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Guide to Belcarra Regional Park: Metro Vancouver’s Historic Park

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We just can’t seem to get enough of Vancouver’s parks, so we ventured to this hidden gem nestled in the heart of Metro Vancouver. Have you heard of it? Well, chances are you have. Why else would you find yourself reading this guide?

We’ve had tons of fun during our visits here, and we made this guide for you to make the most out of your visit to Belcarra Regional Park.

What is Belcarra Regional Park?

Once upon a time, Belcarra Regional Park served as a camping spot for the Tsleil-Waututh, the First Nations people. However, around 1858–1864, a smallpox outbreak hit the Indigenous community, leading to the abandonment of this site.

The resilient ones who remained decided to pack their bags and cross the Burrard Inlet, leaving Belcarra behind. Soon after, European settlers swooped in, but their arrival was marked by a rather notorious murder in 1882.

What is Belcarra Regional Park
Image by Tsleil-Waututh Nation via https://twnation.ca/

The land eventually ended up in the hands of William Norman Bole, the defending solicitor, who gave it the name Belcarra.

Before you knew it, a cute little summer cabin popped up. Over time, more cabins joined the party, and the local ferry company even chipped in by building a pier, park, and campsite for vacation enthusiasts.

Admiralty Point, located inside Belcarra, luckily, escaped the clutches of development as it was designated a government naval reserve. Fast forward to today, and the area has blossomed into a lovely regional park.

Renaming of Belcarra Regional Park

On October 8th, 2021, Tsleil-Waututh and Metro Vancouver joined forces to declare that Belcarra Regional Park will be known as təmtəmíxwtən/Belcarra Regional Park, a name that pays homage to the ancestral home of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

In a formal ceremony, they put pen to paper to commemorate this significant name change and to honor the deep connection between the Tsleil-Waututh people and this area.

Renaming of Belcarra Regional Park
Image by Metro Vancouver via https://mvupdate.metrovancouver.org/

So, what does təmtəmíxʷtən mean? According to the experts at Metro Vancouver, it translates to “the biggest place for all the people.” A name that certainly paints a vivid picture!

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Metro Vancouver bigwigs gathered at the regional park, which also happens to be the grandest of the Tsleil-Waututh’s ancestral villages, to unveil this new moniker.

And here’s the kicker: all the signs in the park are getting a makeover to proudly sport the new name, təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park.

Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST) (UTC-8)

Best Time to Go

The best time to go to Belcarra Regional Park is during the months of June until early September as this is when the weather is typically warm and sunny, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming in the park’s beautiful lakes.

Alternatively, if you want to avoid the crowds, opt for the shoulder seasons or even winter as the park is much more quiet and peaceful during these times.

How to Get There

By car: Drive towards barnet Highway or Lougheed Highway to Port Moody, then proceed north on Ioco road. Then, turn left at the fourth traffic light, and take a right to First Avenue which becomes Bedwell Bay Road, and head into the park.

By bus: Hop on the Skytrain heading to Moody Centre Station. Once you arrive there, catch the 182 bus to reach the Belcarra picnic area, or alternatively, you can opt for 150 bus to White Pine Beach.

Things to Know

Fees at Belcarra Regional Park

There’s no admission fee to enter Belcarra Regional Park!

Parking at Belcarra Regional Park

Alright, let’s talk about parking at Belcarra Regional Park. You can park for free before 10 a.m., but if you plan to stay a bit longer, here’s the deal: it’s $2.50 for the day or $15 for the whole day. 

This pay-to-park system covers all the parking spots within the park, including the ones at White Pine Beach, Belcarra Picnic Area, and Woodhaven Swamp. Pay parking is also in effect along Tum-tumay-whueton Drive marked with signs.

Paying is a breeze – you can use your credit card or opt for the PaybyPhone or HONK app. And for those times when you’re short on data or simply prefer it, there’s even a pay-by-phone option.

Where to Stay near Belcarra Regional Park

Poco Inn and Suites Hotel

Poco Inn and Suites Hotel
Image by Poco Inn and Suites via https://poco-inn-and-suites.com/

Address: 1545 Lougheed Hwy., Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 1A5, Canada
Phone: +1 604-941-6216
Pricing: $$

The Poco Inn and Suites Hotel may look like a pizza restaurant with its rustic exterior and red brick facade. However, inside is a cozy place with pretty nice amenities for a three-star hotel— including a dining room, fitness center, and business rooms.

