Burns Bog Trail in Delta Nature Reserve


This trail is highly rated among many of my mom friends who rave about how fun it is for toddlers. I knew I had to check it out one day, so when Junior asked to go biking somewhere new, we immediately decided to check this trail out.

Trail Condition

This is a fairly short loop trail with a total of 4.2 km. We followed the trail here, and it’s important to pay attention to the recommended direction as it’s currently a one-way trail, going counterclockwise on the outer loop and clockwise on the inner loop.

One way trail.

We parked on the eastern corner of the parking lot at Planet Ice Delta, and followed the brick path. After walking through the Nordel Way overpass you will soon arrive at the trail head. The whole loop is stroller friendly; however, there is a small section of loose rocks that creates too much bumps and can be difficult to maneuver the stroller around. We had to turn around and pull the stroller through this section.

Pulling a double stroller through loose rocks. Good thing this was only for about 20 meters.

Unlike many of the trails we’ve been so far, this trail mostly consists of boardwalks that goes through the Burns Bog with its unique ecosystem. We learned that the Bog was formed when a lake was filled in by plant material about 6000 years ago, and the acidic and anoxic environment prevents the decay of this ‘peat’. We were basically walking on dead plant materials that are thousands of years old and will never decompose. As such, there is a great deal of carbon locked in a bog, and peatlands are the most efficient ecosystem to store carbon. “They cover only 3% of the world’s land area, but their peat contains as much carbon as all terrestrial biomass and twice as much as the world’s forests” a sign reads.

Given the sensitive and important nature of this ecosystem, park users can only walk on the boardwalk. The boards definitely made strolling around here interesting; however, you will have to be careful of the occasional holes and shaky boards, as some sections were less maintained and the boards have started to rot.

The gaps are quite wide in many places, and some plants are falling apart.

We didn’t let Junior jump on his bike right away because we wanted to assess the hazards of the boardwalk first, having read the reviews. After we went through the majority of the outer loop, he was ready to get started and we felt comfortable to let him try. Our little trail blazer absolutely love riding his balance bike here! He totally mastered those narrow spaces and sharp turns. Mountain biking has been his dream for quite some time now, and this trail is the closest to mountain biking that we’ve taken him so far.

One of the best thing of this trail is that it’s mostly shaded. We came when it’s around 29 degrees out and it feels comfortable strolling around. The occasional breeze and listening to the rustling of leaves on branches is definitely relaxing. Even our infant enjoys watching the tiny leaves falling down and been blown around by the wind.

Just some things to keep in mind, this trail is very close to the highway, so you will be able to hear highway noise at certain sections. There are also some electric transmission towers at some parts of the trail, but not in the Bog.

Wildlife

Just at the start of the trail we immediately noticed a strong, almost rotting sweet floral scent. It is the bog laurels. You can find several of these pinkish purple flowers throughout the trail. Be careful not to touch them as they can be poisonous. These flowers are often confused with Labrador tea flowers which are used to make tea. You can also find Labrador tea in this trail as well.

Bog Laurels

We also found many bilberries along the way as well as several skunk cabbage. To know more about the different plants here in the bog, you can check out the Burns Bog website. Our little cyclist zoomed too fast, so we didn’t have a chance to identify all the different plants here.

Traffic

It was surprisingly quiet when we came on a long weekend afternoon. There were also very few cyclists on the way. This place however, can get busy sometimes.

Pets

Dogs must be leashed here.

Picnic

There is only 1 picnic table on the trail. However, it may not be the best spot for a picnic as there is no view and it is directly underneath a transmission tower. It’s also in a pretty bad shape.

Breastfeeding

There are several benches along the way. Many of these benches are in the shade which is comfortable for a nice feed.

Washroom

There is one portable pit toilet at the trail head. No other washroom can be found on the trail.

Parking

The trail shares free parking with Planet Ice which is just at the trail head. There are many parking spaces available when we went, as Planet Ice seems closed due to COVID.

This is certainly an interesting trail for our little cyclist. We will be back again.

  • Difficulty – flat boardwalk, but some loose and rotting boards create a minor hazard
  • View – unique ecosystem for a nature walk
  • Traffic volume – light
  • Facilities – only one portable toilet at the parking lot
  • Overall score – 6/10 (but +1 bonus for how much fun it was for Junior to bike on)


2 responses to “Burns Bog Trail in Delta Nature Reserve”

  1. […] The Bog Trail soon splits up from the boardwalk and continued into a narrow tree surrounded path. This trail takes you deep into the park and explores the old bog structure. You can see sphagnum moss and a few wild blueberries and cranberries along the way. We also spotted some bog laurels like the ones seen in our previous biking trip at Burns Bog. […]

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