in at after you’ve rounded the lake. There are the aquarium, miniature train and children’s farmyard, Rose Garden, and Lost Lagoon to name just a few.

Do not be tempted to feed the animals. There is plenty of natural food available to all of Stanley Park’s animal residents.

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!

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