Updated: Jun 15, 2020
My grandmother always said you can't give something away without it coming back to you 10 fold. Truer words could not have been spoken and time and time again, I experience this wonder in my own life. This park was an unusual gift to us from the universe when we dropped off some cookies to a friend who was going through a challenging time.
Since my kids last about 30 minutes in the car before the get fidgety and need a break, I knew once the cookies had been delivered, we would need to find a spot to stretch legs before heading home. I was prepared and I had lunch packed in the car. While I sat outside my friend's house, I simply looked on my map to find the closest patch of green. This park was less than 1 minute away from where we were stopped and we ventured into it curious but without expectations.
It was just like walking through a closet into Narnia. This forest was majestic. We didn't even know it was appropriately called the Pacific Spirit Regional Park until we returned several weeks later wanting to experience it again. There were large trees showing glimpses of the 1900's when loggers cut down trees manually with a saw. Roots as wide as board walks, intertwined to climb up.
Each time we walk through this forest, my children instantly wander off the path, called to some marvel. Moments later I set up our picnic and we gather for a meal. I know the park is really big with over 750 hectares of forest. It also has over 360,000 dogs coming through annually on walks with their owners. I have to believe this large number is true based on the sheer volume of dog (and sometimes horse) poop we see and stepped in when we went off the main path. I digress.
Delicious hidden surprises like Salmon and Black berries are displayed and fresh for picking along with some poisonous berries that we avoided on our walk.
The forest was wonderful. It had a wide path and some wide clearings where the children have been able to run around and play tag, hide and seek or even ride their run bikes over the roots of the trees.
Nature has been the best place to sooth any anxieties our children may be experiencing. We are so grateful to have found another gem to explore. Denzel has discovered a love for climbing big and small trees. This is something I enjoyed doing as a child too so it is wonderful to live in a place where he can have that same experience. He often climbs one just to hang out in it.
In this forest, I've enjoyed stringing my hammock across two trees, and letting the children come and go onto it as a sort of gathering space for lunch, or their thoughts, before running to play again.
A friend reminded me today how very lucky I am to live in a place like this. I couldn't agree more. I'll need to bake more cookies to share with friends and see what else the universe throws my way in return as I continue my journey.
Washrooms? Few and far between outhouses
Horses and dogs welcome on trails
Wheelchair accessible on loose earth
Lots of shade
Historical logging sites
Bikers and runners' delight
Leads to Spanish Banks Beach
Suitable for all ages.