New Brighton Park – Local Vancouver Walks

New Brighton Park – Local Vancouver Walks

New Brighton Park is a lovely green space between Vancouver Harbour and the Ironworks Bridge. It’s great if you’d like a bit of sea air and unobstructed views of the North Shore Mountains. We visited here as one of our many self-isolation adventures exploring the parks of Vancouver. It’s easy to reach walking, or via cycle lanes…but cycling is probably better for this one as you need to walk through some ugly Industrial areas on the way from downtown.

Once things start opening up, there is a public pool here too, so you can swim with those amazing view.

Walk or cycle to New Brighton Park

There are really good cycle routes in East Van. I love that ever so often you’ll get fantastic views downtown or out to the North Shore mountains. Also, when you stick to roads with cycle lanes, they are normally pretty quiet.

Peek at street art

There is quite a lot of street art along the way, but my favourite was a long mural by William Street and Woodland Drive. Half of it is decorated by heritage houses…

…but it continues on to show the nearby mountains including the Lions.

The route to New Brighton Park

I recommend walking/cycling along Wall Street to get to New Brighton Park. It is a residential area, but there are plenty of grassy areas with views of Vancouver harbour. I loved the mix of industrial and natural vistas.

Dusty Greenwell Park was one of my favourites as it had massive blossom covered trees.

See what I mean about the mix between Industrial sights, seascapes and mountains? It’s not quite the same as my walks in the wilderness, but it’s pretty interesting to see the industry that makes up Vancouver.

For most of the route, there is a railway in between you and the sea. This means before you reach the park (and the sea) you’ll need to go under one of the tunnels.

Hastings – Where Vancouver began

We spotted a sign that said this is where Vancouver got started! When engineers first arrived, they surveyed this area dividing it into lots, and named it Hastings Townsite to honour Admiral Hastings from the British Navy. Back then this was all a large rainforest which they slowly cleared to make way for docks, bridges and the first buildings. The park even retains the name of the first hotel that used to be here, the New Brighton Hotel.

New Brighton Park Facilities

This is only a teeny park, but it includes quite a long list of facilities in addition to the gorgeous vistas.

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Washrooms
  • Picnic sites (and plenty of benches)
  • Playground
  • Off leash area for doggos
  • There is a building for food concessions too, although that was closed due to Covid-19.

New Brighton Park salt marsh

This section of coastline was filled in to make extra industrial land back in the 1960s. Then, a couple of years ago Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh First Nations worked together to restore the shoreline habitat for this park. The new tidal wetlands they created are like a creche for young salmon. It’s a place where they can rest and feed on their way to the open ocean each spring.

I found an article that said it worked! β€œWe were excited to see that, even before the project’s completion, juvenile chum and chinook salmon were observed using the newly created tidal wetland as a stopover on their way through Burrard Inlet.”

The New Brighton Park isn’t particularly big, but it’s great that they created this area of slice of nature so close to the city. I hope you like the look of it.

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50 thoughts on “New Brighton Park – Local Vancouver Walks

  1. Hello from the “other” Vancouver! We would argue down here in the state of Washington that the “start of Vancouver” was right here in the “first” Vancouver. But then that’s our only claim to fame. Your Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in the world while we remain a simple (but beautiful) suburb. Anyway, thanks for taking me with you for a walk through your Vancouver. I do love to explore the world on foot! Wander with love, my friend.

    1. Oooh I have been really curious about your Vancouver! When we tried to buy a car, google kept sending us to car dealerships kept listing cars in Vancouver on your side of the border…but I didn’t know it was the original!

      Thanks for reading/chatting Jen

  2. This makes me so excited because I’m going to Vancouver as soon as it’s safe to travel! Your photos are beautiful and I’ll definitely be checking this park out when I get there 😊

    1. Yaaaaay Rachel! Are you coming for a visit, or are you thinking of moving here? I am happy to help if you need to find fun places to explore/hike. πŸ˜€

  3. What a fun way to got out of the house during this time of Quarantine and enjoy the beautiful fresh air! Thank you for sharing its beauty with us!

  4. I am DYING to visit Vancouver! I have a good friends who lives out there and there are so many things to do! Thank you for writing this detailed post!

