This is another short walk; Like Black Mountain, you can easily do it after work! We went for a wander around Pacific Spirit Park, then followed the coast back around to wreck Beach. I’ve been along part of this trail once before (you can see our beach trail walk here…) but this time we walked in the opposite direction.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a blog with some gooorgeous photos of Bowen Island. As Marc and I had been there a few weeks before, I left a comment to compliment her about her pretty photos. Then we got chatting over e-mails about possible hikes she could do while she was in Vancouver. I was keen to meet up and go walking, but I was also about to go back to Europe for a wedding the following week. So we had to plan fast! I set up a walk through the hiking group, Wanderung, so we could go for a wander the very next day! In the end, three other people like the idea of a post-work hike, so all five of us met up at UBC to go exploring. My original plan was just to hike through Pacific Spirit Park but it was such a lovely sunny evening, that we all thought it might be better to head to the coast as well.
Students (and staff!) at UBC are so so lucky! Pacific Spirit Park is massive, beautiful and right on the edge of UBC. It is only a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the university, but the park feels like a gorgeous wilderness. Unlike the other forests I have been to so far in Vancouver, there is a larger variety of trees and bushes, rather than mostly evergreen trees. One of the first things I spotted once we entered Pacific Spirit Park was some white berries. Let me know if you know what they are! We saw salal berries along the path as well, but I didn’t know these! We veered off my original planned walk, but all the pathways of the park are easy to see on google maps, so I made up a route as we went along(!)
This meant we took a slightly wiggly route, heading in the direction of anything that looked interesting. Most other walkers were with their dogs, so we also got to meet some very friendly doggos!
After a while, we changed direction and headed towards the coast. We stumbled upon a grove of maple trees with the evening summer sun streaming through them. It was truly gorgeous!
Then, we had to cross SW Marine Drive (a large road that follows the peninsular around towards Richmond and the airport. This is where google failed me. It looked like there would be a path down to the sea, and then a route all the way along to wreck beach. Unfortunately, when we got to it, the path was closed off. There was a decent look-out point for views of the logging industry and Vancouver island though! I am always impressed by the scale of the logging industry here! There is sooo much lumber just floating out in the water!
As there was no path down, we had to hike along the highway for about a kilometre. Then we turned off onto a smaller road for another kilometre so we could walk down to the coastal path. Everyone was really nice about my google-fail but we did walk fast to get this section of the walk over with! Every so often there were promising-looking trails heading down towards the coast. We tried to follow a couple of them, but they all seemed to end with dead ends on cliffs! I didn’t want anyone to get injured, so we kept going until we made it to one of the official wakways down.
It is a steep climb down to the coastal path. But after all these steps, we’d made it to the pretty path to wreck beach. This is the coastline where Marc and I accidentally took a photo that included a naked man (oops – the story about that is here.) But this time I was expecting naked hikers, so I warned everyone that they might see a few willies on this evening hike. It turns out there are even more naked hikers in the evening than we saw at the weekend! So, I only took photos out to sea on this section!
It really is a lovely walk! I took one photo when I was sure there was no-one coming, so you can see what the terrain is like. Nice eh!? Still…there were quite a few bugs around. I don’t think i’d be up for naked hiking when you might receive a mozzy bite for my efforts!
Pretty soon we made it to the main beach area, where we all had a picnic. One of the other hikers, Francis, and I went for a cooling swim. The water was chilly at first, but it felt amazing after a couple of hours walking. There was quite a good mix of naked beach goers and people with swimming costumes; So I didn’t feel too rude in my cozzy. There were so, so many people at the beach!
On one side of wreck beach there was a large group of lads – maybe around 30-40 of them. They were making so much noise that a whole crowd went over to see what they were up to. It sounded almost like they were attempting the haka. I think they might have just been tipsy and loud. Anyway, after a while they all started screaming and running into the sea all together in a massive group. It was such a strange sight, that most other beach goers started to applaud them and laugh (with?? at??) them. It was all pretty strange! We didn’t really get invoved in the madness, but while they were making so much noise, we took a group selfie. 😀
We watched the sun go down, and then wandered back up the steep cliff to catch busses home. All in all, it was a relaxing, fun evening hike. I am glad I managed to organise my first Wanderung hike. Both Pacific Spirit Park and Wreck Beach were lovely.