Follow by Email

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A slow Walk Through Pacific Spirit

Pacific Spirit Park is a huge expanse of virtually untouched rainforest, spreading from Spanish Banks, up through UBC, and nearly to the Fraser River. The park is over 880 acres larger than that of it's more famous neighbour, Stanley Park. Once again Vancouver's city planners have sacrificed millions of dollars for the sake of natural wonder, part of what makes Vancouver such an amazing place to live. Trails wind through the flora, connecting at well marked trail markers. Joggers, dog walkers, and even horse back riders dot certain paths and keep the forest lively and safe.

We first entered the park through the trail located at Sasamat at 16th St.
View Larger Map

Where the sun breaks through the canopy, dense moss covers the dead fall like carpet. The rich, moist humus on the ground is soft to the touch, and allows new growth in this old forest. The density of trees is unlike many forests here in Vancouver. 

Once inside, the space is somewhat eery. Perhaps it's the lack of undergrowth, or the sheer amount of enormous trees that do not allow for a vantage point of more than 100 feet in. The eeriness was only broken by the occasional passer-by, or the song of a small bird. 
As we continued to walk, we passed by trails that seemed to disappear into the trees. Had it not been for the well marked trails, or occassional map, one could wander in the density for hours not knowing which way was North, luckily they make it hard to get lost.


As one wanders deeper into the woods, the sound of traffic is drowned by the brussel of branches high above in the wind. Timber creeks as the wind passes through, but down on the trail there's a simple stillness. There is near silence say for the gravel beneath my feet, and the occasional flutter of small wings. The silence was once broken by the calls of an owl. We searched the branches to no avail. Just another example of a pair of eyes watching us, that we would have been unaware of.

I've included a map of the area stretching from W16th all the way through the endowment lands, to the ocean. The park is broken up by the UBC campus, suburban neighbourhoods, and different roadways. This blog is only focussing on this stretch of trails and wood. The trails are well marked, and let you know what the individual leash laws are. Most trails are 'offleash optional' with the occassional 'on-leash only' one thrown in the mix, whether or not these are heavily enforced is questionable. You'll also find the occasional garbage can, and 'do not enter, ecologically sensitive area' signs. All trails are easy, providing great signage, well laid gravel, and even bridges to cross small creeks. Happy tails, er trails!