If you’re camping in Cultus Lake Provincial Park or passing by on a road trip, stopping for this short, kid-friendly hike is a win. Though there’s limited signage and the trailhead can sometimes be a bit hard to find, if you park in the Delta Grove Campground day use parking area and walk just a short ways along the lake to the southwest, you’ll run right into it. Note that sometimes on busy weekends the parking lots fill up quickly. If possible, it’s advised to show up early.
The short, 1-mile round-trip jaunt along a well-maintained, relatively flat trail serves up an excellent, quick sampling of the old-growth verdant forest that blankets Southern British Columbia. The prize: an 800 year-old Douglas fir. It’s the oldest and largest tree in the park, and it was just a small sapling when Genghis Khan was roaming the earth.
Cultus Lake is situated in the transition zone between the Coastal Western Hemlock and Coastal Douglas fir biogeoclimatic zones. As such, western hemlock dominates the understory along with verdant moss, ferns, and a wealth of other wet-climate flora. Meandering down this short trail to the Douglas fir is a great way to get a snapshot of it all. While exploring Cultus Lake Provincial park, don’t be surprised if you run into the prolific fauna that inhabits it. Blacktail deer, beavers, shrew moles, coyotes, and over 100 species of birds are just some of the wildlife you could encounter.