Themed rooms at this place really know how to make an impression. They’ve got rooms inspired by the 50s, a deserted island, and even one that’ll make you feel like you’re in the middle of a Romeo and Juliet drama.

Ramada by Wyndham Coquitlam

Address: 631 Lougheed Hwy., Coquitlam, BC V3K 3S5, Canada
Phone: +1 604-931-4433
Pricing: $

Ramada by Wyndham Coquitlam transports guests back in time, when hotels were not as tall as skyscrapers and modern amenities were not as common. This classic hotel on Lougheed Hwy has all your basic lodging needs.

There’s daily housekeeping, a perfectly warm indoor pool, and a restaurant and cafe inside to satisfy your dining needs.

Executive Plaza Hotel Coquitlam

Address: 405 North Rd #1, Coquitlam, BC V3K 3V9, Canada
Phone: +1 604-936-9399
Pricing: $$

The Executive Plaza Hotel Coquitlam is all about the lap of luxury. Every room here spoils you with HDTV, in-room movies, and a trusty coffee maker. And that’s not all—they’ve even got tennis courts and business centers right on the premises.

Try to make time to enjoy the heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub. It’s quite relaxing to take a dip and unwind after a long day of exploring Belcarra Regional Park.

The Rhodo Place

The Rhodo Place
Image by Rhodo Place via https://www.booking.com/

Address: 992 Kinsac St, Coquitlam, BC V3J 4V1, Canada
Phone: +1 403-560-8002
Pricing: $

This charming guest house has that cozy, at-home vibe, set amidst a picturesque park-like environment with mature trees. The property has two beds and one bathroom with stunning garden views.

A babbling creek meanders through the thick, green forest of the Miller Park mountains. Once you settle in, you might find it hard to say goodbye to this delightful accommodation.

Happy Day Inn

Happy Day Inn
Image for Happy Day Inn via https://www.booking.com/

Address: 7330 6th St, Burnaby, BC V3N 3L3, Canada
Phone: +1 604-524-8501
Pricing: $$

The Happy Day Inn is your go-to spot if you’re craving a break from the hustle and bustle of the city but still want to be within reach. This inn has some handy amenities like a fitness center, sauna room, and even a coin laundry right on the premises.

Keep in mind, though, this hotel is budget-friendly, so don’t anticipate a lavish experience. You’ll find all your essential comforts like cable TV, hair dryers, air conditioning, and ironing boards, but it’s all about the basics here.

Where to Eat Near Belcarra Regional Park

Beanery Coffeehouse & Eatery

Address: 2591 Panorama Dr #101, Coquitlam, BC V3E 2Y6, Canada
Phone: +1 604-474-4199
Pricing: $$
Website

Nestled in Panorama Drive, the Beanery Coffeehouse & Eatery may seem like your typical eatery but inside they’re brewing pretty solid coffee (the cinnamon maple latte is our fave) and superb pizza and sammies.

And speaking of dessert, you absolutely cannot pass up the tiramisu dacquoise. Just a friendly tip: keep some napkins handy because things can get delightfully messy when you dive into it.

Hanayuki Sushi

Address: 221 Ioco Rd #100, Port Moody, BC V3H 4H2, Canada
Phone: +1 604-492-0445
Pricing: $$
Website

Within the Mountain Shopping Centre is this sushi joint that serves decent sushi and yummy Japanese staples. Inside Hanayuki Sushi, you’ll quickly notice the contemporary Japanese wooden interior, which really sets the tone for an authentic Japanese dining experience.

We had a great time savoring the aburi sushi, beautifully presented and oh-so-delicious. The classic rolls like the chopped scallop and salmon avocado didn’t disappoint either; they were a cut above the usual fare.

Vera’s Burger Shack

Address: 254 Newport Dr, Port Moody, BC V3H 5B7, Canada
Phone: +1 604-492-3392
Pricing: $$
Website

100% Canadian Beef burgers is what it’s here at Vera’s Burger Shack. Burgers here are as customizable as it gets, and the patties are deliciously juicy and big.

You can’t really go wrong here, but if we had to play favorites, it’s all about the ‘G-Money.’ This beast boasts double patties, double cheddar, and double fried mushrooms – we’re betting you won’t have any stomach space left for anything else.

Browns Socialhouse 

Address: 215 Newport Dr, Port Moody, BC V3H 5C9, Canada
Phone: +1 604-260-6772
Pricing: $$
Website

The chill vibe at Browns Socialhouse makes it easier to enjoy their delicious homemade burgers and hearty bowls of fish, chicken, and tuna. The whole place exudes a cozy woodsy vibe, and the tables are designed for good conversations.

