Nature & Trails
Geocaching: seek, clamber, find treasure, repeat.
For an exciting, inexpensive, and satisfying family-friendly day out, it’s hard to beat geocaching. Use a smartphone or other GPS device to find hidden treasures around the city in caches (usually a small waterproof container with a logbook and writing tool, sometimes a couple of trinkets). Under its dedicated GeoTour program, Richmond has 2 separate geocache series: the Geo-Quest series of 30 caches and the Canada 150 series of 20 caches. Caches are located in parks, on trails and at community facilities across the city. Download a digital GeoTour passport or pick up a printed copy from the Richmond Nature Park’s Nature House. Use this to record your progress. For more information on Richmond’s popular GeoTour program, click here. For more handy tips, here’s a link on Geocaching.
Iona Beach Regional Park
This beautiful natural setting lies just northwest of Vancouver International Airport. It overlooks Vancouver Island to the west and Vancouver to the north. Trails here are beachside, or are sandy and unmarked. The beach is long, rugged, and sits amid the Pacific Flyway, making it a hub for thousands of migratory birds. There’s also a 4-kilometre (2.5 mile) jetty with a walkway extending out into the Strait of Georgia—a wonderful place to watch planes.
Richmond Nature Park
Four walking trails totaling over 5 kilometres wind their way through 200 acres of raised peat bog, allowing good opportunities to view a spectrum of plants and animals in their natural habitat. Each season brings with it something new, like owls in the autumn and hummingbirds in the spring. The park’s Nature House is open daily and has an interpretive centre featuring displays, a working beehive, and a gift shop.
Garden City Community Park
Here, you’ll find the Arboretum, a collection of over 100 species of trees from around the Pacific Rim planted within a 2-acre area. Aside from the walking trails through this beautiful canopy, you’ll find a popular playground that was partially designed and built by kids aged 5 to 16.
The West Dyke Recreational Hiking Trail
12km round-trip 2 hours to walk
Running from Steveston to the Middle Arm of the Fraser River, this walking and cycling trail is a popular sunrise and sunset-watching destination. It also offers handsome views of the regional mountains to the north. Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
The Middle Arm Recreational Trail and Waterfront Greenway
11km round-trip 2 hours to walk
This scenic trail offers views of Sea Island and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and the imposing North Shore Mountains. It begins at the north end of the West Dyke Trail and runs along the waterfront to Cambie Road (a short walk from the Canada Line’s Aberdeen Station). Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
The Railway Greenway Tail
Round-trip 10km 1.5 hours to walk
Running north and south from the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site to the Middle Arm Dyke Trail, this route fuses pastoral and neighbourhood pit stops. Look out for the nearby historic Branscombe House, Imperial Landing and, of course, Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
The Steveston and South Dyke Trail
Round-trip 12km 2 hours to walk.
Start at Garry Point Park and head east. As you leave Steveston’s charming boardwalk waterfront, you’ll enter the South Dyke agricultural area, a rural swathe of produce and berry fields. You’ll pass the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, Imperial Landing, Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, Gilbert Beach, London Heritage Farm, and Finn Slough. Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.
The East Richmond/Queen’s Canal Recreational Trail
Round-trip 18.4km 4 hours to walk
Running alongside the North Arm of the Fraser River, this lively shoreline walk starts where No. 6 Road nears River Road. It then weaves eastwards along the waterfront to Hamilton Highway Park. You’ll enjoy vistas of the boating community with marinas, float homes, boat-builders, and more. Click here for additional trail information; click here for a route map.