Lighthouse Park Topo Map

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The first lighthouse on Point Atkinson was built in 1874 to guide ships on their way to the sawmills and logging camps along Burrard Inlet. The 75 ha (185 acres) of forested Crown land north of the lighthouse was reserved as a dark backdrop for the flashing light, leaving us today with a rare pocket of virgin forest, spared from the saws. Because of the varied topography of Point Atkinson, several different types of vegetation exist: ferns and mosses on the rounded granite knolls scattered throughout the park; giant firs on the gentler slopes and valleys; cedars, maples, alders and shrubs along the streams. The white granite headlands host their own community of arbutus, shore pine, manzanita, kinnikinnick, and finally intertidal plants and animals. This is a wilderness park with wilderness trails. On any route other than the service road, walkers must step over tree roots and around rocks. Light boots are an asset. Dry weather is safest, although I confess to having enjoyed many rainy walks in Lighthouse Park by default, when inclement weather prevented a mountain hike. The rainforest in a downpour is a wondrous place. The valley trail suggested here is well used and easy to find. Highlights: Virgin forest, rocky headland; lighthouse, sea views; arbutus; wildflowers; seabirds; intertidal life. Terrain: Some climbing. Access road, uneven forest trail, rough paths onto headland.

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