New Westminster isn’t known for its parks. They tend to be smallish, city-like green spaces, criss-crossed with asphalt paths and dotted with picnic tables, baseball diamonds and commemorative plaques. So it’s interesting to come across something a bit wilder, like Glenbrook Ravine.
In fact, it’s probably a park by default, being a ravine, but has potential to be a pleasant area for a stroll. There is a level gravel path, but it stops suddenly at the north end when it runs out of room.
This is where I’ve come in, off Glenbrooke Drive [(1) on the satelite image]. The path is steep and don’t even think about bringing grandma with her walker. It looks like there might have been a sign here at one time, but it’s long gone. The dog doesn’t have a problem getting down, and I suppose if I had proper boots it wouldn’t have been an issue for me either. Anyway, we made it down safely.
A small creek runs through the ravine, and there are plenty of signs of partiers, or “those damn kids” scrabbling up and down the west side, presumably into the housing complex off McBride. There were plenty of robins, a few chickadees, but not a lot else in February.
Another entrance to the park, if you don’t mind stairs, is about halfway down, just off the alley behind Kwantlen Court [(2) on the image]. This one switch-backs on to the path and is much safer than the Glenbrook entrance.
The city has set up a number of sumps and drains along the ravine, including what looks like a drain to the Styx in the underworld.
Towards the southern end, if you look up the western side you can glimpse where the B.C. Penitentiary’s cemetery is.
The park ends (or starts) in the back yard of a community centre behind an apartment complex. There’s a pond and a small structure holding the Pen’s bell, complete with commemorative plaque! This entrance [(3) on the satellite image], is level and has easy access to a parking lot.
With plenty of dawdling and letting the dog snuffle for signs of squirrels (none found) it took less than half an hour to go from one end to the other.