Sasamat Lake / Woodhaven Swamp – Belcarra Regional Park

Once again it was supposed to be a rainy weekend in the Lower mainland. Now this might get some people down but I love the rain. There is something cleansing about it. Everything smells fresh, renewed. Everything looks a little brighter, especially the greens. Not to mention that amazing feeling of coming home and getting off all of your wet gear. Your home feels that much more cozy.

Anyway… I digress.

Sasamat Lake is located in Belcarra Regional Park near Port Moody. It is a popular spot in the summer as “White Pine Beach” is a destination spot with picnic tables, a concession stand, change rooms, etc. It is a great spot for swimming, walking the trails, and fishing. There is a great floating bridge that crosses the lake, at the narrow end, with two attached docks that are popular spots for anglers.

On this day, however, it was quiet. As we circled the Lake we saw 4 other people and 3 trail runners.

There are a couple of ways to come at this trail. You can park at the “White Pine Beach” and start there, or you can park at “Woodhaven Swamp” and start there to add a little distance to the trail.

We decided to start at the beach. We did not bring the stroller because we wanted to see if my youngest could walk the entire lake distance, about 3.2km with about a 50m elevation gain.

This is a beautiful trail. You get views of the lake all the way around, and every few hundred metres small waterfalls cascade down the slopes towards the water. Unfortunately, although most of the trail would be accessible by strollers and wheelchairs, there are sections of stairs that would be difficult to get around (see photos). This would be easily remedied with a few ramps or packed gravel switchbacks much like the ones the built at the Whistler Train-wreck hike. (See post at the link below)

This trail is amazing for kids though. It’s easy, there is a lot to see, and you have access to bathrooms and change rooms.

The 8 year old perspective: “I really like the baby waterfalls, but I should have brought my fishing rod!”

As we came around to the end of the lake loop we decided to try to head out to the “Woodhaven Swamp”. This added about 4.5 – 5km to our hike.  To get to the Woodhaven trail you will need to cross over “Bedwell Bay Road”. As we started out down the trail I noticed that my youngest was starting to trip over things and he had to put his hands down a couple of times. He is non-verbal but this is a pretty good indicator that he is getting tired. I through him up on my shoulders and we continued down the path.

This trail is much of the same. It would be great for kids; however, not accessible by strollers and wheelchairs due to the stairs. Woodhaven Swamp is a man-made swamp leftover from logging days, and all of the beautiful trees are second growth fir and cedar that, other than their size, look like old growth. The Swamp is now an amazing wetland ecosystem perfect for kids to explore.

After doubling back to “White Pine Beach” and the parking lot we shed our waterproof shell pants and jackets and instead of stopping for treats on the boys opted for hot chocolate and banana bread at home in front of the fireplace… oh yeah… we might have also watched “Home Alone” 😉

Happy Hiking!








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