Mount Seymour Provincial Park - North Vancouver
notes from Nathan
Activity:Our family has a bunch of rituals-things we do year in, year out without question. One of our rituals is to hit Mount Seymour in September. No, not for early skiing, but to pick wild blueberries. You heard me right, picking blueberries. Actually, I don't even like blueberries, but Jen and Coleman are in love with them. Every year Jen goes overboard and brings 3 or 4 containers for us to load our blueberries into. Mom supposedly is going to make a pie when we get home. Every year the same thing happens: Jen and Coleman eat so many along the way that everybody is bored of picking blueberries and none ever leave the forest with us (except for the ones rolling around in Jen and Cole's stomachs). Mom and Dad get stuck carrying all Jen's containers for the rest of the hike.
The hike itself to Goldie Lake/Flower Lake is worth doing with or without blueberries. I like Goldie Lake. It's peaceful and serene (that is until we arrive on the scene). There's a path circling the lake, which most kids can handle. Coleman did it when he was only 2. It's about 2 km long and takes an hour (so long you're not picking blueberries). One year we did the hike in September and boy were we in for a surprise. Snow, drifts of it that hadn't melted during the summer!
Age Group: The hike around Goldie Lake is not hard, but I wouldn't call it easy either. You couldn't use a baby stroller. I don't thing my grandmother could manage it, but then she's almost 80 years old. Although, like I said earlier on, Coleman did the whole hike last year, and he was only 2 years old.
Expense rating: free, and parking is also free.
: If you have a family with kids ranging in ages from 3 to 13 (like us) and you enjoy hiking, Goldie Lake is perfect. We always go in September because Jen and Coleman are preoccupied with the blueberries. I actually get a few moments of peace and quiet. Jen can't whine and eat at the same time.
: I remember one time we were walking up the rope tow hill and there was a mass of mosquitoes eating us alive. But that only happened once.
Details:Mt. Seymour is not hard to find because it is after all a mountain. You need to get to Mt. Seymour Parkway Road, which is the third exit off the Second Narrows Bridge (going north). You'll see a big fat Canadian Superstore on your right. Pass that and stay on the Parkway for about 4 km. You'll eventually get to a shopping plaza called Parkgate. Turn left at the first set of lights at the Parkgate Plaza. Then just stay on Mt. Seymour Road for about 7 miles and it will lead you up to the ski complex. By the way, if you stay on Mt. Seymour Parkway, you'll end up at Deep Cove Village, another neat place to visit.
The hike actually starts at the bottom of the Goldie Rope Tow. They have maps at the information kiosk. By the way, Goldie Lake/Flower Lake is actually just one of the many trails at Mt. Seymour. There's probably close to a hundred trails catering from beginners to advanced hikers. For more information, call (604) 924-2200. Website: www.mountseymour.com
Season:You could do the Goldie Lake hike any time of year. In fact, lots of people snowshoe around Goldie Lake in the winter. That gives me an idea-maybe I could con Mom and Dad into snowshoeing with Jen and Coleman while I head for the hills and go snowboarding. I wouldn't recommend going on a rainy day because the hike has some potentially slippery spots which little kids might fall on.
Educational Highlights: Dad says Mt. Seymour Park was made in 1936. It's 3509 hectares big, "Hey, does anybody know how big a hectare is?"
Fun for adults: This is one spot I know adults will enjoy-and I don't just mean by watching their kids have fun. I know this because we haven't missed going a year yet.