Nature Walks > Iona Beach Walk

Iona Beach Walk

Published: March 2, 2009

This is a great little beach walk. Its location, between the airport, sewage treatment plant, and log booming and salvage operations, doesn’t at first glance seem like a promising place to get out into a natural environment, however two jetties, an area of sand dunes and a beach provide excellent walking and birding opportunities.

The southern jetty is a rock wall over the out fall pipe. It extends out two kilometers with a gravel path on top for easy walking. I prefer the northern jetty, which feels a little wilder. It was originally constructed as just a rock wall, but sand has accumulated and formed a beach and an area of small dunes. Depending on the tide this jetty provides a 2-3km length of beach for walking. Log salvage operations are located at the start of this jetty, and booms are often tied up along its north side, but its possible to avoid all this by staying on the beach on the south side at the start.

The dune environment is quite rare in the lower mainland, and it supports plant communities not commonly seen. On a clear day there are also great views of the north shore mountains and out to Vancouver Island. Groups of shore birds are common and cormorants dry their wings on the pillars for tying up log booms. When the tide is out eagles are often seen scrounging on the sand flats.

On the way to Iona beach, Macdonald Beach Park is also a worthwhile stop, trails through the dunes and along the north arm dyke provide excellent birding opportunities and a quiet place to walk.

I like to do this trip by bike from my home in Kitsilano. This makes it into a fairly full day trip. There are bike routes most of the way to the park – the busiest part is crossing the Arthur Laing Bridge, but the shoulders are wide enough to feel comfortable. The roads from the bridge to the park are quiet and very popular with cyclists.

This is a great place to get away with our actually going very far.

Any Comments?


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