Burnaby Lake

Location: Burnaby; easiest way for me to remember its location is that it is close to Costco (3550 Brighton Ave, Burnaby, BC V5A 4W3)

Parking available: yes, limited

This regional park, right in the heart of Burnaby, is a place to reconnect with the natural world without leaving the city. The area is a stunning wildlife sanctuary where birdwatchers regularly spot great blue herons, bald eagles, belted kingfishers, osprey and even rarer birds such as the small green-backed heron.

The lake was created by a glacier 12,000 years ago, and only a century ago its shores were home to bustling sawmills. Today, a viewing tower on that same shore provides a bird’s-eye view for spotting wildlife. You can view the lake from your canoe or kayak to get an up-close look at the busy beavers, diving ducks and turtles feeding in the marsh.

Burnaby Lake has a rowing course suitable for canoeing, kayaking and rowing training.

We go there every so often, we started going when I was pregnant with my daughter and tried making it a habit every now and then. Perfect place to see birds, photograph them, watch them and spend a quiet time in the middle of nature. The scenery is spectacular, no matter what time of the year you go, rain or shine, for sure you will find it very interesting to take a moment and enjoy nature in its pure form, take a picture and simply be.

There are washroom available. You can hike, walk, stroll if suitable gear in place. Definitely a place to check and enjoy!

That is all until next time! I hope you enjoyed this post!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Salmon come home in Coquitlam

Location: Hoy Creek Hatchery – located on Hoy Creek Trail Linear Park, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex at the corner of Pinetree and Guildford Way

Program cost: free

This rain or shine event took place on October 22nd in Coquitlam, more precisely in Hoy Creek.  Usually it is on the 3rd Sunday in October. The annual Salmon Come Home event co-hosted with the City of Coquitlam Municipality celebrates the return of the salmon to Hoy Creek. The free family event run from 11 a.m. through to 3 p.m. at the Hoy Creek Hatchery.

You can watch spawning chum salmon in stream (see pictures below), learn about the Hoy Creek Hatchery, view live salmon demonstrations, and enjoy musical entertainment, interactive children’s activities, food, and educational exhibits. It’s true we arrived closer to 3 p.m., but we got to see pretty much everything. It was our first year and we enjoyed it a lot. Next year we will go earlier for sure.

It rained a bit, but we wouldn’t let rain ruin our mood, after all, we need to embrace it right?

We parked at Douglas College. The trail has several entrances, and of course it is one place you can visit any time of the year, not just now. Click here for more information.

Surrounded by condos and shopping malls, the coho population is returning year after year to this forested stream, in the middle of an urban area. We learned that a lot of work is being done to maintain this unusual habitat from being contaminated, the traffic around the area means there is garbage left behind, invasive plants are a constant battle and even garden waste being dumped. A lot of volunteers help make that happen.

We learned about the salmon life cycle and lots of interesting information. For example, there are 5000 to 10000 salmon in this rearing pond only. There is also a Leave Home Festival, that happens in May, when fish are released.

Also, the salmon (Coho) swim out to the ocean and return to this creek to spawn in 18 months.

Walking on the trail we could actually see the salmon spawn, they rub their tail on the rocks in the water, which is of course very interesting to see. All in all, a pleasant family event,  a nice location and very very informative!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Bear in the area

This bear thing is new to me. Where I am from, we didn’t really have any around. Originally I am from a small town in Romania with absolutely no bear activity.
That sounds like danger. And it’s what we go through during the summer season when the bears start to wonder around. We have two little parks aka forests nearby and a simply walk in the park can turn into a saying hi to a bear (Mundy park and Riverview Forest).
This sign is everywhere and when you need to stroll with your baby daily, it becomes something you need to pay attention to. My mom is visiting from abroad and she takes Astrid out for walks daily. And the other day, when I happened to be with them, a man on his bike stopped and told us there was a bear 50 m behind us – we were on a sidewalk next to Mundy park, so we hurried to avoid the area and put some distance between us and the bear. We walked fast down the street and disappeared on one of the streets, getting as far as possible from there.

But what do you do when you meet the bear? What would have my mom done, as she doesn’t even speak English, therefore wouldn’t have understood the man telling her to watch out? Exactly. Now, apparently when you run into a bear, first thing to NOT do is run. Stay or walk backwards slowly, trying to appear big in front of the bear.

So here is my 2nd story, which this time involves an actual bear and answered my above mentioned question. One Saturday morning we went to Alouette park, which is close to Mundy park and we took Astrid for a swing. Me, 40 weeks pregnant and ready to pop, I was sitting on a bench, the only bench that park has and notice a bear crossing the street and coming towards my bench. It was obviously looking for food, sniffing around. And what do i do? Scream at my husband to grab our daughter and leave the park. At the same time, I start running, or more of a fast pacing, I couldn’t really run, given the advance pregnancy status I was in and join my husband in leaving the park.

We left the stroller behind and took a detour, came back, took the stroller and headed home. And that was it. So my immediate reaction was to run, despite the warning.

And that answers my question.

