I figure that it’s about time that I do another Stanley Park update. As a quick recap, you can read this post, but the basic jest of the story is that a horrible storm damaged a large portion of the park back in December 2006. I’m doing my best to post updates of what I’m seeing as the park cleans up and opens more portions back up to the public. After all, it’s one of my favorite places to go running.
Last week, I tried going into areas of the park that I’ve mentioned previously, but they were still closed to the public the last time I did this, at least officially. It was very easy to go around these orange and white barricades that had caution tape tied from it, spanning to nearby trees in almost spiderweb like fashion. This time around, the trails were not blocked off, seemingly open for business.
The trails were cleaned up more than the last time I was in the area around Beaver Lake, so I decided to try my chances and head over the foot bridge to the other side of the causeway. Everything on that side looks really good, but heading down the Tatlow Trail ran me into a huge, fallen down tree that is about 50% from being fully removed. There is no easy way around it other than climbing, not hopping or straddling, over the trunk that is about half my height.
Over the weekend, I tried something different, taking the SeaWall as far as I can from the English Bay side. At Third Beach, you basically have to turn back because the rest of the way around the park is still closed. At that point, I went up towards Stanley Park Drive and the Sequoia Grill. From there, I followed the road to Hollow Tree, then took my chances with the Rawlings Trail, hoping that I wouldn’t run into any road blocks.
Happily, the trail takes you all the way up to the Prospect Point Picnic Area, or what I usually just refer to as the ball diamond. What is shocking is the damage.
This is an area that I have become very familiar with, and the fact that there is no canopy to speak of leaves you awe struck. It seems surreal to see so much sky at that point. The sides of the trail is lined with debris. What is still standing seems beat up. There’s other parts of the park that I have referred to as being like a war zone, but this looks more like a bombing run.
Prospect Point certainly took the brunt of the damage. The clean up, albeit still much slower than what I would anticipate, has opened up a lot more to people who want to get inside on foot. You still want to have a forethought to caution and be prepared to get a little dirty when you have work your way around trees that block your forward progression. I had to high step through a few areas about a handful of times on each venture.
My hope is to get some more pictures posted of what I’m seeing, more so in comparison to areas that I have photographed previously[flickr]. My plan is to post some side by side, before and after shots. I hope to do that in the coming week or so.