Union Bay Connector Trail
A new accessibility trail, between Third Street and McLeod Road in Union Bay, will be constructed in June. The trail will assist residents of the Seaview Retirement home and the neighbourhood with a safer and more direct route to the village of Union Bay. Expect large machinery and construction in the vicinity of this area.
Goose Spit Park - winter repairs and summer preparation
Between Friday, April 23 and Friday April 30 Goose Spit park will undergo winter repairs and summer preparation. Improvements include parking lot resurfacing, the installation of seasonal accessibility mats, and work to reduce vegetation trampling and enhance the sensitive sand dune ecosystem. Expect very limited parking capacity, delays on Hawkins Road, and large machinery through out the park.
Mother and cubs roaming Seal Bay Park
A family out for late afternoon hike on Monday, April 5 encountered a mother bear with two cubs in the middle of the park. They were not far from the old Hardy while on Your Spirit Trail that they encountered the bears. Fortunately the young daughter was 'bear aware' and knew to back up facing the bear while speaking softly to it. As another couple approached them so they made sure their dog was leashed. The group was able to continue on after the bears went into the forest away from the trail.
The encounter serves as a good reminder to all park visitors to expect bears on any outing. Be sure you know what to do should you come around a corner to come face to face with mama bear. Remember as well that leashing is required on all Seal Bay trails for the next three months to allow park wildlife to raise their young free from dogs getting too close.
Leashing Required on all Seal Bay Trails
From April 1 to June 30 all park visitors are required to walk dogs on a leash. This requirement is to help ensure park wildlife have the space and security they need to raise young through the nesting and fawn season. Leashing requirements are enforced by regular patrols by parks staff and contractors.
Expect Full Parking Lots
Park visitors should anticipate limited parking at main park entrances of popular destinations such as Seal Bay, Nymph Falls and One Spot Trail. Trail visitation numbers are up significantly over the past year filling parking lots even during the weekday mornings that are cloudy and cold. To avoid congestion consider parking at alternate entrances when available such as the Hardy Road entrance for visits to Seal Bay. Also avoid the popular parks on weekends especially around 10am and 2pm. An expansion of the parking lot at the Bates Road entrance to Seal Bay is planned for September of 2021. At this point there are no definite plans to expand parking areas at any of the other parks. Thanks for your patience.
Seal Bay Park - Trail Closure
Due to a hazardous leaning tree over Fern Trail west of Bates Road the regional district has closed this section of trail indefinitely. The leaning tree is proving to be difficult to remove without requiring the falling of the large tree supporting it. Please access Sky Trail from Upland at the Bates entrance or Maple from the Loxley entrance. Fern Trail is likely to remain closed until mid-March.
Park Outings & Stormy Weather
Be cautious about hiking on forested trails when the weather turns stormy and wet. Trails can be slippery and winds can dislodge branches or provoke unstable trees to fall. Let others know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Better yet, hike with friends or family and take a cell phone loaded with a trail map for your hiking destination.
Park Outings & COVID-19
When venturing out to the parks during these uncertain times please continue safe hygiene and physical distancing as you enjoy the trails, sunshine and budding signs of spring. Please note the following closures and postponements.
- Goose Spit Park beach fires closed.
- Little River (Crescent beach) beach fires closed.
- Joe Walker Park beach fires and cooking shelter open.
- Royston Seaside Trail cooking shelter open.
Goose Spit stairs are open to uphill use permitted only. Stair climbers can return to Goose Spit via Yates Road and Hawkins Greenway which is an 820 metre round trip.
Visitors to our parks are asked to continue to follow public health recommendations and follow these important guidelines:
- Respect physical distancing practices and stay two metres (six feet) away from others. This distancing measure does not apply to families or household units.
- Stay and play in your local neighbourhood.
- Respect the natural setting and don’t leave a trace. This includes not leaving behind painted rocks or fairy forest plastic, man-made items and garbage.
- Before you go, check your local government website to view the latest facility closures and measures being undertaken to contain COVID-19.
We are monitoring Eastern Grey Squirrels. Grey squirrels are an introduced species that may pose a threat to native squirrels and birds.
We are asking park visitors to report sightings to allow us to:
- map the current distribution
- determine the spread of these species
- determine if action is required to protect native species.
If you spot a big bushy squirrel please contact us:
Fill out our online form or call 250-334-6000 or toll-free: 1-800-331-6007