Minnekhada Regional Park

June 28, 2009

Minnekhada Regional Park is a peaceful nature sanctuary located near the Pitt - Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area in Port Coquitlam.

To get to the park, from the Lougheed highway, turn north on Coast Meridian and travel 2.5 km to Apel Drive, follow Victoria Drive for 1km to the crest of the hill and make a deliberate left turn to continue on Victoria Drive. Travel northeast for 3.5km to the park entrance off Quarry Road.

Walk along the path a short distance towards the first fork and take the trail on the right called the Lodge Trail. Five minutes later, continue right at the next fork and the first views of the lower marsh can be seen.

Top: Parking Lot

The park has several different trails to explore. Some are harder than others and a few around the marsh areas are wheelchair accessible.

A few more steps and the trail emerges from the trees along a dyke that offers a scenic view of the area. Watch for wood ducks, beavers, and other wildlife that make their homes in this protected marshland.

Top: Lower marsh area

A marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland which is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, and other herbaceous plants.

If you have time, follow the road and do a quick stop on Minnekhada Lodge. Minnekhada Lodge was built as a country retreat for hunting in 1934 by Lieutenant Governor Eric Hamber. The lodge is open for viewing from 1 pm to 4 pm the first Sunday of each month (except January).

Top Left: Viewing Platform
Top right and bottom: Minnekhada Lodge

Go back to the picnic area, take the Fern Trail which heads back into the forest and goes gradually up hill for the next 2.7km. Approximately 25 minutes later, you reach a sign which points to Addington Lookout to the right.

Addington Lookout

If you are coming back from Addington Lookout turn right at the fork and walk up a few short switchbacks before continuing through the forest. After another 15 minutes, a sign points to the Low Knoll on your left.

Go right and continue your walk as you make your way towards the High Knoll. 15 minutes later, you come to the fork that points to the High Knoll off to the right. The High Knoll is only a short distance from here, however, the trail is much steeper than any sections you have passed thus far.

Follow the trail as it makes its way uphill before eventually flattening out and ending at an amazing viewpoint. Facing south, the view from the High Knoll overlooks the Lower Marsh and the Pitt River as it flows past farmland below. On a clear day, Mount Baker in Washington state is visible.

High Knoll Viewpoint

The Pitt River is one of a number of north-south river-lake valleys which join the Fraser River along the north side of the lower Fraser River. The others are the valleys of the Coquitlam River, the Alouette River, the Stave River, Suicide Creek (Norrish Creek), the Chehalis River and, lastly, the valley of Harrison Lake, 60 km east of the Pitt.

Pitt River and Lower Marsh

The Pitt River was named for William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806). He was a British politician of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 (although at this period the term of "Prime Minister" was not used). He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death.

Pitt River

After soaking in the view, retrace your steps back downhill towards the fork and turning right, continue through the forest of cedars. Turn left onto the Log Walk Trail. You will exit the trees and see the dyke dividing the upper and lower marsh areas.

Top: Upper and Lower Marsh
Middle: Upper Marsh
Bottom: Lower Marsh

Retrace your steps and follow the Meadow Trail which eventually exits back onto the main trail. A few more steps and you are back at the parking lot where you began.

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01. N49.299932 W122.707184 Elev 25 m Parking area
02. N49.297187 W122.699952 Elev 12 m Picnic Area
03. N49.296037 W122.688547 Elev 28 m Addington Lookout
04. N49.300659 W122.690463 Elev 152 m High Knoll
05. N49.303057 W122.703960 Elev 3 m Fork, go left to take Log Walk

Distance One Way: 7.85 km (4.87 mi)
Total Time: 3 hours
Elevation gain: 125 m (410 ft)

Download route in GTM format Free software download at www.gpstm.com
Download route in plain text

Driving distance from Vancouver: 42.5 km (26.40 mi)
About 1 hour

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