Terra Nova Rural Park


After spending 2 hours in the hot afternoon sun on the West Dyke Trail, we decided to explore the other end of the trail just before dusk (much smarter time to explore the relatively exposed Richmond landscape in the summer heat). We arrived at Terra Nova Rural Park.

The Terra Nova Rural Park is a 63-acre site composed of three main sections: The Adventure Play Environment to the north, the agricultural zone in the center, and the Natural Area to the south. All areas in the park are easy to walk on and stroller friendly. We entered the park from the Westminster highway entrance, and headed south to explore the Natural Area first. There are several parking lots to the north for easy access to the Adventure Play Environment if you want to bring your kids straight there instead.

Part of the trails in the Natural Area was behind a row of houses, so we felt like we were walking in a particularly beautiful back alley. The view in the Natural Area was mostly grass and bushes.

After about a 10 minute walk in the nature area, the path then connects to West Dyke Trail. This part of the trail is more covered compared to the south end of West Dyke, as there are more trees and bushes here. The cool evening breeze was also definitely helpful. The path then splits into two, with West Dyke Trail being the top more exposed path and Terra Nova park continues in a tree covered path.

After a short walk you will reach the Adventure Play Environment, which is a playground on steroids. We will discuss this separately in the next section.

We followed the trails past some historic buildings, a boardwalk, then finished off by going through the agricultural zone where you can see gardens and farms, including a sharing farm that grows veggies for the food bank. Agriculture is featured heavily throughout the park as its main theme.

Throughout this nature park, the path is mostly surrounded by tall bushes. You can also see some colourful flowers or pick some blackberries along the way at this time of year. We actually saw quite a few people picking blackberries at the bush close to the kids playground.

Beaver sightings are also common here. We probably saw 3 beavers swimming in the sloughs when we crossed one of the small bridges in the rural park. It’s our kids first time seeing actual beavers so we all got pretty excited!

An evening stroll is best completed with a nice sunset view. And the view from West Dyke Trail makes our walk all so worth it.

Playground

The Adventure Play Environment is massive. It is separated into sections, and different activities have different recommended ages. The playground contains a tandem 35m zip line (for 8 years old or above), a 3m high big swing, a few grassy knoll to roll on for little kids, and a meadow maze.

The most impressive play structure is the 10m tall treehouse with 4 levels of platforms and a huge, 3-story high stainless steel spiral slide. I can tell my toddler is fully amazed by all these play structures and really want to give them a try. Unfortunately there’s not much to do for toddlers below 5 years of age, so he just looked longingly at the big kids having fun on the big structures.

Other Activities

Not only is the playground exciting for the kids, there is also a scavenger hunt instruction set up for the kids to explore the park. Kids can run around the rural park looking for different bird houses, a few artistic benches, or counting the number of planted trees.

Cycling is also a fun activity to do, but the bumpy gravel road inside the park may be a little difficult. It’s best to bike on West Dyke Trail which intersects with the park and runs parallel to it.

Picnic

There are several picnic tables surrounding the adventure playground. Outside of the playground, there are benches along the path. Some benches inside the rural park are used as art installation and do look quite interesting (also used for scavenger hunt for the kids).

Washroom

There is a washroom by the playground and also another one at the end of West Dyke Trail.

Pets

Dogs are NOT allowed inside Terra Nova parks. However leashed dogs can go on West Dyke trail.

Parking

The parking lot beside the adventure playground is very busy and people started parking along the street. The lot on Westminster highway entrance is much more quieter.

This is definitely an interesting park that we will consider bringing our kids back again when they are older and can play in all the playground facilities.


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