Iona Beach Regional Park


As it’s currently the long weekend before school starts, we decided to hike more trails but also to stay local and avoid the crowds. Junior once again wanted to go on his bike and I wanted to do some jogging, so we ended up on Iona Beach Park.

Trail Condition

The Iona Jetty Trail starts right off the parking lot.

We took the Iona Jetty trail pictured here. This is a long stretch of very exposed straight trail that runs 4.1km one way, or 8.2 km out and back, and an estimated 2.5 hr walk. It’s basically a large sewage pipe that discharges into the ocean at the end. Thankfully the sewage treatment plant and the jetty had virtually no foul smell at all.

To the north, UBC sits on top of the tip of the Point Grey Peninsula. To the south, planes take off with regularity from the YVR Airport. Being a perfectly straight flat line, the view changes very little on the entire trail.

Due to COVID-19 precaution, it is currently a one way trail where you head out using the top trail (on top of the sewage pipe) and come back using the bottom trail. If you feel tired and wants to head back before going to the end, around the 1km mark there is a set of small stairs that you can detour on which takes you to the bottom trail to walk back. However, this is the only detour point, after passing this point, you either have to finish to the end to turn back, or like Billy did with our stroller, take the stroller apart and lower the parts to the lower trail piece by piece.

Midway detour point.

This stone covered gravel trail is very flat and you can use a stroller here. However, there are no ramp connecting the top to the bottom trails both at the detour point and the end of the trail. So you will have to walk the small flight of stairs down, which can be tricky with a stroller.

If you were expecting a ramp to go down the pipe, none can be found.

The top trail also has more loose rocks compared to the bottom trail, which can make it quite difficult to bicycle on. Junior got tired of his bike almost immediately on the rocks and bailed out to hangout with Grandpa the rest of the morning. If you are serious on cycling, you have to bike on the much more solid and flat bottom trail out and back as indicated on the sign. Top trail is meant for pedestrians and dogs on leash only.

He posed well, but he asked to get off the trail almost right after this photo.
We reminded Grandpa that the top trail is for pedestrians only, so he went down to the lower trail. But he didn’t get to bike much because Junior latched onto him and wouldn’t go anywhere.

The main downside of this trail is that it is hot. There is no shade at all and you will be fully exposed under the sun. The top trail has some occasional nice breeze but the bottom trail is just very heated. Hydration and lots of sun protection is needed here.

At the end of the trail, there is a platform to go up on for a better view of Straight of Georgia. You can also spot many birds from here.

The viewing platform at the very end of the trail.
View of Straight of Georgia from the viewing platform. Not exactly breathtaking, except for the fact that I jogged here and was out of breath.

As for my jogging plan, I did complete my jog from the parking lot to the end of the top trail – 4.1km – in 25 minutes! For this out of shape mom, this is a big accomplishment! It has been a very long time since I jogged this far, and I’m so glad I completed it. A huge thanks to my husband, Billy, and the grandparents for being on baby duties while I accomplish my jogging goal of the day. Hopefully this can be the beginning of more jogging posts to come.

Activity

Other than walking along the jetty or cycling, you can also picnic by the beach area as there are some picnic tables. Sandy beach area is also available for the kids to have fun. I wouldn’t recommend playing in the waters though, with sewage discharge and all. The water was muddy and shallow, and when the tide goes out, it goes out for hundreds of meters at least. Not surprisingly, no one paddles here.

Pets

Pets must be leashed at all times. in the past, leash is optional in the bottom trail; however, due to the one way route implemented recently, pets now must be leashed at the bottom as well.

Another sign reads that dogs must be kept on lease on both levels of the trail.

Breastfeeding

There are two resting “sheds” in the middle of the top trail (around 1Km mark and 3km mark), but for some reason it’s completely covered and quite yucky. Other than these, there are no chairs on the trail. There are also some picnic tables closer to the parking lot. I’d say this is not a breast feeding friendly trail because you basically have to choose between the yucky sheds or sitting on the exposed trail.

Washroom

Flush toilets available close by the parking lot and the beach area. A single washroom is available at the end of the trail.

An outhouse available at the end of the trail.

Parking

There are plenty of spaces available when we came on a weekend morning.

This is unlike many trails we’ve done so far, and it’s interesting to see a different trail. The view is beautiful but it is way too hot for a morning stroll. It is a great place for a jog, since you can immediately see your finish line and be motivated along the way with markings of how much km completed. Essentially it’s a good workout trail that serves as an outdoor treadmill. We might come again when the weather cools off a bit if we need to get some jogging done.

  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Pedestrian Traffic: Moderate
  • Pets Traffic: Moderate
  • Facilities: Minimal
  • View: Mediocre
  • Overall score: 5/10

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