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
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.