Heywood Park – An Urban Sanctuary

Photo: Rob Weiss

Blink, and you might miss this little gem on the scenic North Shore. Located on the western boundary of the City of North Vancouver, Heywood Park is sixteen hectares of lush, green, rainforest awesome! Complete with a playground, washrooms, and sports fields Heywood Park is a perfect family destination. Of course, I am always on the quest for a new walking trail, and I must say the upper forested natural areas of the MacKay Creek ravine were a delight!

Photo: Rob Weiss

During my recent excursion, I found myself alone on the trail. Within minutes, the bustle of Marine Drive was behind me, and nature surrounded me. As I strolled along the meandering creekside trail, I could hear the sound of the creek in the distance. Swollen with the onslaught of winter rains, little Mackay creek sounded more like a thundering river and upon arriving at the stream edge, I stopped transfixed by the power and beauty of the waterway.

Photo: Rob Weiss

Fascinated by the naturalness and wildness of the area I continued along the trail savouring the quiet beauty. Of course, it would be short-sighted to think of the ravine from only a human perspective. Heywood Park is also home to a diverse range of wildlife and indigenous flora and fauna. As part of the Mackay Creek watershed, the vegetation is lush as well as biologically diverse.

Photo: Rob Weiss

Recently I read an article on Mindfulness in the Forest. Simply put, mindfulness is a technique used to gain more enjoyment from life. Frankly, it doesn’t require special knowledge or insights, but in fact, it is simply about taking notice of your body, mind and surroundings. As I stood alone, at the edge of the creek, it occurred to me that I had in fact immersed myself in the beauty of the moment, a moment of sheer stillness, and for that I was grateful.

Photo: Rob Weiss

Getting There:

Nestled on the North Shore, near the Hamilton and Pemberton Heights residential areas, Heywood Park can be accessed via Marine Drive.

Winter Weather and Swollen Streams:

Use caution! During our rainy months, snowmelt combined with heavy rain means our local rivers and stream are high and flowing very fast. Remember to respect the water and be cautious when hiking close to waterways.

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