RIVERFRONT PARK WEST PLAYGROUND
Although this playground is technically part of Riverfront Park, many mistaken it to be part of Gladstone-Riverside Park because it’s located almost exactly at the halfway point between the two parks. Cartographic essay and powerpoint presentation aside, let’s just say there’s more than one route to get to this playground.
Surrounded by deciduous trees, this simple playground looks like a narrow, elevated playhouse complete with a small roof and rigid plastic flag. There are steps, a ladder, and mini climbing wall to get to the metal slide. The swing set is located away from the main playing area to prevent little ones from obliviously running into swaying kids.
Note that apart from some low lying brush and thorny blackberry bushes, there isn’t much of a barrier to prevent a child from peeking over into the marshy riverbank nearby. Additionally, most dogs seen during our visit were off leash and eager to say hello to the kids because the walking path is very close to the playground itself.
As for getting to this playground, there are three options: First is to park in the small lot at Gladstone-Riverside Park, where there is a pier to overlook the tugboats and log booms along the Fraser River. Next to the pier is an emergency access ramp for firetrucks to draw water from the river, making it an easy way for families to get closer to the water too, although the sign cautions to use the ramp at one’s own risk. From here, the playground is about a 10 min walk east along the Fraser Lands Recreation Path. This portion of the trail is a little woodsy and we encountered many different bird calls and a tree that had been gnawed on by a beaver.
Second way to get to the Riverfront Park West playground is to park on East Kent Ave N at Elliot St, where one will find a ramp and steps to enter the recreational path. The playground is right at this entrance that’s embellished with light blue railings.
Thirdly, one can start at the other playground at Riverfront Park East and walk 10 mins west along the walking trail.
There is a fourth unlikely option to get here and that’s if you were to arrive via the Langara II barge, a green fishing lodge that parks itself here by the playground for the winter. So hey, that’s four ways to choose your own adventure. Which one will YOU choose? *pointing finger at you*