The Coquitlam River flows from Coquitlam Lake into the Fraser River — a distance of only fourteen kilometres. I’ve hiked its trails that span both sides of the river from Crystal Falls in its upper reaches to the estuary.
The upper section is my favourite because the stream rushes over rocks by lush vegetation. Tall cedars filter the sunlight while the ground lays carpeted in ferns and brambles. In the fall, salmon struggle upstream to spawn bringing heron and bears to feed off them.
Once the river draws close to the Frazer, it slows while it winds its way through Kwikwetlem First Nation lands. This section has less forest, but it boasts more flowering plants — wild rose, yarrow, golden rod, skunk cabbage, lupins, blackberries, buttercup, bulrushes and lily pads. It’s where I’ve often spotted a heron.