    1. Woot woot! It’s even better if you visit when your friend can show you around! Let me know if you come if you need any advice for fun hikes. πŸ˜€

    1. Yeah, I was really surprised by that when we first moved here. London is similar with lots of parks, but I didn’t expect it here, as there is also such easy access to larger natural areas close to the city. We have really appreciated it during the lock-down while we’ve stayed close to home.

  5. I love how you’ve adapted by staying local with your walks! Vancouver is such a gorgeous city and you have much to explore within city limits. I’d definitely want to come to New Brighton Park the next time I visit Vancouver. Swimming with those mountain views sounds magical. Also I love the mural you shared! Gorgeous.

    1. I’d really like to go back there to swim too! I did pop back last Thursday (right after I published this post) the pool is still closed, but there were sooo many people relaxing and having picnics on the grass. There is so much space that no-one need to be crowded,

      Have you been exploring your local parks too Catherine?

  6. You’re always out exploring so much of Vancouver’s beauty! We’re actually in Revelstoke right now and may come visit Van before we leave Canada!

    The spring looks beautiful there too! =) Hope you’re enjoying being able to be back outside and exploring!

    1. Oooh nice! I would love to go back and explore Revelstoke more at this time of year! I hope you get to see the Skunk Cabbages (just outside the city)

      Oooh, and make sure you try a bagel at La Baguette – they are sooo good!

  7. After reading all your wonderful blog posts about hiking, we started doing some hiking in a local park last weekend! We went to a park where we had kayaked many times, but this time we hiked and came to a small waterfall that we never even knew existed.

    1. Oooh that is awesome Rudy! Do you think you’ll add some blog posts about the cool spots near your home to go with your fabulous international posts?

  8. Okay, I am moving to Vancouver πŸ™‚ You have so many amazing outdoor places to visit and it always looks so quiet. Places tend to get so crowded in England, especially on a nice day so I have been avoiding any parks or walking areas while all of the craziness is going on! This park looks like another beautiful place to stroll around and enjoy!

    1. I wonder if more people are in the parks than normal in the UK? When we lived in London, we always found the larger parks were full near the entrances, but then quiet once you walked for a bit…

      But, yes! Come to Canada, they are much more welcoming to immigrants than we are back in the UK!

  9. New Brighton Park seems like a great place to spend some time when one visits Vancouver. And it’s good now to explore one’s own backyard, as it still isn’t safe enough to travel too far.

    1. Yeah, things are starting to open up here, but we’ve tried to stay pretty close to home still. I’m glad there are quiet spots like this.

      I hope you and Kerstin are doing okay in self isolation!

  10. All you walks are always so lovely. I don’t mind a bit of industrial area ugliness on the way to natural awesomeness. It just makes nature see more awesome by comparison!

  11. This is a beautiful park ! Love the view of the city opposite with North Shore Mountains in the background ! Love the mural of the Mountains on the wall as well ! Looks like alot of shipping activities on these waters ! =)

    1. Yeah Vancouver is a super busy port so there are always loads of massive tankers. I went back last week and watched as two teeny tug boats parked a HUGE ship right next to this park!

  12. Love the combination of nature and urbanization! Living in NYC, I always appreciate a beautiful greenspace near the city. Also, I love how the street art even depicts beautiful mountains πŸ™‚ Please keep sharing your works with us!

  13. What a beautiful wall mural!

    I hope you brought a picnic to enjoy in the park. Looks like it was a great day for one.

    Still hoping to make it to Vancouver someday.

    1. I think we totally failed to bring a picnic! We’ll just have to go back. Last time I brought an orange with me…so it was a partial picnic. πŸ˜‰

  14. I hope that I am able to visit Vancouver as soon as it’s safe to travel and the world is a little safer place. These are some lovely shots and took me virtually to the lanes and alleys of this city.

  15. Great post – I’ve never visited Vancouver but I’m in Seattle a lot, so I’ve always wanted to make the trip there. Thank you for the walk suggestions, it’s nice to be able to get some exercise in the city.

  16. Sounds like a lovely way to spend a day! I was in Vancouver only for 24 hours once before departing on a cruise but would love to get back and explore the city in more depth. I love the beautiful street art and the gorgeous views from this park! Luck you that you live near it!

    1. Oooh nice! Now there are fewer cruises, I was wondering if they’d be fewer tourists to Vancouver this summer. I hope you can come back to explore the city in a slow way once the pandemic is over. πŸ™‚

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