Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goldstream Provincial Park

I visited Goldstream Provincial Park for the first time yesterday. Mixed feelings, though unfortunately mostly negative.

One thing that can definitely be said is the park is huge, covered ground on both sides of the Trans-Canada Highway for quite a few kilometres. But this asset is also a bit of a liability. There are numerous trails, but I’m not convinced that all the trails are shown on their maps. Particularly on the west side of the highway there could stand to be a few more maps. Trails don’t indicate which destinations they go do and are either unnamed or labelled differently than on the maps. Where there are maps, some have “You are here” indicators, some don’t.

I can’t comment on the gold mine because that was one of the places I gave up looking for.

I did find Niagara Falls, and while slimmer than its Ontario-New York counterparts, it’s still very impressive and easily the highlight of visiting the area. Swimming by the falls, I found the temperate to be comparable to the Sooke Potholes: very cold but tolerable.

One thing that probably skewed my impression of the park is that we’ve had some hot weather, so some of the rivers have dried up. In fact, having realized there are neither lights nor crosswalk at the main road towards the Visitor’s Center, I finally crossed the street by crossing a dried river’s tunnel. Judging from the amount of graffiti in the tunnel this seems to be a common occurrence.

I quickly visited the Visitor’s Centre but didn’t linger because of all the stuffed dead animals in there, which was too creepy for me, though I realize that some like that kind of atmosphere.

I tried to find the spawning bed, but, again, due to the lack of proper signage, not sure if what I saw was or was not the spawning bed. If so, it’s a pretty bad area because it too was dried up while I was there.

An interesting experience and I’d like to revisit Niagara Falls again, but given the lack of transportation there I’m not sure if I’d risk another walk along the highway just to see those.

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