Pacific Spirit Park – “Dog Mountain Jr.”

So it’s difficult to figure out if my boys want a dog… I mean other than the fact that my oldest son asks for one multiple times a day.  At this stage in my life it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go running out to adopt a puppy, but I can take the boys to “Dog Mountain” (Seymour) or pretty much any park around Vancouver.

On this day it was supposed to rain so I decided to keep our hike close by. Pacific Spirit Regional Park surrounds the University of British Columbia and boasts over 73km of trails spread out over 750 hectares of forest.

The trails are very wheelchair and stroller friendly and there is very little elevation gain. Packed gravel makes up the main trails; however, there are tons of side trails that are not too rough to explore.

The best part about the park is that you can use the map to pre-plan a route that is the right distance for you and your Goonies. Each major entrance has a trail board and printed maps that you can tuck into your pocket.

Pacificspiritmap

Before we set out we got our waterproof pants on, through our shells into Darth Vander and drove the 20 minutes through the rain to our parking spot on Camosun St. at the South Entrance to the Park. We parked here so that we could downhill on the way back to the vehicle. When we arrived it was still raining and I asked if we should try to do the whole route that we planned and my oldest screamed “Let’s go for it!” (I love him!)

Our route took us up “Spanish” trail to “Clinton” trail and then onto “Sasamat” trail. We followed Sasamat all the way up, crossing over “Imperial” trail and passed the reservoir. Imperial trail is a large trail that cuts across the park. We stopped at this intersection to go the washroom and pet a large Great Dane, two Huskies, a French Bulldog, and two really hyper but very friendly black Labs.

IMG_8650

Up at the reservoir we stopped for crepes filled with Nutella and some water. We did not get much farther before being surrounded by a pack of dogs with two dog walkers. The pack included a beautiful Alaskan Malamute and another gentle giant that I have yet to identify that made my youngest stare in amazement!

The sun had come out by this time and we took off our shells and enjoyed the warmth of the suns rays blasting through the trees. We headed across “Sherry Sakamoto” trail and then onto “Sword fern” trail where we decided to try to identify the different types of ferns we came across distinguishing between Sword Ferns, Lady Ferns, Deer Ferns, Bracken Ferns, and Spiny Wood Ferns. Plant identification is a great way to slow down an older sibling if a younger sibling needs a little extra time or even some extra rest.

We decided to head across “Council” trail to see what else we could identify and ended up doubling back along “Imperial” trail where we rain into an English Bulldog named “Dash” and a Border Collie.

We connected back up with Sword Fern and onto “SW Marine” Trail down to Clinton where we headed back up “Salish” trail to “Imperial” trail and eventually back onto Sasamat trail back to the Van.

In total we did about 9-10 km. It was a very gentle hike on easy, very accessible trails. My oldest has dubbed the park “Dog Mountain Junior” for obvious reasons. If you are looking for an easy stroll, or a hike that can handle a wheelchair, stroller or powerchair this would be a great one to try!

Happy Hiking!

The Walking Dad.

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