Old Orchard Park


Old Orchard Park, Port Moody

A play park – with swings, a climbing frame, sandpit, wobbly bridge … and a beach? Yes, dear parents – Port Moody has it all. A genuine play park for children and families, only a few steps from a cozy beach of almost-golden sand. And thankfully, that sand is once again open for business.

Old Orchard Park (sandy beach, play park) is situated on the north shore, directly opposite Port Moody’s popular Rocky Point Park (no sand, mud at low tide). With a handy car park next to Old Orchard Community Centre, it’s only a short walk downhill to the park. Alternatively, the park is the northern end of the Shoreline Trail and makes a great destination to stroll to from either the Rec Centre or even Rocky Point itself. The trail is smooth for cycling or rollerblading, though there are some tricky uphill/downhill sections that could fox beginners, and the boardwalk stretches along the shore are great spots for bird spotting or salmon watching in season.

Old Orchard Park, Port Moody

Old Orchard Park, Port Moody
image credit: afmaxwell

If you park directly at Old Orchard, following the signs from Ioco Road heading west out of the centre of Port Moody, follow the path downhill around the right side of Old Orchard Community Centre. There are steps leading down the side of the building towards the railway tracks to Ioco. Don’t worry – only two trains at most pass this way every day, and they go quite slowly along this stretch. The drivers and engineers are usually happy to wave endlessly so it’s a great spot for tiny train fans.

Before crossing the train tracks, take a look back to Old Orchard Community Centre. The doors in the basement lead to comfortable changing areas and clean washrooms. This is where you head to for those little emergencies.

The playground is set onto a terrace in the steepish grass slope leading down to the beach. The play equipment is set into a deep bed of woodchips to cushion those inevitable falls. Swings, a teeter-totter and a climbing frame provide a good workout for kids and parents alike.

Next to the play area and dotted around the park are handy picnic benches. There is even a picnic shelter if you’d like more shelter. Trees around the park provide a moderate amount of shade so it’s easy to dodge the midday rays.

Old Orchard Park, Port Moody

Old Orchard Park, Port Moody
image credit: afmaxwell

The beach slopes gently to the water. Like most of this end of the inlet, low tide exposes the mudflats and getting to the water can be a little silty. It’s a great time to catch tiny scuttling crabs, but don’t be tempted to walk further out – people have become stuck in the mud. The tide turns quickly so don’t risk it.

When the tide is in, the beach is a great place for paddling and even for swimming. The shallow and gentle slope makes it ideal for small children (keep a close eye though) as well as more adventurous types. Seals are plentiful – they’re usually bobbing around offshore, probably intrigued by the sandcastle building going on or by our clumsy attempts to splash through the surf. During the day, the beach is in full sun with no shade. In the evening, it gets a little cooler as the shade creeps in.

Old Orchard Park is a great area for an evening picnic or barbecue. Pack up a portable barbecue, a few rugs, some beach towels and head out for the evening. Either camp out on the beach, letting the kids run and splash while you cook, or up in the park where you can keep an eye on the swings. Plenty of seating available, or loll around on the grass – whatever you desire. The numerous garbage bins make clean up at the end a cinch.

Enjoy the last week of your summer!

Old Orchard Park

600 Block Bentley Road, Port Moody (map)

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