Premier Listings for Lighthouse Park
By a twist of fate, the dark background provided by a stand of old-growth rain forest on Point Atkinson’s shore in West Vancouver turns out to be its saving grace. If it weren’t for the contrast that it provides for a powerful lighthouse beacon built here in 1888, this primarily Douglas fir forest would have been logged long ago.
As it stands, Lighthouse Park contains the largest uncut, coastal-elevation trees in the Lower Mainland. And what a beautiful environment in which to view them. Waves crash against an outcropping of granite as the ocean breeze whistles through the boughs above. All this within a 10-minute walk of the parking lot. The trees are so large and, in places, poised at such precarious angles to each other that one walks past them with bated breath. The sight of an occasional bench hewn from the trunk of a downed predecessor helps to steady one’s nerve. Pause here under the shelter of their moisture-trapping limbs (some cloaked with an estimated billion or more needles) and marvel at the lushness of the understorey.
Follow along the seaside trail, part of a 3-mile (5-km) network of pathways, from the lighthouse to Jackpine Point, where you’re sure to find a smooth rock on which to pause again, beneath the polished, mahogany-coloured branches of a strawberry madrona, or arbutus as this broad-leafed evergreen tree is known in Canada. In late summer, paper-thin scrolls of bark peel off and drift with the tide, revealing a smooth, red trunk. Visit here on an autumn day to experience the Zen-like peace that pervades this oceanside scene.
Lighthouse Park is tucked away off Marine Drive in West Vancouver at the south end of Beacon Lane. To reach it, travel west on Marine from the heart of West Vancouver. The park turnoff is marked by a wooden sign; turn south on Beacon Lane and drive to the parking lot. There is regular bus service from Park Royal Shopping Centre to the park; take the Horseshoe Bay (#250).
An interpretive sign at the end of the parking lot provides a large map of the park and some natural-history notes. A concise map of park trails is also available here, complete with a suggestion for a self-guided walk to some of the more significant natural features in the park. For information, call West Vancouver Parks and Recreation, 604-925-7200.
Nearby Regions & Towns
This park is a Regional Park, Municipal Park, or proposed park, and does not fall under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada (National Parks) or the BC Ministry of Environment (BC Parks).