Katzie Marsh Loop in the Pitt-Addington Wildlife Management Area

Fall foliage along the edge of Katzie Marsh Loop Trail in the Pitt-Addington Wildlife Management Area – Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada.

fall foliage along the katzie marsh loop trail in pitt meadows

Fall Foliage along the Katzie Marsh Loop Trail (Purchase)

The Pitt-Addington Wildlife Management Area is a 2,972 hectare nature reserve in the northern part of Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. Much of the reserve used to be known as Grant Narrows Regional Park, but that was dissolved in 2011 when the Katzie First Nation were given control of the area – now called the Pitt-Addington Recreation Area. I have photographed near Pitt Lake many times, but mostly from the easy to access roadside spots. There are great views of the Pitt River, Pitt Lake, and the surrounding mountains readily available without straying too far from the car. A few weeks ago, however, I wanted to see what views could be found on the trails along the various dikes that head from the roads out into the marsh. Despite the presumption that most of the fall foliage would be gone, and the fact the midday light was filtered through a lot of smoke, I wanted to see what the area had to offer regardless.

I decided to start with the Katzie Marsh Loop. From the main parking lot, past the boat launch, there is a gravel road called the Swan Dike Trail that heads straight towards the Golden Ears Mountains. The main view on this stretch of the trail is not of the Golden Ears, however, but of Pitt Lake, the mountains to the north, and the Katzie Marsh to the south. I expect I’ll be back to photograph these mountain views again when the snow blankets them in a month or so. Along this trail I saw a number of Great Blue Herons (as one would expect) but also had a few passing Osprey, Bald Eagles, and various duck and waterfowl species. Approximately 500 meters from the parking lot there is an observation tower to climb for a better view. I also photographed the marsh plants below (likely sedges or reeds – I was unable to accurately identify them from my photograph) in this stretch of the loop trail.

plants growing in katzie marsh in pitt meadows

Wetland plants (reeds or sedges) growing in Katzie Marsh (Purchase)

On the eastern edge of this part of the Katzie Marsh Loop the road continues to a (private) boat launch and dock. The loop trail itself turns south at this point, away from Pitt Lake (approximately 2.4km from the parking lot). While the trail is no longer a well maintained gravel road, the dike is easy to walk on, and quite flat. Heading south there is a long stretch of water on the left hand side, with Katzie Marsh area on the right. There are a lot of interesting trees and patterns in the rocks along this stretch, and I think it gave a better view of the waterfowl using the marsh as well. The first photograph above shows some remaining fall foliage in the Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) trees at the base of the mountains to the east. Looking backwards to the north along this section of the loop trail also gives good views of the mountains to the north and some nice reflections.

After walking an additional 1.6km from Pitt Lake the trail turns a bit more to the southwest. This is where I found the pond below with a nice reflection of the trees behind it. There was a lot of waterfowl in this area, but many of them left as I approached (I hadn’t seen them until they flew away). There were a few cautious herons who remained, however. From this pond the trail turns even more westward and you come to another observation tower that gave a great view north towards the mountains, Pitt Lake, and gave a good overview of the Katzie Marsh itself. There were two large Kingfishers making a lot of noise in the area. They did not perch close enough to me to photograph, but they were continually on the move and if I’d had the time I likely could have made some good photographs from the cover of the tower.

fall leaves reflection in katzie marsh pond

Fall foliage reflected in a Pitt Marsh Pond (Purchase)

Near the observation tower the trail narrows and is no longer a wide dike trail. The trail for the remainder of the Katzie Loop not only was narrow with blackberries reaching out to grab all my clothing, but offered very little in terms of views of much of anything. This section of the trail is also right next to the water, and eroded in a few spots, so I had to pay attention to avoid a wet mishap. This made for a relatively uninteresting 2km trudge back to the parking lot.

autumn leaves trees foliage katzie marsh pitt meadows

A Row of tree on the edge of Katzie Marsh (Purchase)

I think if I had the time and were to walk the Katzie Loop Trail again soon, I’d turn back at the southern observation tower and go back up to Pitt Lake and then to the parking lot rather than do the whole loop. The last stretch is not interesting, maybe slightly dangerous if you aren’t paying attention, and doesn’t have much in the way of any opportunity for photography or views. All in all I walked 6.8km in completing the loop. Skipping the last stretch to the parking lot would make the “loop” a bit longer at around 9km total distance. This is likely what I will do next time I visit when the snow has arrived. Some of the trip back will be facing the mountains too which will be a great view.

For more photographs of the Pitt River and Pitt Lake area visit my Pitt Meadows Gallery.

The Pitt Addington Marsh

Pitt Addington Marsh, Gloomy Peak, and the Coast Range after sunset in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada

coast mountains reflected in pitt marsh

Gloomy Peak and the Coast Range reflected in Pitt Marsh (Purchase)

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    A month ago I headed to the Pitt Polder Ecological Reserve in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Candada to check out potential for fall colours, and to photograph the northern lights should they show up (they didn’t). This is Gloomy Peak and parts of the Coast Range reflected in a pond along the Pitt River. A familiar spot for me, but I did like the light here after sunset even if it was rather brief.