Check these articles below. More on what actions to take:

https://www.portcoquitlam.ca/city-services/pets-wildlife/bear-safety/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/how-to-survive-a-black-bear-encounter-1.2718756

Be bear aware!

Sorina

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Como Lake Park in Coquitlam

Location: 700 Gatensbury street Coquitlam, BC

Parking available: yes

Cute and toddler approved, definitely one of the most popular parks in Coquitlam! This park is recently renovated as well, and it’s part of the many nice and well-designed parks in Coquitlam and Tricities area. All brand new, kids up to 12 years can play on the rubberized surface and enjoy the diversity of options in this easy to access park on Gatensbury street.

Moreover, the park is next to Como Lake, you can enjoy a stroll in the park once your little one is done playing in the playground. You can enjoy walking, fishing all thru summer and the rest of the year as well. Lots of seating and picnic areas too. For sure a good option to consider!

Last winter the lake was actually opened for skating, no wonder given all the snow and low temperatures. Unfortunately and fortunately, due to the fact that I was pregnant with my son, I wasn’t able to skate, for obvious reasons.

Washrooms and parking available.

We visited the park on a rainy day and got to check the playground when everything was wet. Because my daughter is born in March, she is not all used to the rain, she was too young to realize what rain was before, so this summer is the first time she’s actually starting going to playgrounds, walking and exploring everything and this time was the first time she’d seen the park and playground wet. A lot of first times to enjoy, right?

A bit slippery, but it didn’t stop her from trying them out. With the right clothing, your toddler will have a great time.

For more on the park, click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Dawes Hill Park in Coquitlam

Location: 2215 Dawes Hill Rd, Coquitlam, BC V3K 6H6

Parking available: yes limited

One of the tiniest parks in Coquitlam, Dawes Hill park has been recently renovated and it looks awesome. The City of Coquitlam is really doing an awesome job renovating these playgrounds and giving them a new look and a brand new equipment.

I remember driving in the area and seeing this park, all dull up on the hill, and thinking how much potential it may have if only renovated and there it was. A few months later I saw the new stuff being brought in and the park getting a new facelift.

Very colourful, surrounded by forest, the park appeals to different age groups. You can find the same type of roller slide, or mini slide, or regular slide and swings like in other parks, but different colour theme. It appears as if every park has a colour theme. This one though, doesn’t have a rubberized surface, like others, if that is something you like, but it has wood chips. My daughter is simply in love with them, she plays with them a lot.   It really makes you wonder what makes kids happy.

There is also a swing area and that is all. Like I said, it is tiny indeed. No washrooms, or at least I didn’t see any.

There could be more coming, whoever is designing these playgrounds is definitely very creative and kid-centric. It looks like there’s still space left to add one or two play stations.

The park also offers a few seating areas and two picnic tables and…… a nice viewpoint to the Port Mann bridge, Mount Baker and Fraser Valley!!!!

Enjoy and happy sliding!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Rochester Park in Coquitlam

Location: 300 Rochester Avenue Coquitlam

Cost: free

Parking available: yes

Awesome park, the most recently opened in Coquitlam I believe and quite impressive. It is located next to the Maillard Middle School, easy access from Austin street.

We went to check it out today for the first time and it’s been opened for just 2 days, officially. At a first glance, it seems to appeal to different age groups: a roller slide and sand pit for toddlers, a lot of climbing structures for older kids, a tunnel slide and a zipline, and a spray / water park for the hot season. There is also a skateboard area. But bottom line,  I would say it is more for older kids than toddlers, or at least the older kids have more options.

With that in mind, my 18-month old daughter, didn’t really have a lot of choices, except the roller slide and some playing in the sand, but that didn’t make her sad of course, she actually quite seemed to enjoy her time there.

The whole design of the park is interesting; it is divided into three areas, all of which encourage active play and adventure; the various climbing areas appeal to the children’ imagination and strength, and of course, there is a thick layer of wood chips underneath to ensure a soft landing, just in case. It does make a child come out of his/her comfort zone.

Also, good workout going from one area to another I should say. I walked with my daughter from one level to another and back, which includes 2 sets of stairs that you can see in my pictures, good exercise for both me and Astrid. Of course, halfway I did have to carry her. Or we could have taken the slide tunnel on our way back.

There is though more to it actually. You can find more information here. It sees that the idea is to have some trails connecting all levels, connect the park playground areas with the actual forest that’s next to the park, so if you’re a fan, take a hike as well.

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Parking is available on two levels of the park, next to the water /spray park and picnic area and another one right at the entrance on Rochester street. Not a lot of spots available though- going there on a ‘rush hour’ might leave you without parking.

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Washrooms are available too on the lower level. That is where you find the picnic area too. The park is not very generous in terms of sitting areas for parents, there are some benches here and there, not a lot. It was pretty empty when i went, not sure about crowded times.

Overall, a very nice park, I have to admit that what struck me at first is the scenery. It is a great place for everyone, no matter the age, to come and enjoy time in nature and a splendid view for sure! This park really has a lot of potential.

Happy climbing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina