The eagle has landed! Majestic, powerful, striking, imposing, brave, noble. In aboriginal northwest coast culture, the Eagle has been a source of inspiration for both traditional and contemporary artists since the beginning of time. This amazing creature symbolizes grace and power. The eagle captures my imagination and there is no better place to get up close and personal with these fantastic birds than Mud Bay Park. During a walk, jog or ride along the dyke trail it is not uncommon to see dozens of eagles. Now is the perfect time to go to watch these symbolic birds busy at work building and repairing their nests.
The waterfront dyke trail connects Mud Bay Park in Surrey to Boundary Bay Regional Park in Tsawwassen. The trail is hard packed gravel, scenic and a treat to ride or walk. I absolutely adore the views of the ocean, Mount Baker, the tidal marshes, eelgrass beds and agricultural fields. The ideal mix of habitat makes for great wildlife viewing, and often birders on the trail will out-number the migrating and wintering waterfowl.
The eagles aren’t the only species flocking to the area. Boundary Bay Regional Airport is located adjacent to the dyke trail. Originally identified in 1941 as a potential training location for World War 2 pilots, this “little” airport now sees over 200,000 takeoffs and landings every year. Today competition for air space is fierce as Boundary Bay is an Important Bird Area and part of the Pacific Flyway migration route. Annually, thousands of birds follow this coastal route. In fact, over 333 different species of birds have been recorded in the area.
Personally, I prefer to begin my ride in Mud Bay Park and travel west, striving to time my arrival in Tsawwassen with lunch. The trail is approximately 20 km long so it is extremely important to fuel up before the return ride to the car. I’m a frequent flyer on this trail and I can honestly say the ride is never the same twice. The nature viewing changes with the weather, the light, the tides and the season, and of course you just never know what might await you around the next bend.
Parking areas are situated at the entrance to Mud Bay Park and Boundary Bay Regional Park. There are also several access points at road ends adjacent to the trail.
Remember to pack a lunch! There are no services along the route.