Boundary Bay Dyke Trail

Boundary Bay Dyke Trail

Boundary Bay Dyke Trail is a long-flat pathway along the coast in Tsawwassen, on the peninsular south of Vancouver. If you walk (or cycle) along the entire dyke, it’ll take you the whole way to Surrey. We just did part of the walk, starting in Boundary Bay Regional Park and walked for 6km (12km in both directions.) The best thing about this area is all the birds you might see, including plenty of raptors. If you like the sound of that, you can see a list of the birds here.

I hope you are all doing okay in isolation! This post is from our final weekend before all the National and Provincial Parks were closed in Canada. I don’t think we can visit the wilderness for a while…but I am still raring to go as soon as the world gets a little more virus free!

Boundary Bay Dyke Trail Map

This map does not include the part in Boundary Bay Regional Park, but you can get the idea.

Boundary Bay Dyke Trail – the basics:

Distance: 26 km (we only walked for about 12km) 
Elevation Gain: 
Minimal
Time: We walked for 2.5 hours, but you can easily shorten or lengthen it.
What to bring:
Camera – so you can attempt to take photos of the birds
Dogs:
Its perfect for dogs, but they need to stay on leashes as it is a rare bird habitat.
How hard is it?
This is a make-your-own adventure style walk. Go as far as you can manage.

Boundary Bay bird watching paradise

We visited Boundary Bay for the first time last winter and were excited to spend time seeing so many bald eagles. This time two bald eagles greeted us as soon as we arrived, sitting up high in one of the trees by the car park.

We were planning to stretch our legs, rather than for birds, but we still got to see plenty of feathered friends. The coolest bird we saw was a Northern Harrier, which is a medium sized bird of prey with an owl-like face. It was a bit too far away for me to get a good photo.

We saw this Spotted Towhee (we thought it was an American Robin until I looked at photos later). He was super sweet and seemed to be attempting to impress the ladies with a buzzy song. Once we got near the shore we also saw lots of Greater Yellowlegs who were searching for food in the mud.

This area is good for dogs on walkies with their hoomans, but they must stay on their leashes.

There is one section of the trail where you leave Boundary Bay Regional Park, and walk through a residential area. This is your chance to grab an ice cream. We also found an incredibly cute mini library.

Boundary Bay Dyke

This is the main part of this walk. The boundary bay dyke continues for over 20km, the whole way to Surrey. It is slightly elevated as it was built to prevent the surrounding agricultural land from flooding. This means you get pretty good views out to the delta and mountains.

Mountain and city views

This bay area is south of Vancouver, right on the border with America. There are no mountains nearby, but you get some fantastic views of Burnaby and the North Shore Mountains.

I zoomed in quite a lot to take the mountain photos. This photo of the dyke gives a better perspective of how far away they are.

I love the view out to the Strait of Georgia. It’s funny to think just how far away Mount Baker is (and how there are mountains in front of it.) From here, it looks like the only mountain around.

As you get further along the dyke, you move away from the seashore and into the marshlands. It is full of birds and beautiful.

Before we turned around, we spotted a couple of Great Blue Herons. We even saw this dude catch a fish from the marsh.

This was pretty perfect day for this easy walk.

Can you walk while social distancing?

This was after our first week of social distancing. The ski hills had all been closed, but most local parks were still open. We chose to walk in boundary bay as it was very quiet last time we visited. It’s also very safe, as we figured we should avoid any risky hikes where we might get in trouble. Social distancing wouldn’t work if we had to call Search and Rescue!

This was a bit of a fail on our part. Boundary Bay was really busy, especially at the beach were people were having picnics in groups. The Boundary Bay Dyke trail also had lots of walkers and cyclists, but it is so long that it is easy to keep your distance from other people. One week later, Boundary Bay Regional Park closed. I guess they decided everyone congregating at the beach is not safe.

I think we were okay walking here. We kept more than 2m away from other walkers the whole time. However I can totally understand why the local government ended up closing the regional park and the beach. It did seem like quite a few people were getting together there.

Mount Baker Views

I will finish with a couple of the gorgeous views of Mount Baker because it was looking so flipping pretty. I wonder if the birds that stay in this habitat appreciate how gorgeous it can be.

Now the Boundary Bay Regional Park is closed, most of us won’t be able to visit this area for a while. But feel free to click on the pins below to save this for when things start opening back up.

