Pinecone-Burke Provincial Park: A Lesser-Explored Gem

looking over Dennett lake

I was fortunate growing up to have an athletically inclined and outdoor-enthusiast father; who instilled an appreciation for getting out there and enjoying nature responsibly. Many of my hobbies: skiing, hiking, trail running, and bouldering go back to him. Instead of going to the movies, or playland, my dad was always more inclined to take my brother and me on day-long hikes! I didn’t appreciate it as much then, but one of the best parts about this was that we often hiked in areas that other people didn’t, hidden-gems if you will.

It comes with little surprise that people are now noticing what a fantastic place Pinecone-Burke Provincial park is! For those who don’t know, Pinecone-Burke  is just south of Garibaldi Provincial Park, west of Pitt-lake, and includes Burke mountain to the south. It is a newer park, established in July of 1995. For years, I have enjoyed hiking the Sterling loop, Munro Lake trail, Widgeon Lake trail, and the more challenging Seed Peak. This park has many hikes of varying difficulties, but the problem is how underdeveloped the area is. The majority of the trails are difficult to find, beginning in easy to miss entrances off various forestry roads. They are poorly marked and lack any sophisticated form of signage. Had my dad not helped me early on, including proper use of a compass and topographical map, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy these trails the way that I do. The lack of accessibility, development, and marking keeps the area from being a more popular and inclusive place for people to enjoy the outdoors. In my mind, Pinecone-Burke has the potential to be on par with some of the lower mainland’s better-known parks, such as Golden Ears and Belcarra. Still, it requires a considerable investment to get there. I think everyone, not just those fortunate enough to have hiking-guru fathers, should be able to enjoy what Pinecone-Burke has to offer.

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