Trip Start Unknown
5Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Stanley Park is the largest park in Vancouver and close to downtown. It holds about 1,000 acres of land and miles of hiking trails. Most people are on the east end, which has a zoo, aquarium, miniature railroad, and concession area, along with many manicured lawns and flower gardens. The east side has a restaurant, a concession area, and several beaches. In between is a huge forest with many trails, for hikers, joggers, or just anyone wanting to get away from the city once in a while. It has enough wildlife to keep birdwatchers and other wildlife enthusiasts busy. There are two lakes, Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake, where water fowl can be observed. I usually spend an entire day hiking on as many trails I encounter. There are many good picnic spots.
When I first came here in 1989, I was surprised to see black squirrels. In the US, I have only seen grey and red squirrels. So black squirrels were a new wonder to me. They were all over Stanley Park. Many were used to being around humans and would run up to those who offered food. Since then, I've noticed black squirrels in other parts of Canada, but with a difference. Those in Vancouver have short, bushy tails. Those in Toronto have long sleek tails. But when I returned in 2005, they were gone. I couldn't find one black squirrel anywhere in all of Vancouver. I despaired that they had gone extinct. I took to the internet, posting the question, on as many pertinent forums as I could find, as to what happened to them. Some responded that, since they were a nuisance, the government launched a poisoning programme to eradicate them. Some responded that, since their colour made them stand out in their environment, they all fell easy prey to hawks. Some responded that they were a freak generation of mutated grey squirrels, which just gave birth to other grey squirrels before dying off. And others responded that I'm an idiot just for asking. But when I returned a year later, I saw them again. There weren't as many as there were 17 years before, but they were back. I was relieved that they did not become extinct. But as for what happened to them in the previous year remains a mystery.
Vanier Park lies across False Creek from the peninsula of downtown. From here one has a breathtaking panorama of downtown's west coast. Aside from several very large lawns, it also holds the Maritime Museum, the Vancouver Museum, Southam Observatory, MacMillan Planetarium, and the Bard on the Beach Theatre. In a little cove, several historical boats are moored as museum pieces. Adjacent to this park is the Kitsilano Beach Park. It's a small beach but still has plenty of room for children, and other people, to play in the sea and sand.
Queen Elisabeth Park lies in the heart of the City of Vancouver. It contains rolling acres of lawns, tree groves, and flower gardens. It is usually busy with so many people and activities, including picnics and weddings. Many find the natural beauty of the park as suitable for their weddings. The Bloedel Conservatory, near the intersection of 30th and Cambie, contains thousands of species of plants from around the world, as well as many tropical birds. It's a gardener's paradise.
Simon Fraser University, in neighbouring Burnaby, is surrounded by a massive forest with many hiking trails.