Birch trees and cotton grass at pitt marsh

Paper Birch and Chamisso’s Cotton Grass at Pitt Marsh (Purchase)

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   The Chamisso’s Cotton Grass (Eriophorum chamissonis) was one of the reasons I walked into the marsh along the dike. I had read they grew here, and I enjoyed them as a foreground element when I first ran into them at Washington Pass. I think I will try to photograph this area again when the leaves are exhibiting some nice fall colours. While the Maples cannot be relied upon for nice colours, the birches usually deliver, though they are few and far between.

widgeon peak reflected in pitt marsh

Widgeon Peak and Pitt Marsh (Purchase)

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You can view more of my photography from British Columbia in my image archive’s British Columbia Galleries.

The Golden Ears Mountains – Mount Blandshard

The Golden Ears Mountains – Blandshard Peak and Edge Peak in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada

panorama of the golden ears mountains in maple ridge, british columbia, canada

Panorama of the “Golden Ears” Mountains – Blandshard Peak and Edge Peak

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   Part of the Garibaldi Ranges – The Golden Ears mountains are a familiar sight in Metro Vancouver, especially from Langley and Maple Ridge. On of my favourite mountains, I have been looking at these since I was a kid. This “Blue Hour” photograph was made from the Pitt Polder area of Pitt Meadows.

See more of my mountain photographs in my Mountain Photos Gallery.

Mount Baker from Pitt Meadows

Sunset on Mount Baker (Komo Kulshan) from Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada

mount baker aka kulshan from pitt meadows - british columbia

Mount Baker from Pitt Meadows (Purchase)

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   Growing up in the area around Vancouver, British Columbia, especially out in the Fraser Valley, Mount Baker is a constant presence on the Eastern horizon. Many roads seem to point straight towards Baker or sometimes Mount Shuksan. While I am most familiar with the view of Baker from Langley, it can be seen all the way from Stanley Park in Vancouver, the Southernmost point of the area in Tsawwassen, and from North of the Fraser River – here in Pitt Meadows. I made this photograph from the edge of one of the many Cranberry fields on the road to Pitt Lake. As Baker is such a constant for anyone living out here, it was quite a surprise for me as a kid to realize that it was not a Canadian mountain – it actually is in Washington State. I was young enough that I am not sure I believed that right away.

Reflection of Mount Blandshard

mount blandshard - the golden ears - reflected in a pond at the pitt-addington marsh in pitt meadows
Mount Blandshard
(The Golden Ears)
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   The mountain peak here is Mount Blandshard (1 716 m or 5 630 ft) and it is always nice to see it reflected in the ponds of the Pitt Marsh in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. Mount Blandshard is known locally as “The Golden Ears” and is probably one of my favourite local mountains as I was able to see it out my bedroom window when I was a kid. Looking at Mt. Blandshard from the south the mountain has two peaks which sort of resemble pointy ears. However, it seems the name is more likely a corruption of the mountains original name The Golden Eyries.

   This was a cold day, and you can see a bit of ice in the water of the pond messing with the reflection just a little bit. The last time I was making photographs here I managed to catch some epic sunset light. On this day I was actually a bit surprised that I did not find snow at ground level – so, as usual, the planned shots went out the window. This location is only 30 minutes or so (plus a toll bridge 🙁 ) from my house, so I will be visiting it again – I have quite a few ideas I’ve never found the right conditions for that I am itching to finish.

   My next post will likely be another photograph I made at this location on the same day – but of the same view as my previous “epic sunset” photo. A change in seasons creates a very different photograph!

Great Blue Heron at Pitt Lake

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at the marshes near Pitt Lake in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia

great blue heron in the marshes near pitt lake

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

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   A few weeks ago I visited the Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area near Pitt Lake. Shot a lot of landscapes, but this area is always a good place to spot a lot of birds and general wildlife. I walked along the dike for a while, then down into the marsh along a trail. What I should have done was look at the marsh before I came down off the dike into it – as there was a Great Blue Heron standing about 5 feet in front of me looking a bit startled. He took off immediately and landed at a distance just near enough for me to see him and just far enough away that my longest lens wasn’t quite going to cut it.

   I must not have looked like too much of a threat because once I got the wide angle lens back on and started shooting the landscape he flew close again. Not as close as our original encounter but close enough for me to be happy with the photographic opportunity. Was hoping for some hunting shots like I had at Stanley Park recently but today this one seemed much more intent on cleaning and preening itself.

Sunset behind Burke Mountain

sunset behind burke mountain

Sometimes the shots you think you will like from a trip fall to the bottom of the pile pretty quickly. A few weeks ago I was out near Pitt Lake hoping for some good sunset alpenglow on Mt. Blandshard (aka the ‘Golden Ears’). Burke Mountain ate up a lot of the direct light when the sun went low in the sky, and clouds obscured the top of the Mt. Blandshard peaks. What resulted was a rather bland panorama. Two years ago I would have been happy with it, but now I know it is a throwaway more or less – not bad but nothing special about it.

This was one of those times when suddenly the light just goes away. Turning around I saw the scene above – dark clouds with nice orange colours underneath. Thankfully I have just enough zoom in the 70-200 to show the detail of the treetops which I think adds extra dimension to the shot.

Pitt River and Pitt Lake

Was not a stellar weather day for picture taking of mountain vistas, but these turned out okay.

This first panorama was taken about a km from the Pitt Lake parking lot, north of Pitt Meadows.

7 stitched photos, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

dike trail at pitt lake

This was taken at the north end of Harris Road, Pitt Meadows.

7 stitched photos, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

pitt river panorama

The peak in the middle of this shot is the High Knoll Viewpoint in Lake Minnekhada Regional Park.

high knoll pitt river