Deep Cove wasn’t on my list of places to visit but our neighbours encouraged us to go explore the area and I’m so glad they did. The quaint community of Deep Cove is nestled in a small bay on the eastern edge of North Vancouver. When we arrived in Deep Cove there were rows of kayaks, paddle boards and canoes lining the shores, all pointing to the popular pastime of paddling up the Indian Arm fjord. It didn’t take long for the charm of Deep Cove to start working its magic. As we strolled through Deep Cove Park I was already imagining a family kayaking adventure up the fjord, but kayaking would have to wait for now because we had come to hike the Quarry Rock Trail.
Quarry Rock Trail is a 3.8 km round trip trail that starts in Deep Cove, along Panorama Drive, and ends on an large outcropping of rocks that can be seen from the park. The well signed trail climbs through a dense forest over many sets of stairs and plenty of gnarly roots before reaching an amazing view at the top. This trail isn’t an easy hike by any means but because of the shorter length, many interesting features (stairs, bridges, water, gnarly roots, big trees) and amazing view at the top our family really enjoyed it. My two older children (aged 8 and 6) handled the hike very well and even my youngest (4) was able to hike most of the way up. It took us about 2.5 hours to complete the hike.
Despite being tucked away in Deep Cove, this is a very popular hike. Even mid-week during the summer there were plenty of people on the trail and we had to regularly step aside to allow fellow hikers to pass. I would recommend getting an early start in the summer to avoid the crowds as well as the afternoon heat. Be sure to bring plenty of water and some special snacks to enjoy at the top. A final warning, there are no fences or rails at the lookout so keep you children very close at the top.
After hiking the Quarry Rock Trail we drove to Cates Park to spend time with our friends and go scavenging for shells and crabs at the beach. Cates Park, or Whey-Ah-Whichen, is a large park located off the Dollarton Highway. There is a great playground and beach there and it was surprisingly quiet when we stopped by. We all enjoyed walking along the beach to collect crabs and find sea stars.