Trip 035 - April 6, 2011 (Wednesday)

Iona Beach Regional Park

Richmond BC

 

Distance From Vancouver: 7.5 km via Arthur Laing bridge.

Liked: Natural views, observing aircraft, various birds, well-maintained trail, plentiful parking.

Of note: Finding this park could be tricky, there is a constant aircraft noise, no shade at all, Iona Jetty is subject to wave overruns during high winds. The information stand advises to stay off Iona Jetty during high winds. There is an obscene drawing inside the first weather shelter (shortly after the 1 km mark) - be careful, if walking with children.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates: Page 1 (Vancouver) B3. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

Related Website: Iona Beach Regional Park - Metro Vancouver Official Site.

Other Trips in Richmond Area: Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, West Dyke Trail.

The main attraction of Iona Beach Regional Park is a 4 kilometre (2.5 mile) long Iona Jetty, which you can walk, jog or bike right into the Georgia Straight, while observing numerous airplanes taking off Vancouver International Airport, or landing there. Iona Jetty path is quite similar to another Richmond attraction - West Dyke Trail - that we walked a month ago, in that it is also quite flat, offers good natural views, and allows for observation of many kinds of birds. Iona Jetty allows for much better view of airplanes than West Dyke Trail, but the downside is a constant aircraft noise, which is not an issue at the West Dyke Trail.

Other than the jetty, you can walk near some marshes at the Iona Beach park, though the walking area is not very large. There are also two picnic tables near the beginning of the jetty.

Check out the photos below to find out how to get to Iona Beach Regional Park from Vancouver. There are several free parking lots (100+ spaces) at the park.

Please, note that there is no shade in the park at all, aside from two weather shelters on the Iona Jetty. Thus, sun protection and sun glasses would be most helpful, especially on a hot day. Dog walking is allowed on the jetty, although leashing is required.

1. To get to Iona Beach Regional Park from Vancouver, drive South down Granville Street, or West on Marine Drive towards Vancouver International Airport. Here we are driving West on Marine Drive and following the sign to the airport.


Marine Drive Vancouver BC Canada

2. Get onto Arthur Laing Bridge.


Arthur Laing Bridge

3. The first exit is to Richmond and South Terminal. Don't turn right. Keep driving straight towards the Main Terminal.


Arthur Laing Bridge BC Canada

4. Soon after that, you would be on Grant McConachie Way and would see see Templeton Street North sign. This is what you need. Get ready to turn right shortly after you see this sign.


Grant McConachie Way Richmond BC Canada

5. Here we are approaching the right turn. The sign on the right side indicates that by turning right you can also reach Grauer Road, McDonald Road North and Ferguson Road.


Grant McConachie Way Richmond BC

6. After turning right, you end up on Templeton Street. Half a kilometer later, you arrive to the traffic light where you go straight to the very end of the road (which soon becomes Ferguson Road). This intersection is also remarkable because several hundred feet to the right is Canada Line's Templeton Station. This would be your starting point, if you take Canada Line to get to Iona Beach Regional Park. But it's still about 5.5 km from this intersection to the park entrance.


Templeton Street Richmond BC Canada near Templeton Canada Line Station

7. Then, there is a 5.5 kilometer drive ahead of you, with the airport on your left side almost all the way to the park. Airplanes would be flying several hundred feet above the road before landing at the airport. And at the end of the road is the park entrance. The park is open from 8 AM until dusk, so today's closing time was 9 PM.


Iona Beach Regional Park Entrance Richmond BC Canada

8. Drive straight, and soon you would see the information stand on the left side. The Iona Jetty begins there. The parking lots, washrooms, and the walking area near the marshes are straight ahead.


Iona Beach Regional Park Richmond British Columbia Canada

9. The information stand offers many interesting facts, as well as this map. We put two arrows on the map to show Iona Jetty (on the left) and Ferguson Road (on the right) which leads to the park. North Arm Jetty you see on this map has no public access.


Iona Beach Park Map

10. Alright, it's time to walk the Iona Jetty. This is the beginning, and the end can be seen in the middle right of the photo below. It looks fairly close, but it is four kilometers away.


Iona Jetty Beginning Iona Beach Regional Park Richmond BC Canada

11. A look at the fine clouds to the back and left of the photo above. The park entrance is in that direction.


Iona Beach Park Richmond British Columbia

12. And here is the Iona Jetty. Very flat. No shade. The air smells of sea. Many birds. Lots of aircraft. Bicycles are allowed only on the lower path.


Iona Jetty

13. Speaking of aircraft, sometimes you can see them landing and taking off at the same time.


Airplanes landing and taking off at YVR Vancouver International Airport

14. There are two weather shelters along the jetty. The first one, alas, features an obscene drawing - be careful if you have children with you.


Weather shelter at Iona Jetty Richmond BC Canada

15. As for the birds, we have seen countless ducks and seagulls, a few herons, a hawk, a bald eagle, and a flock of about three hundred of these sandpipers. They were making funny sounds, and were looking for food in the sand and water.


Sandpipers off Iona Jetty Iona Beach Regional Park Richmond BC Canada

16. Here is a neat shot of zigzagging water.


Iona Beach Regional Park Richmond British Columbia Canada

17. At the end of Iona Jetty, you are greeted by a small plant. A pit toilet is located nearby. There is a large treatment plant at the entrance to Iona Beach Regional Park, and the pipes carry waste from that plant under the jetty and three kilometers past the jetty, as per the information stand. The treated waste water is then dispersed into the ocean via Georgia Straight.


Iona Jetty Richmond BC

18. Beyond the small plant is the end of the path.


The end of Iona Jetty at Iona Beach Regional Park Richmond BC

19. Here we are looking back from the same spot as in the photo above.


Iona Beach Regional Park

20. Time to go back. It takes about two hours to get to the end of the jetty and return to the parking lot. Dressing in layers would be helpful, in addition to sun glasses and sun protection, if the sun is out.


Iona Jetty

Just like West Dyke Trail, Iona Jetty is an excellent walk and is definitely recommended.


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