It’s been over a year since I’ve been to this park. It was one of the very first hikes I did when I first decided to go on my New Zealand adventure. And what a difference a year makes. I remember back then the final trail, Beacon Lane Trail, to be a brutal hill before reaching the parking lot. And now, I had to wonder where it disappeared to. It hasn’t disappeared of course, but it just amazes me how our mind can make “a mountain out of a molehill”. Yes, my fitness level has improved a lot in all this time, but I remember it as being a never ending, brutal and cruel way to end a hike back then and this time, it was just a minor hill. I returned to Lighthouse Park, even though it’s listed as “Easy” with minimal elevation, because I was returning with Nicole. It is the start of the hiking season for her and we figured it would be a nice way to ease back into hiking. Both of us sported new footwear, me with a new pair of hikers and Nicole with a lovely pair of trail runners. My old pair of hikers has been retired and for sentimental reasons, I haven’t actually disposed of them yet. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my old hikers, but I don’t want to toss them just yet. I’ll figure it out eventually. We both were not as prepared for the weather as we would’ve liked. It was raining off and on all morning but it wasn’t cold. It was actually kind of muggy. We did not follow the trail suggestions that were listed on vancouvertrails.com. Instead, we went the opposite way. Like I said in my first post about Lighthouse Park, make sure you grab a map before you start in on the trails. Without the map, you could easily get disoriented. We chose to head out on the Juniper Loop and head out to Juniper Point.
Afterwards, we headed south along the Seven Sisters Trail towards the Lighthouse Viewpoint. For the most part the trails were quite nice, even in the rain, the paths were mostly dry but do be careful on the rocks and the roots that are exposed to the rain. I slipped a few times and actually did land on my butt at least twice. But it’s all good. At the Lighthouse viewpoint, you see the lighthouse with Burrard Inlet just behind it. It’s nice for a picnic stop, if it’s a nice day, but in this dreary weather, we turned around fairly quickly and headed down to the Phyl Munday Nature House and the other buildings in that surrounding area. Head behind the Phyl Munday House and you’ll actually get closer to the Lighthouse. If the gate is open, you can head closer to Point Atkinson and get a better view of the lighthouse. But you’ll never actually get right up to the lighthouse, which is too bad. Please be respectful of the property as you walk closer to the lighthouse. They have a very nice garden for you to admire.
After snapping a few pics, we headed back up the driveway and walked around the buildings. It was at this point that Nicole saw the “Stop” sign. So of course, instead of stopping, we had to explore. Why did they want us to stop? What was beyond the stop sign? Well, that would’ve been East Beach. The tide was out so in addition to the lovely smells of the forest, we had the distinct smells of seaweed and other briny seashells. After a little log hopping and then rock climbing, we found a different view of the lighthouse. I’m sure in sunny weather it would’ve been quite an impressive sight. But this time, I was more drawn to the low hanging cloud and the oil tanker.
All in all, it was a nice easy hike, which is what we both needed today. There are a lot of other trails in this park worth visiting. I remember Eagle Point was quite impressive and there was a nice view at the Summit as well. From what I can remember, Salal Loop was also a nice trail to walk. We will have to do this again, hopefully on a nicer day and other than the mugginess of the day, it was an enjoyable hike.