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A veritable supermarket on a stick, cattails were once a source of sustenance as well as comfort to Pacific Northwest natives. Young shoots can be eaten as greens in the spring while young flower spikes can be roasted and eaten like cobs of corn. Young roots or rhizomes (underground stems) can be peeled and eaten as is—sashimi-style, hold the wasabi—or dried and pulverized into flour. Early settlers too discovered that cattail pollen could be harvested and added to bread or pancakes. Cattail down or fluff was collected in autumn for use as a wound dressing or for stuffing pillows and bedding. Cattail leaves found use in native basketry.
Illustration by Manami Kimura
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Buntzen Lake Introduction E-mail
(6 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   
Access: Click for details on Getting to Buntzen Lake.

Buntzen Lake, on the far side of Burrard Inlet, has been an important source of hydroelectric power for the Lower Mainland since 1903. More than a source of power though, Buntzen Lake Reservoir is the centrepiece of a host of recreational activities attracting more than half a million visitors each year. Trout fishing, canoeing, swimming, picnicking, horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking are all popular pursuits in the park.

If trout fishing is your objective Buntzen Lake is well-fished but is well-stocked too. In cooperation with the BC Fish and Wildlife Branch, BC Hydro raises and releases 15-20,000 catchable trout each year. Non-aficionados will be pleased to note that the Anmore General Store at the entrance to the park sells worms, as a limited selection of fishing tackle. Under new management as of 2008, they no longer carry fishing licenses.

Overload: With just 15 centimetres of freeboard and not enough life jackets this canoe is an accident waiting to happen.
Canoeing on Buntzen Lake

Canoes, kayaks and mountain bikes can be rented from the store as well. Drop in to the store to take care of the paperwork and pick up life jackets, paddles and so on. For those who arrive by bus, staff at the store will shuttle you down to South Beach where your boats are waiting.

South Beach, adjacent to the main parking area, is the hub of the more sedate forms of recreation. For that reason South Beach is often as crowded as the city streets left behind on a hot summer day. Hiking and mountain biking trails radiate from the main picnic site. Hikers will be pleased to note that trails in the vicinity are numerous, offering a variety of hiking experiences for all levels of fitness. At the easy end of the scale Buntzen Lake offers everything from a simple lakeside stroll to longer rambles over fairly even terrain.

Hard core hikers won't be disappointed either. Trails up to and along the ridges surrounding Buntzen Lake can be challenging and even difficult at times. Among them, the popular group of routes known collectively as the Halvor Lunden Eagle Ridge Trail are treated individually in the next few pages. Click "Next" below for the lowdown on individual trails.

For information on Horseback Riding in Buntzen Lake Recreation Area visit this link.

Buntzen Lake Recreation Area closes at dusk. If your group arrived by car be sure you have enough time to complete your hike before the gate is locked. If you arrive by bus keep in mind that the last bus leaves Anmore before 7 pm.



Copyright © 2007 Brian Grover. Content Distribution is Prohibited
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