Shoreline Trail (Again)

30 January 2023 – Yes indeed, again.

Every now & then, I just need a fix of the Shoreline Trail — that 6-ish km (round trip) trail in Port Moody that cups the very end of Burrard Inlet between Rocky Point Park and Old Orchard Park. Water and tidal mud flats on one side, second-growth forest on the other; always discoveries, either side.

So I ride transit a peaceful hour out to Moody Central Station, and again enjoy the Red Canoe as I drop down to ground level and start my walk.

Originally made by First Nations students in Centennial Secondary School and given long use in water, the canoe was subsequently in storage until 2015 when another group of students, this time in Suwa’lkh Secondary School, restored it for its present role of tribute and welcome.

A flotilla of Canada Geese is riding the ice-skinned waters of Burrard Inlet as I step out of Rocky Point Park onto the Shoreline Trail.

The pedestrian path (separate from the cycle path) winds through the woods, rich with detail. Whole networks of roots, a visible demonstration of the great subterranean entanglement that is a forest…

uphill curves on the Trail, with views out over water and tidal flats…

bright splatters of lichen on wonderfully textured tree bark…

winter moss! oh good grief, the sheer density & variety of winter moss on trees…

and big, fat detour signs.

Well, it’s not all adorable lyricism, is it? Sometimes you have to repair wonky boardwalks. Because, if you don’t, people might go flying splattt into the very mud flats you keep telling them to avoid.

That happens to be my favourite stretch of boardwalk, but I accept the detour (out to a busy street) with as much good grace as I can muster. I am soon back on the Trail, and rewarded with another stretch of boardwalk across another stretch of mud flats.

It, too, is satisfyingly narrow and non-linear, requiring people to slide past each other with great care. (Made more fun, this time around, when the woman sliding south as I slide north realizes we are wearing identical hiking boots. We stop all traffic to compliment each other on our excellent taste in footwear.)

Soon after, a metal relic I’ve noticed before, a reminder of the one-time busy saw mill life down here at water’s edge.

Tall remaining posts from that era, out there in the water…

and, soon after, my amazed discovery that I can actually walk out onto the Old Mill Site. It’s the first time I’ve happened to be here when tide is low enough to permit the visit. Out I go.

Considering they call this Old Mill Site Park, it’s surprising there is no plaque to state definitively which mill stood here. I later see one unofficial online reference to the McNair Cedar Mill, which was destroyed by fire in 1949, and another stating that the only known mill on the north shore of Burrard Inlet (which is where I am) operated 1882-1892. So I don’t know exactly what this used to be, and I mildly wish I did. If you know, please tell me.

Before returning to the Trail, I look west down the Inlet, enjoying the 2014 blue butterfly along with everything else.

Then it’s back to the Trail, and back to Port Moody via Rocky Point Park.

I know I’m almost there when I reach the skateboard park.

Ooops! Sorry! Did i say, skateboard park?

I mean, SK8 Park. (Get it right.)


    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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