I was inspired to create an entry for my Metro Vancouver Park Series after my recent kayaking trip so here’s what you’ll need to know about exploring Belcarra.
Metrics: 1,100 hectares (2,718 acres) with 22 km of hiking trails and 9.5kms of bike trails.
How to Get There: There are three main destinations in Belcarra Regional Park that include Buntzen Lake in Anmore, White Pine Beach at Sasamat Lake, and Belcarra beach / day-use recreational area.
If driving, head into Port Moody and take Ioco Road North/West, continue to 1st Ave and turn right following 1st as it becomes Bedwell Bay Road where you’ll find White Pine Beach (often crowded since it’s so popular). Continue on Bedwell Bay Road to the three-way stop, turn left, then keep right to the picnic area parking lot. By transit you can take the C26 community shuttle from Port Moody Station to Belcarra Road right down to Midden Road or hop off earlier if you have another destination along the way.
Features: Dogs are allowed on-leash, there are picnic areas (two covered), concession, swimming, tour bus access, boat launch, and many more facilities.
History: On August 22, 1979 the Village of Belcarra was incorporated but the history of the region runs far deeper. “Belcarra was a traditional camping area for the Tsleil-waututh, the First Nations people whose territory it is in.” [wiki] Mr John Hall from Ireland purchased the a land in 1882 (Lot 229), which included the entire present-day Belcarra picnic site, more than half of the Belcarra Peninsula and all of the Turtlehead and Whiskey Cove areas [pdf]. Hall got caught up in a murder and promised his attorney, William Norman Bole, all of his land in exchange for his defense. “William Norman Bole gave Belcarra its Celtic name that means â€œthe fair land on which the sun shinesâ€. In 1886 he became an MLA and in 1889 a judge of the County Court of New Westminster. In 1908, he subdivided Lot 229 and it was registered in the name of Belcarra-Bedwell Bay Land Company.” [pdf]
Notes: When I was little I used to affectionately call Belcarra’s picnic area the “goose poop” park because of all the Canadian geese that would hang out on the lawn. There’s plenty of wildlife, from geese to sea stars, and it’s the ideal beach for an afternoon nature walk. Take a stroll along the water’s edge, making discoveries in tide pools, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.