The Squamish Estuary and Nexen Beach are some of the top spots in Squamish for Fire Chief Bill Stoner, who assumed command of the Squamish Fire Department last year. Stoner and his wife, Joanne, enjoy walking their dog Callie along the estuary trails near their downtown home or venturing to the beach, which is a hidden gem for visitors to the Sea to Sky.
Stoner also enjoys mountain biking. “Being able to enjoy the trails 12 months a year is unbelievable. The quantity and variety of riding in the area is amazing. I can’t believe that I’ve been out here (for a year) and still have so many trails left to try.”
What’s his favourite trail? “Right now, I would say that Credit Line is my favourite since it’s near the fire hall. I think that my wife, Joanne, is really happy about living in Squamish. She’s an outdoors person who cherishes the ability to hike, bike and run year round, while at the same time being able to take advantage of the downhill and cross country skiing in Whistler.”
After walking the estuary or beach trails or riding his bike on Credit Line, you’ll likely run into Bill chowing down on the famous burgers at the Locavore food truck located just off Mamquam Road.
About the Squamish Estuary and Nexen Beach
There was a time not long ago when marshes and wetlands weren’t properly appreciated in natural ecosystems, especially compared to high alpine meadows or old growth forests. But that’s changed dramatically. And while in many ways Squamish is still a working waterfront, the intertidal area where the waters of Howe Sound mix with the fresh water of the Squamish River is stunningly vibrant and offers panoramic mountain and ocean views.
Birdwatchers in the Squamish Estuary Society have identified more than 235 different types of birds and welcome visitors to partake in their monthly counts and frequent nature walks. Be patient, pack a windbreaker and take a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope to home in on the myriad birdlife in the area.
The estuary is also perhaps the best place to take in the vast expanse of the Stawamus Chief. If you think the Stawamus Chief looks big from the Sea to Sky Highway or Gondola, wait until you get the pulled back, wide-angle view found here.
This year, Nexen Beach is beginning its transformation to a planned residential and commercial development. For now, the rocky, rustic beach has plenty of room for dogs to run free. Bonus: You might even see dolphins, whales, seals and other sea life. It can get windy here, so on summer afternoons, it’s a popular kiteboarding and windsurfing launch spot.