Iona Beach Regional Park
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How to get there by transit: Umm, you can’t. However, you can take your bicycle on the 98 to Airport Station. From there cycle west on Miller Road toward Russ Baker Way (i.e. the Airport) and turn right onto Templeton Street heading North, then keep going as it becomes Ferguson Road. The distance from the Airport Station to the park is about 8km.
Size: 30 Hectares, whatever that means! What it does mean is 16km of hiking, 2km of horseback riding and 8km of cycling.
Features and selling points: This is a quiet park, apart from the birds! Approximately 300 species of birds call it home and the park is one of the best places in North America to study shore birds. Unsurprisingly dogs must be kept on a leash. The 4km jetty takes you way out into the sea! In addition to fantastic birding, you will be rewarded with amazing skies, beautiful sunsets as well as the old jet to watch landing at YVR – the walkers and cyclists have their own paths. The beach has the biggest collection of drift wood anywhere which means there’s always a place to sit. This is a classic piece of the Pacific North West, you can ponder your thoughts by sand dune habitats, saline dune meadowns, wetlands and riverbank not to forget the beach of course.
History: The park was opened in 1990 by the then BC Premier, William N. Vander Zalm and later developed as a part of the YVR Habitat Compensation Program after the second runway was built in 1992. 400 metres of tidal channels were created for herons and fish as well as the planting of around 1500 native trees and shrubs.
Notes: For Leftantler and I this is a great place to take photographs. In a sometimes hectic city this is a fantastic escape and a perfect place to recharge!