Today was a great day and once again made me appreciate the treasures that I have close to home. Mike and I recently traded in our clunky old mountain bikes for a pair of sleek hybrids. We’re on a mission to explore Vancouver area bike trails and we discovered a beauty—the Traboulay PoCo Trail in Port Coquitlam. PoCo, for short, is a bustling community surrounded by busy highways and massive bridges. But, you’d never know it biking the 25+ km PoCo loop trail. The gentle, mostly hardpacked gravel trail passes through peaceful farmland, forests, and wetlands. A large portion travels along dykes with beautiful river and mountain views. And, there’s plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing…
Lets get to the day’s highlight.
Bears are common in this area as they love feasting on the berries that are grown on the massive blueberry farms. I have great respect for bears and don’t usually stick around to take photos. Today was different. We assessed the situation: we were on a dyke separated from the bears by a thick tangle of thorny blackberries, a stream, and an electric fence (I have no idea how they got through the fence). They heard us, looked up, and then casually sauntered away. It was a rare and special treat.
The photo above shows our actual distance from the bears, the other photos were taken with a telephoto lens. All the bushes in the middle distance are blueberries.
Nothing matched the excitement of the bears, but we found lots of other wonderful distractions. There are herons in abundance, bald eagles, and all kinds of sea birds. If you’re lucky, you might see (or hear) owls, river otters, beavers and turtles.
The landscapes are wonderful too. From the mighty Fraser and Pitt rivers to the meandering Coquitlam River, the trail never veers far from water.
On a hot day like today the Coquitlam River is very inviting. There are several short turn-offs from the trail that take you to the water’s edge.
There are lovely forested sections of the trail around Hyde Creek Nature Reserve and Wellington Park.
Colony Farm Regional Park is another beautiful section of the PoCo Trail. Its marshes are home to lots of birds and it has a great display of wildflowers.
We’ll be back to ride it again in fall!
Facts and Maps
The map below shows parking options and suggested route, but you can start anywhere and go either direction. We started at #4 on the map and rode counterclockwise. We also added on the Minnekhada Loop, which can be seen on the upper right-hand side of the map (this loop is gorgeous and your best bet for spotting bears). Adding the 10 km Minnekhada Loop makes the outing 35 km. At a leisurely pace with photo stops and a long lunch, it took us about 4 hours.
Speaking of lunch, a picnic is a great option, but we weren’t organized. We had lunch in downtown PoCo at the Kebob House (yummy), which is easily accessed from Lions Park (#1 on map). Next time we’d like to try the Gillnetter Pub, between #4 and #5. It’s right on the river and apparently has a great patio.