One place I have always seen posts about but never had the chance to visit was Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver.
Since I had some errands in Vancouver, I decided to make the extra twenty minute drive from our destination and check it out!
I started my day with two kids who insisted life is better at home, and they did not want to leave. My son even offered to babysit my daughter until my husband got home from work in a few hours…. not happening!
So, after a brief speech about respect working both ways and the fact that I have been very laid back during these two months at home, they grudgingly marched upstairs to get dressed for the day.
The drive to Vancouver was uneventful except for the odd grumble from the backseat (cue turning up the radio for a good song!)and we met up with my niece in no time! Having her was a huge help because my son is three years older, can move a lot faster than my daughter and loves to climb.
The parking lot fills up fast and people did not park according to the signs so there was not as many parking stalls as there should have been…. we lucked out and got a spot and set off on our way.
There are some informative signs along with a map at the parking lot entrance, as well as paper copies of the map to take with you.
We took the Beacon Lane Trail or the direct route to the Lighthouse viewpoint, as labelled below.
The path starts off downhill into the lush forest with a few more informative signs about flowers and animals commonly found in the area.
You continue downhill and come to a small cluster of older looking cabins and a sign explaining how these cabins were used as barracks during World War Two and the creation of Point Atkinson.
I had no idea this was a historical landmark and had only read about it being a beautiful place to take pictures! My kids rolled their eyes at my excitement but read the signs with me.
From there we continued on along the trail to the Lighthouse Viewpoint! Amazing views at the top!
From here we made our way down the viewpoint rocks and followed the trail to the beach. The trail has rock steps carved out and is a really beautiful trail!
The forest is nice and cool and you do not feel the heat of the day at all. There is a short set of wooden stairs and another Informative sign about The Seaside and then you arrive at the beach!
We climbed up to the rocks and spent some time enjoying low tide, fresh air, and being out of the house.
We even found a sea star and some hermit crabs! You never know what you might find during low tide!
I could have spent hours sitting and enjoying the shoreline! It was so beautiful and felt so refreshing to be by the ocean.
We decided it was time to head back and on our way back up the trail it became obvious that earlier is better at this park. There were a bunch of people waiting at the top of the stairs to get down! We hurried up the stairs and returned to the trail back to the parking lot.
The walk back was just as beautiful, although with a few more people on the trail.
We got back to the parking lot and it became clear this was a very popular park and parking was a high commodity! We had someone waiting for us to leave before I even got the kids into the truck!
If I were to do this hike again I would leave even earlier and try to start around 9am or earlier so you can sit and enjoy the views without being surrounded by people.
My kids ended up loving the hike (except my daughter when she twisted her ankle on the shore and had a brief meltdown). They enjoyed the views, the signs, and the ocean air.
On the drive home, sweaty and tired, the kids agreed that was a great way to spend the day and two hours wandering the forest and beach was just maybe more fun than staying home all day.
That morning arguing with them to leave the house, a small part of me felt like giving up and just staying home like they wanted.
However, we had errands to get done in Vancouver, and I had pumped myself up for this hike! I threw some candy in our bag just in case I needed incentives on the trail, and I actually forgot about them until we stopped for a snack on our way back! They did not grumble or complain once the whole way to the beach so I forgot about them!
Ultimately it was an amazing day with my kiddos, one that we will all likely remember for a long time.
It was worth the grumbles and ‘I don’t want to’s’ getting them out of the house, because ultimately we all had a great day, got exercise and enjoyed hours of fresh air. My son hates the camera and when I was looking through the photos I found one from the start of the hike with the biggest grin on his face! I might have to frame that one….
“If we are growing, we are always going to be out of our comfort zone”- John Maxwell