Ringed by the distant snowy peaks of the Cascade mountains to the north and a patchwork of lush lowland marshes to the southeast, Pitt Lake is an idyllic spot burgeoning with spectacular views, glimpses of wildlife, and a deep, serene silence that is all too hard to find these days.
Dog-and-bicycle friendly, the Nature Dyke Trail is a flat, easy 6km loop that starts out from the very northern tip of the Pitt Lake parking lot, near the canoe rental shed, and encircles a portion of the Pitt-Addington Marsh. You can opt to start out heading south on the trail through a green, leafy path, or east along an open, sun-drenched gravel road (no vehicles permitted).
Even though the parking lot was packed to overflowing and the road into Pitt Lake was lined with parked cars, the trail was sparsely populated. To the left stretched Pitt Lake, to our right a marsh replete with fish, croaking frogs, and Canada Geese with their new goslings.
At the end of the gravel road, we headed east along the loop, which is partially grassed over and covered liberally with goose droppings. Even less people walked this section of the trail. Rocks cloaked in hemlocks and Douglas firs rose up toward the mountains on our left. The silence was dense and delightful, broken only by the swish of our shoes in the grass and the occasional frog croak or mallard duck quack. We saw two beaver lodges, and one of the few folks we met on the trail reported he’d been lucky enough to glimpse a resident beaver.
At a leisurely pace, with lots of stopping for photos (and to pry our dog away from rolling in irresistibly gooey goose droppings) we completed the loop in about two hours. This last section of trail was leafy green and buzzed with honey bees collecting pollen from the wild raspberry bushes interwoven among the tall grasses and vine maples lining the path. (This part would be very tricky by bicycle and an unpleasant, if not impossible, challenge for those pushing a baby stroller).
At Pitt Lake itself, you can rent canoes for $55/day as of 2017 (no half day rental rates). Be forewarned: they accept cash only, don’t take reservations, and on sunny days can be emptied out of canoes by 9:30a.m. One day soon we hope to return and rent a canoe to paddle 45 minutes across Pitt Lake to Widgeon Falls.
There are no food facilities at Pitt Lake and unless you want to drink from the lake itself, bring your own water. There are Port-a-Potties on site, but we didn’t test them.
Pitt Lake is approximately a 50 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. It isn’t on a public transit route and much too far for a taxi ride from the city of Pitt Meadows–a car is required.
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