A Beach Getaway 13 Km from Vancouver: Deep Cove

Remember those summers up at the lake as a kid?  You know what I’m talking about.   Pack up the car.  Drive for hours.  And, finally, you’d pull up to a quaint Main Street with ice cream shops and fish ‘n chips places.  All around nothing but mountains, trees and, in the center of it all, a glimmering lake – miles long, cobalt blue and lined with sailboats and canoes.

Believe it or not, that little lake town of yesteryear lives on (more on less) just a half hour or so outside of Vancouver.  Deep Cove, which is a mere 13 kilometers from the apartment towers of downtown, is a an  idyllic community situated on the shores of Indian Arm, a branch of the Burrard Inlet.  Despite proximity to the city, Deep Cove retains a small town, mountain retreat charm that’s a consistent hit among daytrippers.

With the weather getting nicer, I checked out Deep Cove over the weekend.  The scenic drive out on the Dollarton Highway takes you along the winding  Burrard Inlet, a deep saltwater off-shoot of the Pacific.  The town of Deep Cove comes up quick.  Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.  Main Street has a small collection of restaurants and ice cream parlors.  But the real appeal of Deep Cove is, of course, the cove.

Grassy parks with barbecues and picnic benches line the shore.  Closer to the water is a pebbly beach that nearly disappears at high tide.  Sailboats and motorboats bob in the bay and, beyond, the dark waters of Indian Arm stretch into the distance, continuing another 20 kilometers into the Coast Mountains.  Almost all of the shoreline is undeveloped, and pine forests cascade down right to the water.

Given its picturesque setting, it’s no surprise that there are a wealth of outdoor activities on offer at Deep Cove.  Deep Cove Kayak and Canoe Centre offers rentals, lessons and guided tours.  The waters of Indian Arm are normally calm, making for ideal kayaking conditions.  There are also many hiking and mountain biking trails that wind their way onto the flanks of nearby Mt. Seymour.  A popular trail that offers some easy gratification starts just outside of town on Panorama Drive.  Watch for markers for the Baden-Powell Trail, which climbs for about 30 minutes before reaching Quarry Rock, a spectacular lookout point with panoramic views of Deep Cove and Indian Arm.

Anyone else have a favorite Deep Cove activity?  Please share your experiences below.

Remy Scalza

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