Situated on the North Shore of Vancouver, MacKay Creek is the perfect spot for a short, lovely ramble among big leaf maples, cottonwoods, and alders, all of which are a buffet for resident beavers. Mackay Creek originates at about 2800 ft. near the top on the southwest slope of Grouse Mountain and flows through 2nd growth coniferous rain-forests. The beavers inhabit the lower part of the creek, not far from where it spills into the Burrard Inlet, the muddy creek-bed being ideal for burrowing and damming.
Smoothed-down grass paths can be glimpsed all along the banks, created by beaver bellies and tails from where the industrious rodents convey their logs down to the creek.
Beavers fell larger, more mature trees to form the solid base of a dam, while they chew down younger, second growth trees for food.
Beavers fell broad leaf trees so as to encourage growth of saplings, which provides food growing within their easy reach.
While it’s easy to spot where the beavers have been, actually sightings are rare, due to their crepuscular lifestyle.
The beaver gnawings of MacKay Creek are located near Kings Mill Walk Dog Park an enclosed dog park with some rocky beach access, and is connected to Lonsdale Quay by the Spirit Trail, which is a wonderful green-way trail of leafy bicycle/walking paths that wends its way approximately 15kms across the North Shore, with a future plan of extending all the way from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. More info on the Spirit Trail