Last weekend we loaded up the kids and visited one of my favourite spots, Belcarra Park. It’s sort of a perfect place. At low tide you can search for baby crabs under the rocks on the beach. There’s a dock where people fish and drop their crab pots, and it has one of the best playgrounds around. In the summer there’s concession and kayak rentals. Add in picnic tables, wide green spaces, fabulous views, walking trails, and proper bathroom facilities, and you’ve got a great park.
The area has some pretty fascinating history as well. It was originally inhabited by the First Nations, who abandoned it following a smallpox outbreak. After some nastiness involving a murder in 1882 it came to be used as a vacation spot for people from Vancouver. At one time it contained a government naval reserve, and one of its beaches was home to a decades-long squat. Today it’s bounded by the high-rent village of Belcarra and filled with kids playing frisbee.
The park is rarely all that busy – unlike nearby Buntzen Lake I’ve never encountered a full parking lot. On a beautiful winter day, though, it’s hardly deserted. There were lots of people out with their crab pots and lots of kids on the playground. Hannah had a great time climbing, sliding, and watching the other children.
It’s a bit of a hike from downtown, but for those of us in the Tri-Cities it’s very accessible. And the drive out there, along the inlet and out through Ioco and Anmore, is gorgeous. It’s a really great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon at any time of year. If you want to visit yourself, you can check out the Google Map here (My thanks to Lisa and Dennis, whoever they are). 🙂