Goldstream Provincial Park: A Hikers Paradise
Autumn we head to the woods in Goldstream Park where the Coho, Chinook and Chum salmon arrive to spawn. Their struggle to swim upstream to the place of their birth in the shallow waters of the creek is a yearly ritual performed by the species in order to procreate, and then die.
Sparrows whistle and chirp as they flit through the trees, nature’s symphony as we walk to the stream bed where the water gurgles and tumbles, sweeping the salmon along their perilous journey to the tide pools where they will find a mate and lay their eggs. We are thrilled to witness this incredible miracle of nature. We see a giant exposed root along the water’s edge, providing a dwelling for salmon fry in summer and a spawning estuary in October. The splendour of deep forest and tall trees beckons to us as we follow a trail lined with 600-year-old Douglas Firs, enormous Western Red Cedars and massive Maple Leaf trees. There is an abundance of Arbutus Trees, red in colour, their bark stripping away naturally. They are known as the tree of Depth and Integrity that is symbolic of protection and safety. Beneath the trees, varieties of ferns create shadow and light as we emerge to a waterfall to watch the salmon leap courageously upward along the challenging course of the stream.
We discover that Goldstream Park is home to black bears, cougars and deer, as well as numerous small animals like raccoons, minks, beavers, otters and gray and Douglas squirrels. Salmon, trout and steelhead are found in the parks’ streams, and migratory and resident birds such as hummingbirds, bald eagles, turkey vultures, ducks and gulls can be spotted throughout the park.
The land ascends and we find the remnants of a bygone era. The forest has mostly reclaimed the land, but trestles suspended above tall trees remain, indicating passageways. The excitement of a dramatic past during the Gold Rush can still be felt by way of the criss crossing vegetation zones, abandoned tracks, mine shafts; lingering dreams of riches.
The abandoned mining shafts are a testament to the mid 19th century experience of the Gold Rush at Goldstream National Park. We follow the footsteps of the hundreds of prospectors who created such trails as the Gold Miner’s Trail, Goldstream River and Miner’s Spring. Lots to explore at Goldstream 937 acres park.