Nature Walks > A Point Grey Nature Walk

A Point Grey Nature Walk

Published: February 19, 2009

One of my favorite walks in Vancouver is a low tide walk along the beach from the north end of Trafalgar Street to Jericho Beach. This stretch of beach feels wilder than the other beaches in the neighbourhood, so its almost like getting out of the city for a little while. There is no sea wall or path along this section so it has to be done at low tide. Parts of the walk are on sand and other sections are over rocks that can be slippery, especially if they are still wet. Stairs lead up to Cornwall or Point Grey Road at Trafalgar, MacDonald, Bayswater, Balaclava and Waterloo if you want a shorter walk.

A few properties have big walls built in front of them for protection from erosion, but most of the shore is still natural. Cliffs line the top of the beach, and where they are not overgrown with blackberries or ivy the sandstone bedrock can be observed. Some layers are more resistant to erosion and form ledges that add interest to the cliff, and if you look closely you can see fine cross beds patterning the rock. The cross beds also tell us that the sand was originally deposited by currents flowing from north to south. This rock is relatively young by geologic standards, having been deposited in the Georgia Basin only 35-50 million years ago, and then uplifted to its present position.

In addition to geology, another attraction of this walk for me is the bird life along the way. There are usually groups of golden eyes, scoters and widgeons swimming just off shore, as well as the ubiquitous crows and gulls looking for shellfish and other tasty morsels on the beach. Some days there will also be a pair of grebes or loons offshore or cormorants drying their wings in the sun. Once at Jericho, the ponds behind the beach are another great bird watching spot, in addition to crowds of mallards on the water, the surrounding shrubs and rushes are usually full of red-wing blackbirds, sparrows, and towhees, often there is a great blue heron hunting in the shallows and if you’re really lucky there will be a hawk or 2 perched high in a cottonwood surveying the ponds.

This can be a great walk at any time of the year, there is always something interesting to see, from the local wildlife to boats out on the water.

Any Comments?


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