Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park is a popular park in West Vancouver, Canada. Its area is about 75 hectares (185 acres) and it is almost completely covered with rugged, virgin rainforest. At the southermost tip of the peninsula is Point Atkinson with an impressive landmark lighthouse built in 1914 on granite boulders jutting out into Burrard Inlet. Point Atkinson was first charted and named by Captain George Vancouver in 1792 and is a National Historic Site of Canada. The Point Atkinson Lighthouse is the location of Starboat Cove, which may be reached by hiking the Valley Trail in this park.

The park contains the city's last remaining stand of first-growth Douglas fir, as well as some magnificent Western hemlock and Western Redcedar. Whereas most of the region has been logged, the trees in what is now the park were spared as they provided a necessary dark background for the lighthouse. The area was thus set aside in 1881 as the lighthouse reserve. Some ancient trees reach heights of up to and are around 500 years old. A tree that fell in the 1990s had enough rings to suggest that it had already been a mature tree at the time of Christopher Columbus.

There is a network of hiking trails in the park, some of which are fairly rough and can be slippery when wet. The park receives more than of rain annually and has an abundance of various ferns, berries and mushrooms.

Visitors should wear good walking shoes as the trails are often slippery due to the damp microclimate. Another word of caution: do not leave any valuables in the car as the parking lot at the entrance to the park is a scene of regular break-ins.

Access to the park is through Beacon Lane off Marine Drive.

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