Spirit Ninjas: Spirit Trails / Ladner Marsh

What can make an afternoon walk or hike a little more fun… Something to look for. Often when we go hiking we will take along our tree and animal track identifier so that my oldest son has something to look for while he waits for my youngest to catch up (due to his special needs he is still learning to walk confidently).

The Spirit Trails provide a little bit of fun to this exploration since an artist(s) has placed tree spirits, throughout the marsh, to look for. We found over 28 tree spirits and other carvings around the trails.

Although the artist(s), who identify themselves as “Spirit Ninjas”, have chosen to remain anonymous rumour has it that the carver used to be a roofer who fell and injured his head and cannot work anymore. They now pass the time carving these tree spirits to place along the trail for people to enjoy.

The trails are not long; however, time is spent stopping and admiring the faces of each character and creature. It took about an hour and half for us to go around (this could be done quicker), but we also chose to go down to the river and watch some of the boats going by and we spent some time on the marsh tower (lookout) to watch the four eagles that were circling above our heads.

The trails would normally be extremely accessible to wheelchairs and strollers; however, high winds had blown down some trees and they hadn’t been cleared yet (hopefully this will be done soon). Some of the narrower trails were quite muddy but the main trails are nice and wide and have very good drainage.

One of our favourite sections was what we called the “Mystical Mushroom Village” where the artist has carved and painted small toadstools and placed various figurines around. Up in the trees, in this location, are wind chimes that sway in the breeze and create very relaxing music.

For a little extra fun, one of the carvings at the end of the main trail has the inscription “Shalt take Shalt give” and has a large opening in its mouth where people have placed small items to exchange, so if you want bring something along for the tree spirits I’m sure they would appreciate it.

If you wanted to make the afternoon a little longer you could go and grab coffee and snack and wonder around Ladner Village or, starting June 9th, maybe attend the Ladner Farmers Market. You could also head over to Deas Island Regional Park and wonder the trails and explore the old school house there.

 

Happy Hiking,

The Walking Dad

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