Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Vancouver’s Seawall between Third and Second Beach makes a fine winter walk

by Keith and Heather Nicol
A kayaker paddles just off shore
    Coastal B.C. has been hit hard with cool weather and snow this winter so when the forecast for the Feb 11-13 Family Day weekend looked sunny and “warm” we decided check out the seawall on our most recent visit to Vancouver.  The seawall is roughly 10 km in length and we have biked around it many times in the past (see:http://keithnicol.blogspot.ca/2016/10/exploring-vancouvers-stanley-park-on.html) but we have not walked the section between Third and Second Beach for ages. Since the temperatures were still cool in the shade we wanted a route that was mostly sun exposed for our early afternoon walk and this fit the bill perfectly. We were joined by our daughter Kristie, her boyfriend Eric and our son Michael. We parked near the Teahouse at the Third Beach Parking area in Stanley Park and although we had to negotiate some snowy sidewalks to start we were soon on the snow free seawall.  
Lots of walkers out enjoying the seawall
The tide was low which exposed some nice areas of flat lying rock and we saw a sea kayaker out enjoying the light wind conditions. There were many other people out walking sections of the seawall and roller bladders and cyclists as well. For those people who have not walked the seawall there is a nice separation between cyclists and walkers so you don’t need to worry about collisions. We also enjoyed spotting the winter ducks in this area and we saw several Common Goldeneye, many colourful Surf Scoters as well as the more common Mallards and American Widgeon. Once we reached the pool at Second Beach we decided that this was a good turnaround point and headed back along the seawall. This route was about 2.6 km return so is doable by a wide variety of people. Stanley Park is a great asset to Vancouver and the seawall must be one of its most popular attractions, especially on sunny winter day. For more information see: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx 
We saw several pairs of Common Goldeneye along the shore