Stroll the boardwalks of one of BC’s most unique ecosystems.
Burns Bog has the distinction of being the largest undeveloped urban wilderness in North America – it’s eight times bigger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park! Raised boardwalks weave through forested areas and over the bog, giving hikers a close-up view of one of the Lower Mainland’s most important ecosystems.
1. The Delta Nature Reserve at Burns Bog
Burns Bog covers roughly 3,000 hectares (8,000 acres) of the Fraser River delta, and while most of it is inaccessible by the public, the roughly 4.5 km of trails in the Delta Nature Reserve make a scenic stroll.
Finding the entrance can be tricky. Park in the southeast corner of the Planet Ice parking lot, face the building, and turn left. You’ll see a sign marking the entrance to a brick path that passes underneath the Nordel Way overpass. Look for a wooden sign that says “Burns Bog” and follow the gravel trail that runs beside a slow-moving stream until you reach the first entrance to the boardwalk.
There are two trail loops. Go straight and it’s a short walk to the Tractor Trail, where kids love to look at the tractor semi-submerged in the bog. The Outer Loop Trail to the right takes you around the reserve, with the option of visiting the Tractor Trail on your return leg. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be on-leash.
2. The bog is home to unique plants and animals
The bog is unique, not only due to its size and chemistry, but also because of the range of flora and fauna it supports. It is home to a long list of plants that include bog laurel, Labrador tea, water lilies, and unique species like cloudberries, which aren’t usually found at this low altitude.
Birders will delight in spotting some of the 175 bird species that live in, or migrate through, the bog – not to mention the range of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles the bog supports. Some, like Barn Owls, the Pacific Water Shrew, and the Northern Red-legged Frog, are are vulnerable to extinction in BC. Visit the website of the Burns Bog Conservation Society to learn more.
3. Book a free public tour of the bog
The Burns Bog Conservation Society runs free public tours one Saturday per month from March through June. As you stroll, you’ll learn more about the history of the bog, how to identify some of the bog’s native species, and some of the ways local First Nations have traditionally lived off the land. Visit the Society’s website to book a tour and learn more.
4. Hungry after your walk?
Planet Ice operates a concession stand, as well as Boomers Bar and Grill. If that’s where you’re planning to land, check out their operating hours before you go.
Just a 10-minute drive up Nordel Way to 120th Street, you can be sitting at Fresh Cravings restaurant with a plate of chicken and waffles, or any of their other all-day breakfast offerings. They serve until late afternoon – check their hours before you go.