A Stroll Along North Vancouver's Trans Canada Trail
A Cool Green Haven Running Through A Residential Neighborhood
The TransCanada Trail crosses Canada from sea to sea. Part of this trail runs through a beautiful park setting in North Vancouver, BC. This article describes the trail and the park and includes an array of photographs taken along the trailway.
Who likes the woods? If you do, please join me for this pictorial walk along North Vancouver's Mosquito Creek Trail.
Who would believe it? Right smack in the middle of the bustling city of North Vancouver, we find a wonderful, secluded, wheelchair- accessible walking trail that follows a creek through the forest. It is cool, green, and verdant year round, resplendent with birds and other wildlife.
The trail is popular with dog walkers, joggers, bicyclists and those who are walking for exercise, as well as with those who are simply wanting to relax and commune with nature.
The Mosquito Creek segment of the Trans Canada Trail starts on Marine Drive in the City of North Vancouver, winds through a forest and takes you to Queens Avenue in the District of North Vancouver.
As to the unfortunate naming of the trail and the creek -- I can only say that I have lived here more than twenty years and have walked this trail multiple times a month. I have yet to see, hear or feel a mosquito in that area!
Unless otherwise stated, all photo credits are to June Campbell.
Do You Enjoy Nature Trails?
Do you use or enjoy nature trails? If yes, what do you enjoy most about walking through natural surroundings?
A Crooked, Moss-Covered Tree on the Trail
Debate: The Bright Lights or Mother Nature? - What's your pick?
Vancouver's North Shore, which includes North Vancouver and West Vancouver, touches the ocean on three sides and is backed up against the North Shore Mountains. We can choose between the ocean and all that it has to offer -- or, we can opt for skiing, snow shoeing, snow boarding, hiking and nature trails within a few minutes drive or walk. Many residents of the North Shore prefer to live here because of the close proximity to nature.
The City of Vancouver is located across Burrard Inlet. Vancouver is a wonderful, cosmopolitan, world class city. People live there for the shopping, the art and culture and the trendiness and excitement that is part of that culture.
So where would you prefer to live?
The Mosquito Creek Trail
The trail follows a bubbling creek running through a residential neighborhood. Although this trail is smack dab in the middle of a populated city area, large trees block the residences from view. Although you may sometimes see a rooftop peeping through the greenery, the sensation is that of being in a wilderness area far removed from civilization. (Except for the other humans and their dogs -- this is a well used path).
The trail itself is well developed and is accessible to those using wheel chairs. However, some chair users may find the terrain to be a little too rough for their comfort.
The trail habitation includes trees of various varieties, ferns, moss and other plant life. Vancouver is situated in a rain forest. While we enjoy complaining about the rain, we appreciate the year round lush greenery that we also enjoy. :-)
Birds are plentiful, as are squirrels and other small animals. From time to time, a coyote or a bear is spotted.
See the photos below for trail pictures taken in the month of March.
Trail PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
One Woman's Legacy: Snow Drops
In March, snowdrops and a few crocuses blossom along the trail. The white flowers are stunning set against the lush green ferns and moss. It is a joy to see them heralding the first signs of spring.
According to information provided by a local resident, a woman planted the snowdrops along the trail. What a beautiful legacy to leave behind.
The photos below do not do them justice.
Snow Drops Along the TrailClick thumbnail to view full-size
Links About the Trans Canada Trail
- Explore and learn more about the Trans Canada Trail, one of Canada’s truly great endeavours
The Trans Canada Trail is a non-profit registered charity raising funds to build a recreational trail that will wind its way through every province and territory in Canada, linking 1000 communities along its route.
- Trans Canada Trail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikipedia's full description of the Trans Canada Trail
- British Columbia's Trans Canada Trail
Welcome to the Cycling BC's Trans Canada Trail website. Here you'll find information and maps to guide you through some of the province’s most stunning landscapes as you explore BC's Trans Canada Trail. Visiting along the way, the beautiful cities of
- Mosquito Creek Watershed
Information about the Mosquito Creek watershed, including the Mosquito Creek Trail
Trail Sub-Section: A Fish Habitat
Walkers have the option to leave the main trail and walk through a more rugged area. This area follows a part of the creek that is a sensitive fish habitat. Salmon and other species spawn along this area.
The sensitive area is more secluded and private. As you may expect, it is a marshy, wet region, especially during the rainy winter months. The trail developers have added a series of boardwalks to help us keep our feet dry.
Dogs and bicycles are not permitted. Some of the loveliest views are in this section. I usually walk one direction on the main trial and take this section on my return.
Refer to the photos below for pictures taken along this area.
Photos of the Sensitive Trail AreaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mosquito Creek Trail Under the Trans-Canada Highway
Mosquito Creek trail runs under an overpass of the Upper Levels Highway. The Upper Levels is a stretch of the #1 Highway (also known as the Trans-Canada Highway, also known as the 401). The Upper Levels on the North Shore begins at the Second Narrows Bridge, crosses the Districts of North Vancouver and West Vancouver and ends at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. (The Trans-Canada officially begins on Vancouver Island).
The part of Mosquito Creek Trail that crosses under the highway has an eerie, other-worldly feel to me. It is particularly poignant because of a memorial honouring two men who lost their lives by falling off the bridge and landing in the creek bed below.
Refer to the photos below for pictures.
Photos Under the Upper LevelsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Public Art at the End of the Trail
The trail ends at the back of the William Griffin Recreational Center on Queens Avenue in the District of North Vancouver.
A display of public art awaits the trail users as they enter the center's parking lot.
The art sculpture is named Eventually. The artist is Adam Kuby.
It is one of three pieces of commissioned public art that appears across North Vancouver.
The Office of the Art has this to say on their web site:
... Working with the theme of city grid to natural patterning, the artist laid out ten large granite blocks, in a linear grid-like pattern. As the blocks advance away from the city they physically transform from smooth cubes to rough naturalized formations. The native trees interwoven into the piece will interact with the slabs causing heaving and cracking over time..
For full details of the art, please refer to this link: Public Art Collection.
Refer to pictures below.
Art at Trail EndClick thumbnail to view full-size
Video: Trans Canada Trail Through British Columbia - Check Out the Eye Candy
Geocaches Along The Trail
If you're into geocaching, you'll be happy to know that there is a series of geocaches hidden along this trail. Find them all at once or come back several times. Its a cool spot to walk on a hot summer day, and in the rainy season, the tree cover offers some protection from the raindrops.
Books About Vancouver - Informative, Entertaining and Sometimes Thought Provoking
There are plenty of books about Vancouver, both fiction and non-fiction.
This book to the right that I am so strongly recommending will be of interest to the physically active resident, whether long term or new to the area, or to those who are thinking of relocating here or who are coming for an extended visit.
© 2013 June Campbell