A better way to spend Canada Day
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
hot days upon us and an unusual Canada Day on the horizon, one activity that
has picked up even more popularity is hiking! And that’s saying something for
the province that ALWAYS has someone on every trail and mountain. And in case
you’re an avid explorer who hasn’t heard of somewhere new to try out yet,
here’s an article to (hopefully) fill that void in your life! Spend Canada Day
this year peacefully hiking a new trail or revisiting one that’s tried and
Tapovan Peace Park, Galiano Island
Most visitors to Galiano Island likely won’t notice the Tapovan Peace Park because it’s so south on the island and tucked into the side of the road. There’s not much else in the area as well, so unless you’re specifically looking to check out this spiritual hike you might miss it.
Tapovan Peace Park is the only Peace Park in all of the Southern Gulf Islands, and maybe also Vancouver Island! It is dedicated to Sri Chinmoy, an advocate for world peace and mindfulness, or the big “E” of enlightenment.
Tapovan is the Sanskrit word for “wilderness spiritual practice,” and this spiritual practice is perfectly designed to allow those who take it on the opportunity to leave their woes behind. With 200 acres of forested land, this steep half-hour hike has a long set of stairs and many poetic plaques marking the way up the trail. At the top, you’ll find yourself on a bluff overlooking Trincomali Channel alongside a statue of Sri Chinmoy. Pack a lunch and prepare to spend some quality time meditating at the top; it’s an unusual place with a serene sense of calm and serendipity.
Mount Galiano, Galiano Island
311 metres of vertical trail surrounded by densely packed trees with a stunning view of all the Southern Gulf Islands, North Saanich, Sidney, and the Cowichan Valley Mountain range, Mount Galiano is the highest point on Galiano Island. Considered by Gulf Islanders to be the most beautiful view of all the islands, these 84 hectares of Nature Protection area are the perfect spot to picnic on.
Once at the summit, if you continue on to the right a little ways, you’ll come across a lesser known “lip” of land that offers the perfect view of Mayne Island’s harbour. Along the trail is a plane crash wreckage from the 1960s.
Mahon Park, North Vancouver
Also known as the “jewel of the city” and named after Edward Mahon, a visionary on conservation, Mahon Park offers a breath of nature. With large trees and two pretty streams in a ravine, you’ll find the surrounding city noise completely muted. A unique feature is the numerous bridges flaunting verses, such as “step into a forest” or “a creek flows at your feet.”
Accessible by transit routes #240 and #255 on Keith Road, this trail is a mix of metro and forest, with trees and streams, as well as bridges, stairs, and a running track!
Traboulay Poco Trail, Port Coquitlam
The Poco trail is one of the most popular in Metro Vancouver; rated as easy, this flat, paved, and scenic trail offers extensively regenerated fish and wildlife habitats among trees and streams. Along the route are a series of interesting signs taking note of historical happenings going forwards and backwards in time, depending on the direction you take along the trail—how inventive! Coquitlam River is well known for its reclaimed stream channels, wetlands, and ponds—the area is a maze of old roads, trails, and mixed forest.
Barnston Island, North Surrey & Langley
A literal island, your first steps into this hike are onto a tugboat ferry for a free five-minute ride. Barnston Island sits in the middle of the Fraser River between Surrey and Pitt Meadows.
A two-and-a-half-hour-long trail, Barnston Island is a paved country road between two of BC’s most popular economic industries (forestry and agriculture) and the entire island is within the Katzie First Nations traditional territory. Come prepared as there are no stores on the island.
There is a picnic site on the northwest
corner of the island which contrasts heavily with the abandoned homes being
reclaimed by nature. Along the path you’ll come across sheep, cattle, and
from the trail are Roberts Point, the part of America completely surrounded by
Canada, the Golden Ears Bridge, Port Kells, mountains, and eagles.