Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Beacon Lane Trail (Lighthouse Park), West Vancouver

Beacon Lane Trail is the perfect trail to attempt on the rainy days of spring on the West Coast. It’s a short, quick route that takes you within spitting distance of one of the area’s most recognizable and historic landmarks: Point Atkinson lighthouse. With its extensive network of trails and stunning scenery, Lighthouse Park is extremely popular with local hikers, dog walkers and folks just out for a leisurely stroll.

In West Vancouver, head westbound along Marine Drive. As you emerge from the shopping and business section, the roadway will narrow and make its way along the coastline. Continue past Caulfield Cove Marina and watch for the sign marking Lighthouse Park on your left. Turn left on Beacon Lane and continue until you reach the parking lot. If driving is not your thing, the route is also easy to access on transit.

Wide, compact gravel paths with paved sections. Expect little to no sun since the majority of the trail is shaded by trees. The trail slopes downward as it travels toward the water (great on the way out, not so much on the way back).

Umbrella, all-terrain or anything in between.

Departing from the parking lot, it takes just 10-15 minutes to get to the gate at the end of the trail. If the gate is open, the public is welcome to venture a little closer to get a better view of the lighthouse and accompanying scenery. Because of the steady slope, plan about double the time for the return trip to the parking lot.

Lighthouse Park has limited family-friendly amenities but does come equipped with picnic tables and stroller-accessible washrooms (with no change tables). Along the trail you’ll find a few benches perfect for taking a rest on the uphill climb back to the parking lot.

The highlight of this trail has to be the view at the end. With a stroller, you won’t be able to venture up the rocky path up to the official viewpoint, so if you’re comfortable doing so, it may be worth unstrapping junior and carrying him the last little bit. The payoff is worth the extra effort.

There are several other parks in the area so if you have to travel a ways to get to Lighthouse Park, plan on hitting at least a few of the others to make the venture worthwhile.

The park is in an ecologically sensitive area, so stay on the marked trails and observe all park notices during your visit.

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!