Iona Island in Richmond was formerly an Island, but now has become a connected peninsula jutting out of Sea Island. This area includes Iona Beach Regional Park – which is just north and west of the Vancouver International Airport. As Spring is in full swing and the weather gets nicer, Iona beach is the perfect spot to go for some fresh air. Pack a picnic or get your camera ready, because the views from this beach need to be taken in.
The park was opened in 1990 and later developed as a part of the YVR “Habitat Compensation Program” – a requirement before the second runway was built. Four hundred metres of tidal channels were created for herons, sea creatures, and fish as well as the planting of over a thousand native trees and shrubs. It’s no wonder this park offers so much wildlife!
Iona Beach Regional Park is an exceptional stretch of land made up of a long, narrow pier of sand and grass along the Fraser River. While this beach is a quiet spot, being home to over three hundred species of birds results in plenty of bird songs.
A round trip of nearly 6 kms, the majority of the walking route is along the beach before reaching the end that is covered in logs (extraordinary for watching the sunset). If walking isn’t for you, this beach also has a 4km bike path along the jetty.
Wildlife is abundant here – especially birds. Sea birds are visible throughout the walk, as well as a view of the Georgia Straight south and west of Vancouver. But bird watching isn’t the only thing you can do here. The beach’s location – right near the airport – offers an incomparable sight of the planes taking off and landing. Coming in right over your head, there isn’t anything quite like it.
Check out our community currently under construction in Richmond; RPP II & III.