Boundary Bay Dyke Trail - fantastic for bird watching Boundary Bay Dyke Trail - Our self isolation walk Boundary Bay Dyke Trail - walks near Vancouver

46 thoughts on “Boundary Bay Dyke Trail

    1. It’s funny isn’t it – we tend to head North towards the amazing mountains, but there are loads of amazing places to explore South of the city as well.

      I hope you’re doing okay in isolation Katy!

    1. That is what I was thinking too. I’ll need to get back on my bike to burn off some of these isolation calories!!

    1. It’s really good to visit in winter when the birds of prey are here. If you visit in the summer time, it is even better to head to the mountains. <3

  1. That looks like a wonderful walk, the views of the mountains in the distance are spectacular. Looks like so much wildlife around too which really brings the walk to life.

    1. Yes it is so cool to see the wildlife, especially the birds of prey! I hope you are also seeing plenty of wildlife in your beautiful lock-down home on the coast!

    1. They are really cool to see aren’t they!? Last time we visited here we spotted an eagle that had caught a crab. It was munching crab sashimi in a tree. 😀

  2. This looks like a lovely walk out in nature! Something I really miss these days. So cool that you can see Mount Baker too!

    1. Yes! The dinos evolved into birds. Raptors is now a generic term to refer to birds of prey.

      There were even ‘raptor trails’ in the provincial park where you have a good chance of seeing them.

  3. You’re giving me so many awesome places to visit for when I hopefully-someday get to go back to visit Vancouver again! :]! This looks like such a pretty place to explore!

  4. Looks beautiful especially with Mt Baker in the background. I loved seeing all the birds in the post especially the spotted towhee as I’ve never seen one.

  5. Sounds like a lovely walk. Luckily our country parks haven’t closed and I don’t think the government has any plans to close them.

    1. Oooh you are lucky! I guess that means you are all better at social distancing in the wilderness. It seems we’re not allowed here as too many people meet up for BBQs. 🙁

  6. I’ve never been to Canada, but when I get there I’ll definitely be doing this little walk to see more of the South! Thanks for the great read! Love your photos too!

  7. Wow, what a beautiful trail! There is so much birdlife, it would be awesome to wander and take in the surroundings.

  8. Your photos are gorgeous! I love Mt Baker. Sounds like a great trail, hopeful to make it up there soon!

  9. Mount Baker looks spectacular in your photos, initially I almost mistook it for a cloud, it was only at a second glance I realised it was indeed a snowy mountain top! I think it’s great that this walk is accessible for everyone – I’m sure plenty of people will be rushing here once isolation is over!

  10. The marshlands look so pretty and how beautiful to watch all the bird life there. I really miss doing these sorts of things these days. Hope we can all get back out there soon. Lovely photos.

  11. I’m glad you were able to get one last big hike in before the virus hit in earnest. And I really appreciate your point to be careful during this time. I live in a really rural area that has been awfully tempting to city folks during the virus lockdown but they don’t realize that they will defeat the point of social distancing if they need to call search and rescue!

  12. Your photos really remind me of a place I used to work in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was between the sea and a small nature reserve. In winter when it was dark when leaving work there would be dozens of happy rabbits bouncing around the work car park 🙂

  13. I’ve lived in BC for the past almost 20 years and can’t believe this is my first time hearing about this spot. Seems like I’ll definitely have to put on my walking shoes one day and go enjoy the views here. Mount Baker looks beautiful in the background!

  14. Oh i love Vancouver. I had no idea you could see Mt Baker from there?! Fabulous mountain to snowboard 😀 This walk does indeed look great for bird lovers and love, love, love the bald eagle shot! Lets hope we can get back out into these fabulous parks before too long.

  15. Very pretty and easy trail although I probably would walk only about 3-4 km. It’s a pity they closed all the parks vwe just went for a walk at the White Tank Mountain Regional Park here, an hour from Mesa, Arizona

  16. This is my kind of walk, and I love that there are so many birds around! I’m sure we’re all hoping that things get back to normal soon. I have actually never been to Vancouver, but I’m hoping to change that soon. My son lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and we visit ever year. Time to hop on a ferry!

  17. Icecream and nature…what more can you ask for?

    I love that you said “attempt to take pictures of birds.” It’s so hard!

    Great post. I really need to visit Vancouver. Let’s hope this virus goes away soon 🤞🤞

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