For some, getting up close and personal with several thousand birds is a little too much like stepping into a Hitchcock nightmare. For the rest of us, it’s a thrilling natural spectacle just 10 minutes away from Vancouver and an annual must-do. Here’s what to expect from a field trip to West Dyke Trail in Richmond.
Every year thousands of Arctic snow geese descend in a “blizzard” on the Richmond foreshore where the Pacific Ocean meets the Fraser River. This free spectacle is a fun family outing — one that can combine a walk or bike ride along the Richmond dyke, free play in Terra Nova Rural Park (Richmond’s awesome new million-dollar adventure play environment), and, at certain times of the year, mingling with thousands of Arctic snow geese.
You don’t need an expensive telephoto lens to get stunning photos that will be the pride of your Instagram feed: just step off the West Dyke Trail and make your way over the flat foreshore toward the geese. The telephoto lens people will be saying, “Who’s that with an iPhone in my shot?”
West Dyke Trail and Terra Nova Rural Park are located at the end of River Road in Richmond. Initially, you’ll be looking north across the Fraser River at the Vancouver Airport and beyond to UBC. In another moment, the trail bends south and that’s when you start to feel as though you’ve left the metropolis behind.
Bring good walking shoes, or boots if it’s been raining. Plan on doing lunch back in Vancouver: this corner of Richmond is where geese come to eat, not humans. – Paul Razzell
FIELD TRIP MUST HAVES