Sunday, February 08, 2009
Caching in Surrey Bend Regional Park
Had the pleasure of getting out and caching today with Bowser98 and MrTJ in the North Surrey area. We tackled the overgrown riverside trail in Surrey Bend Regional Park as we aimed to knock off the four caches along the trail while the weather was somewhat good and the bushes and brambles had fallen back for the winter.
The Surrey Bend Park is accessed from the parking lot of the Barnston Island ferry near the north foot of 176 Street. There are a couple of caches on the small island (to drive around the island is approx 11K), but there is no public parking allowed on the island. These two caches are best done as a bike ride on a warm summer day.
The first two caches we hit were Festive Tree and The Bridge; these caches are in the main part of the park and the trail to the cache areas is flat and more or less maintained. Except for today, the snow on the ground made it a bit of a chore as we walked along the path, slip sliding around on the snow.
After these caches, there is a small creek that empties into the Fraser River and you have to dip down into the creek bed to cross the creek. Sounds easy, except as the creek bed is at river level; when the tide is high, the creek bed is under 3 feet of water. You would need hip waders to get across!
"Tide" you say? "This is a river, there's no tide here"!
Oh, but there is....the Fraser River water levels are affected by the tides all the way up river to the town of Mission; approx 60 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
To help you plan your visit, here is a web site for local Vancouver area tide levels. Click here to go to the web site.
After you cross the creek, the trail is unattended and at best is described as overgrown and unmaintained. In sections the trail can be indiscernable from the surrounding bush, and where the trail skirts the river edge, is eroded away with just the slimmest bits of land for you to walk along. Not a place for the kiddies; in the summer the bushes overgrow the trail making it hard to even see your feet as you stumble along. Ensure you keep your mouth closed, as the spiders just love to build webs across the trail in the dense overgrowth.
Cache #3 is called "Happy New Year", and we were very happy to find this one as it apparently had been moved from it's original location by approx 100'. After we gave up looking for it, Bower98 noticed it further down the trail sitting out in the open; on our return from cache #4 we picked up the cache and took it back to it's original hide.
Cache #4 is called Rivershore by the hider named Fungi (a made up name); there are two large cottonwood trees on the bank of the river that have large fungi growing out from the trunks. It was neat to see how the fungi had colonized the trees.
With #4 found, we retreated our steps the mile back to the cars by the Barnston Island ferry dock, and continued on caching in North Surrey.
Watch the Surrey Bend video by clicking on the image below;
For the rest of the day we were mostly in the Tynehead Park area where the snow was still on the ground; between the snow and the boggy grounds we managed to get our feet wet and they stayed that way for the rest of the day.
Watch the the Surrey - Tynehead video by clicking on the image below: