Terrain: Flat

Traffic: None

Season: Year Round

Distance: 11 km o/w

Access: Take the Canada Line to Aberdeen Station in Richmond, exiting from the north end of the station. Follow Cambie Road westward for a single block to gain access to the dykes that encircle the city of Richmond. Though only a block away, the traffic is a horror show around here. Just stay on the sidewalk. If your group has children in it, play it safe and walk bikes to the trail atop the embankment.

Out in the Toolies: A patch of tule fringes the marshland along the West Dyke Trail. Tule [pronounced "tooly"], was harvested and woven into mats by Coast and Interior Salish. Tule mats had a wide variety of uses from roofing materials for seasonal camps to flooring and drying mats. The term "in the toolies", meaning far from civilization, is derived from this hardy sedge.

Garry Point Park: Situated where the Fraser meets the sea, a kite enthusiast prepares to launch on a blustry day.

Steveston Quay: Prawns offered for sale at dockside.

The End


Horsetails

Horsetails

Some would say the first plant: ever! A gigantic earlier relative of the common horsetail thrived in the Carboniferous era and eventually became our present day coal deposits. Containing silica, horsetails make a natural "sandpaper." On the west coast horsetails and salmon slime were used to polish masks, canoes, bone tools and soapstone pipes. In spite of the rough texture of the stalk, the young plant heads can be eaten as asparagus.

Illustration by Manami Kimura