Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Minnekhada Regional Park

Tuesday’s walk this week was in another park we hadn’t yet explored, Minnekhada Regional Park in Coquitlam.

We were reminded on our drive in that being September we are well into ‘bear season’ because as we drove along Victoria Drive which leads towards the park a large black bear was stood in the middle of the road.  Unfortunately as the car slowed the bear ran off though bushes at the side of the road, so no photo.  However, when we got to the parking lot for the park a couple just leaving warned me they had just seen a bear a few minutes ago on one of the trails.  I let Mojo off the leash on the walk but ensured he stayed closed by.

Minnekhada Regional Park is a mix of typical West Coast rainforest and mixed deciduous forest, surrounding a nature preserve and wildlife marshes.

The trail starts off flat and easy, through mixed woodland.


It’s not long before we get our first glimpses of Lower Marsh.




Good views North up over Lower Marsh.


Here we look across Lower Marsh towards High Knoll, where we will have lunch on the rocky outcrop later.


Panorama of the view from the south end of Lower Marsh.

Mojo was a little miffed at not being allowed to get in the ‘lake’ – the parks board allow dogs on the trails but due to the sensitive ecosystem in the nature reserve they don’t allow dogs in the water.  We get a gratuitous posing photo nonetheless.


A final look at Lower Marsh before the trail veers off into the woodland.


The trail continues for a short distance before a detour off to the right leads to Minnekhada Lodge.  Built in 1934 as a hunting lodge by then Lieutenant Governor Eric Hamber it has apparently played host to Queen Elizabeth and was donated to the Vancouver parks board by the Provincial Government in 1984.  It is open for free public viewing the first Sunday of every month, otherwise it can now be hired for special functions, business retreats, weddings etc.


Beyond the lodge the trails winds up and down and around on an easy going path.


Soon we reach Addington Lookout, a viewpoint overlooking Addington Marsh situated south of Minnekhada Park boundaries.


These are the views East towards Golden Ears from the Addington Lookout.


We continue along the trail through the park and reach the top of Low Knoll which provides these views over the marsh.


After taking in the view here we continue along the trail towards the highest point of our route at High Knoll. On the way we pass this giant ugly fungi growing on a tree trunk.


After a puff up the steep trail to the top of High Knoll we get lovely views to the South and West over Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and surrounding countryside.  These are the views West over the park towards Coquitlam.


Looking down on Lower Marsh and the trail we had been walking on earlier in the morning.


Views South over the Pitt River, Harris Road seen disappearing off towards the town of Pitt Meadows.


This is where city meets farming country.



Another view towards the Pitt River.


Video of the terrific views from the top of High Knoll in Minnekhada Regional Park

We get a final look before heading back down the trail through the park.


We take a circular route around the park along the North side on the way back, passing this giant fallen old growth tree trunk.  Would have made an impressive ‘thump’ when it came down !


Lots of maple trees in this forest.


We reach a bridge over a small marshy area, the bridge made out of a fallen tree.

IMG_5537 No real views to speak of here but so much birdsong.  This taken at around 12.30pm, it’s probably even louder in the early mornings.

Nearly back at the parking lot we reach a causeway between Upper and Lower Marshes.  Views here over Lower Marsh.


Then views over the Upper Marsh.


Final panorama view from the causeway before we head back to the car, after an excellent easy walk and managing not to bump into any bears in the process !

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