Stepping Out at 1001 Steps

Fishing from the shore at 1001 Steps Photo: Rob Weiss

I didn’t count, but as I descended the bluff side stairway in Ocean Park towards the beach I was confident there were close to 1001 steps, at least my knees seemed to think so. In truth, this fantastic zig-zag staircase consists of only 284 steps; all of them are marvellous. Dropping 40 metres from the trail head to the ocean, the pathway offers a short trek through a natural area to the beach, with peekaboo ocean views of Boundary Bay across to Point Roberts.

1001 Steps Photo: Rob Weiss

People from across the lower mainland regularly flock to this pocket park known as 1001 Steps. Fitness fanatics run sets up and down the stairs at breakneck speeds, families toting chairs and coolers set their sights on the rocky shoreline and nature enthusiasts with cameras in hand seek out wildlife viewing opportunities. Personally, I enjoy a good old fashioned dawdle. I prefer to take the slow lane and soak up the nuances of the environment around me as I pound up and down the stairway.

Rocky Shoreline at 1001 Steps Photo: Rob Weiss

Recently, after enjoying a long, slow descent, I arrived at the base of the staircase. Seeking the beach, I continued along a short trail and passed through a small underpass beneath the railway line. Emerging from the graffiti covered tunnel, I arrived on the rocky shoreline at low tide, the ideal time for beachcombing! Like a sleuthing detective, I carefully sought out and examined the plants and animals that make their home in the intertidal zone. Fascinated by the rich diversity of life, I felt like an aspiring marine biologist.

Sunset at 1001 Steps Photo: Rob Weiss

Time passed quickly, and as the tide began to change, I returned to the shore.  As I sat on the beach, contentedly watching a family skip stones, I noticed the sun beginning to set. As it threatened to dip below the horizon; the sky began to light up in a blaze of colour. Vibrant orange dominated the skyline and reflected off the water signalling the end of another perfect day at the beach. As I gathered up my backpack, I noticed the moon rising. Delighted, I climbed back up the steps under the glow of a full moon. The number of steps no longer seemed to matter!

Rising Moon at 1001 Steps Photo: Rob Weiss


Getting There:

The Ocean Park neighbourhood in South Surrey is home to 1001 Steps. Access the trail head at the end of 15A Ave., off 126A Street. Parking is limited; consider leaving the car at Kwomais Point Park and extending your walk from there. Remember, the rail line is active. Exercise extreme caution near the tracks.

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