From the Salmon Arm Wharf trailhead, the path begins as a raised concrete walkway that makes its way behind the back of the Prestige Resort and its patio lounge and bar. The scene looking out onto the flat estuary is amazing and the wildlife immediately draws you in. Late in the season, when the lake is low, the estuary gives the appearance of a tidal flat that should soon be overcome with an incoming tide, but this lake “tide” will not return until the spring. And as you can imagine, spring and early summer are when this estuary is teeming with life.
This is the first of two raised concrete walkways, and it lasts only for about five minutes. Cross Marine Park Drive NE and pick up where the obvious sign stands on the other side of the road. Follow the concrete path as it winds its way around a parking lot to the next elevated concrete pathway. This second walkway is much longer and provides far superior viewing.
When this comes to an end, it takes a 90° right turn to Harbour Front Dr. NE. Turn left and hike the road a short distance to the Raven trailhead. Concrete now surrenders to dirt and gravel. This is a magnificent trail.
Within 5–7 minutes the first viewing platform is accessed on the left. This short jaunt projects you out of the forest, offering fantastic, unobstructed panoramas of this beautiful sanctuary.
One of the many amusing features of this easy, yet interesting trek is the overgrown birch and alder trees that have created lengthy archways, almost tunnel-like.
The trail to the Christmas Island loop is at about the 1 km mark from the Raven trailhead. This loop is 1.2 km long and is a worthy side trip, as it is the farthest extension out into the estuary.
Back on the main trail, continuing north, you come to the second viewing platform. This platform was closed in 2012, as the boardwalk out to it had severely deteriorated.
All along the way, the thin forest opens up, presenting spectacular sights, but some of the best views are seen from a sturdy boardwalk of about 100 to 150 m in length.
Beyond the boardwalk, the expedition lasts a further 15 minutes as it makes its way through high marsh growth.
The journey ends at 47th Ave. NE. Turn back and enjoy everything you missed the first time.