A living example of the transition from the dry Coastal Douglas Fir Zone to the wetter Coastal Western Hemlock Zone, this park serves as an outdoor classroom for nature studies. A Rockfish Protection Area has been implemented, with shoreline fishing closures in place.
- While Lighthouse Park is an off-leash park, all park visitors – human and canine – are asked to stay on the trails.
- Lighthouse Park contains steep terrain and challenging trails. Good walking shoes or hiking boots are strongly recommended. Dress for the weather.
- Dangerous cliffs and steep drop-offs are found throughout the park. Trails can be muddy, and rocky areas and roots are slippery when wet. Stay on the trails, and keep an eye on your children and dogs.
- Be aware that it is possible to get lost in this park. Come prepared: bring extra clothes, water, food and safety provisions with you. Maps are available at both kiosks in the parking lot.
- A 10-minute walk from the parking lot will bring you to the Lighthouse Viewpoint. Some may find the uphill return challenging – plan on a 25 minute strenuous uphill hike back to the parking lot.
- Hiking Trail Map (PDF, 406 KB)
Lighthouse Park marks the point where Burrard Inlet meets Howe Sound. The rock you see here is old – primarily granitic and varying in age from 96 to 187 million years. Most is blanketed by forest, including huge Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar trees. You’ll also see a variety of mosses, lichens, wildflowers, fungi, animals, insects, birds and sea life.
Lighthouse Park is a fragile remnant of an old growth forest. Sadly, the past 30 years of human impact has degraded the area. It's critical for visitors to the park to remain on designated trails to avoid damage to sensitive flora and fauna. Follow the 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) of woodland and shoreline trails past natural phenomena identified by discreet signs.
In 1792, Captain George Vancouver charted and named the land where Lighthouse Park sits. He called the promontory Point Atkinson and it soon became a useful resource in the growing colonial activity. Point Atkinson served as the site of one of Canada's first manned lightstations in 1874 and the original building was later replaced in 1912 with the building now preserved on the site. The lighthouse is a municipal landmark and can be seen from several viewpoints in the park.
Late in the 19th century, the Government of Canada set aside 75 hectares as a lighthouse reserve, which has now become the park we enjoy. The park is maintained by the Municipality, which leases it from the Department of National Defence. Old military buildings can be found near the lighthouse, remnants of the site’s military importance during World War II.
In 1998, a group of residents formed the Lighthouse Park Preservation Society. Its goals are to:
- work to protect the natural integrity of the park given its unique natural history and vulnerability to urban pressures
- promote public awareness of the natural features of Lighthouse Park
- promote public support for its preservation
- support the development of biological zones along the park boundaries
- to work to prevent development encroaching on the park.
In 2004, after almost two years of planning and community involvement, Council approved the Lighthouse Park Management Plan. Click the link below to download this document.