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This regional park encompassing the former University Endowment Lands has a surprising drawback for the uninitiated walker: too many trails rather than too few. To help you get started, here are two walks, one from north to south, the other from east to west, each described by naming the trails used, names celebrating the history and natural history of the area.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park Professional Review and Guide
"This regional park encompassing the former University Endowment Lands has a surprising drawback for the uninitiated walker: too many trails rather than too few. To help you get started, here are two walks, one from north to south, the other from east to west, each described by naming the trails used, names celebrating the history and natural history of the area."
--Mary & David Macaree, 109 Walks in British Columbia's Lower Mainland (Greystone Books).
More Pacific Spirit Regional Park Professional Reviews and Guides
"This trail is located at the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands, Vancouver. The south half of the Pacific Spirit Regional Park offers a wider selection of trails and smoother gradients. This ride circumnavigates the lower section of trails to make a 7.9-km (4.9 miles) loop. It is wide, with little change in elevation, offering a peaceful wooded ride. South of 16th Avenue, the trail network becomes more convoluted and the options increase. Although this route maximizes the distance on the southern part of the network, one can easily meander for hours without needing to look at signs. When it's time to head home, simply get your bearings at the next sign. You're never far from the road. In every case, it seems that 16th Avenue is the high point of the network, with trails dropping off to the north and south."
--Ward Cameron, Mountain Bike! Southwestern British Columbia (Ward Cameron Enterprises).
"In 1989 the 765-ha (1900-acre) tract of forest and foreshore was dedicated as parkland. Today, an extensive trail system explores the different ecological areas of coniferous forest and alder woods, beach and bog. The park provides a home for small mammals, amphibians, many species of birds and a host of plants. Each form of life establishes itself in its own preferred environment, so that a walk in the park can be a fascinating study. Highlights: Coniferous and deciduous forest; dogwoods, aspen, witches’ broom; cedar waxwings, kinglets, grosbeaks. Terrain: Flat. Forest trails."
--Jean Cousins, Nature Walks Around Vancouver (Greystone Books).
"This trail is located at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Part of the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands, Pacific Spirit Regional Park provides a touch of wilderness in the middle of the metropolis of Vancouver. The trails are all rated as easy and feature wide gradients and well-maintained surfaces. Park managers have been careful to create a network of trails designed to minimize conflicts between users; it is incumbent on mountain bikers to honour these efforts by staying on designated trails and avoiding the temptation to poach some of the narrower singletrack hiking trails. Wooden gates have been placed at the entrance to the hiking only trails to indicate closure to cyclists. Although largely forested, the trails traverse forests of western red cedar mixed with stands of cottonwood and bigleaf maple. The understory is a mixture of vine maple, salmonberry, and ferns."
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