Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boundary Bay Regional Park and Centennial Beach, Delta

Situated within Boundary Bay Regional Park, Centennial Beach and the adjoining trails are the perfect spot to while away a hot summer day. The beach itself is often quieter than its Vancouver counterparts, yet has most of the same amenities that make Vancouver beaches so popular. If you can, plan to spend most of the day at the park so that you can take in all that the area has to offer. A stroll along the trails is the perfect activity to break up a lazy day at the beach. Brush up on your bird identification before you go though, since the area is popular with hawks, owls, song birds and shorebirds alike.

From Highway 99, take Highway 17 south to Tsawwassen. Turn left on 56th St. and follow 56th St. to 12th Ave. and turn left. From 12th Ave., turn right on Boundary Bay Road and proceed until you see the park entrance on your left.

Wide, flat trails of fairly compact gravel make their way across the sandy dunes and scrubby grass of the park. Expect full sun along this route as there aren’t really any trees. 

Umbrella, all-terrain or anything in between.

Taking the 12th Ave. Dyke Trail from Centennial Beach and returning via the Raptor Trail will take approximately one hour. The route can easily be extended by continuing past 12th Ave. to make your way to the main Dyke Trail. Alternatively, near the parking lot, there are some great short looping options if you need to keep the stroller wheels turning to let junior nap a bit longer, yet don’t want to find yourself miles from the car when your little one does wake up.

Stroller-accessible washrooms (indoor and outhouse), benches, viewing platforms, picnic tables, a concession stand, sports field, and one of the most amazing playgrounds in the Lower Mainland. Of course, we can’t forget the beach itself. During low tide, young walkers will enjoy venturing out into the wet sand almost as far as the eye can see.

The views from this trail are best described as stunning and expansive. On clear days, you’ll see Mt. Baker, Mt. Cheam and White Rock (among many other sights) off in the distance. The ramp-accessible viewing deck at the turnaround point of the 12th Ave. Trail is the perfect spot to pause for a rest and take in the impressive show that Mother Nature puts on in this area.

Cammidge House (1914) is located near the park entrance. This beautifully restored heritage building makes a stunning backdrop for a picnic or impromptu photo shoot.

Much of the parkland is a protected wildlife reserve and is not accessible by the public. While it is tempting to pluck a few flowers or pick up a piece of driftwood or two as a memento of your visit, it’s best to leave nature as you found it and stay on the trails.

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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