And here’s a pro-tip: make sure not to skip out on their happy hours, which go on until 6 p.m. If you can, snag a spot on the patio on a sunny day – it’s the cherry on top of the Browns Socialhouse experience.

St. James Well Pub

Address: 248 Newport Dr, Port Moody, BC V3H 5B9, Canada
Phone: +1 604-461-0800
Pricing: $$
Website

St. James Well Pub is a lively Irish pub, complete with seasonal brews and top-notch pub grub like potato skins, fried pickles, burgers, poutine, and a fantastic beer selection to complement your meal.

We also had the pleasure of trying their Yorkies, and let us tell you, they lived up to the hype. Thankfully, the sauces came on the side, and there was a generous serving of horseradish mayo sauce and gravy.

Things to Do at Belcarra Regional Park

Take the Diez Vista Trail

Take the Diez Vista Trail
Image from Flickr via https://www.flickr.com/

Address: Diez Vistas Trail, Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Diez Vista Trail, despite its steepness, rewards you with breathtaking views. From Deep Cove to sweeping panoramas of the Lower Mainland, North Shore mountains, and Buntzen Lake, it’s a visual feast.

But be ready for a solid leg and cardio workout because this hike throws some steep sections, slippery rocks, and a twisty maze of tree roots your way.

Swim at Sasamat Lake

Swim at Sasamat Lake
Image by Sonja Peterson via https://www.flickr.com/

Address: 3302 Senkler Road, Belcarra, BC, V3H 4S3
Phone: 604-939-2268
Website

Sasamat Lake is perfect for swimming—it’s warm, not that deep, and spacious, so you won’t have to bump into other swimmers. Also, it’s a big plus that motor boats aren’t allowed, so it’s extra quiet here.

Do note that there are geese around the lake, which adds to the natural ambiance.

Have a Picnic at the Belcarra Picnic Area

Have a Picnic at the Belcarra Picnic Area
Image by Belcarra Picnic Area via Google Reviews

Address: 4500 Tum Tumay Whueton Dr, Belcarra, BC V3H 4P6, Canada
Phone: +1 604-520-6442
Website

This is an absolute gem for families and friends. With four electrical BBQs ready to sizzle, plenty of picnic tables, large open fields, and a view of the shoreline that’s gorgeous— especially when the sun paints the water with its golden touch.

Keep your eyes peeled for marine wonders too. You might just catch a glimpse of killer whales, playful dolphins, or curious seals frolicking in the distance.

Kayak to Indian Arm

Kayak to Indian Arm
Image by BC Parks via https://bcparks.ca/

Address: North Shore Mountains; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Rent a kayak with Takaya Tours and paddle your way to the Indian Arm, where you’ll find some of the cleanest and most untouched waters in Vancouver.

This spot isn’t just for kayaking; it’s a hub for various water activities like water skiing, fishing, camping, crabbing, and sailing, thanks to the calm seas and minimal wind.

Go Fishing at Belcarra Bay

Go Fishing at Belcarra BayGo Fishing at Belcarra Bay
Image from Flickr via https://www.flickr.com/

Address: 4500 Tum Tumay Whueton Dr, Belcarra, BC, Canada

Head to the long pier at Belcarra Bay, toss your line off the dock, and try your luck at hooking some of Vancouver’s prized fish varieties, including salmon, herring, and crab.

Now, the catch rate can be a bit hit-or-miss, especially during the busy seasons. So, if you’re aiming for success, our tip is to go out early in the morning. Don’t forget to get a fishing license from Fisheries and Oceans Canada beforehand!

Apps to Download for a Trip to Belcarra Regional Park

Maps.me: free, detailed offline maps with turn-by-turn navigation for driving, hiking, or biking.
iOs | Android

Paybyphone: add money to your parking meter, set text reminders, and have your parking receipts emailed to you.
iOs | Android

TripAdvisor: reviews, tips, photos, and directions to famous attractions in Vancouver where you can download offline maps and bookmarked destinations.
iOs | Android

Vancouver Maps and Walks: detailed map of Vancouver that includes 100 self-guided routes.
iOs | Android


After a trip to Belcarra Regional Park, why not stop by a few parks on your way back to the city? These parks offer a great opportunity to continue enjoying the beautiful outdoors and unwind after a day of exploring. 

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