As an East Coast city girl, I used to hear the word ‘hike’ and cringe. But living in Vancouver the last year and a half, I learned that hiking isn’t necessarily as strenuous and scary as it sounds. Hiking sounded like the Grouse Grind on a regular basis. Now I know that there are different difficulty levels for hikes, and these are some of the easier, summer hiking alternatives to the tough Grind.
This easy hiking trail is part of the Baden Powell Trail and is located in Deep Cove, North Vancouver. Schedule about two hours for this hike. The start of the trail is on Panorama Drive, it’s easy to miss so just look for the sign that leads up to some wooden steps. This trail is full of B.C.’s Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees, has a large wooden bridge, and at the peak of it is a clearing that gets you to the top of Quarry Rock. Bring a picnic, the view is breathtaking.
Also in North Vancouver, the Lynn Loop Trail is a short 1.5 hours trail located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Although parts of the trail requires walking uphill, it levels out and into a beautiful and serene forest. There’s a small lookout spot that has a view of Vancouver Island along the trail. Grab a photo there, then get back on the trail towards Lynn Creek. You will hear the sounds of the water as you walk downhill, closer to the creek.
One of the best trails for city folk like me, the Lighthouse Park trail is located in West Vancouver. This trail has some of the largest Douglas Fir trees in the city, and is easy enough to take mom and grandpa. The main gravel trail is quick and leads to the lighthouse at the end of the park. For a more challenging hike here, take the steep path towards the beach area, located to the right after leaving the Lighthouse at the end of the trail. Look for the signs. If the tide is low, you can attempt to climb the rocks on the beach for a lunch with a view of Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Probably one of the most popular trails among Vancouverites, the Pacific Spirit Regional Park is in Point Grey and is home to Trail 6 that leads to Wreck Beach. This park has everything that you need to immerse yourself in wilderness, for as long as you’d like. Some trails can take up to three hours, some you can do in 30 minutes. The accessibility to this trail by transit is very convenient since it’s connected to the University of British Columbia. Take the time to explore this gem in the city if you haven’t yet.
Stanley Park is known all around the world, and we are fortunate to have it in our backyard. Although so close to the city’s downtown core, the trails in Stanley Park can drown the city sounds and take you to forests within minutes. For a longer path through the park, try the Bridle Path, from the edge of Second Beach. The path will take you through the park, parallel to the Stanley Park Causeway, and eventually links up to Prospect Trail. This trail leads to Prospect Point, a little urban lookout spot under the Lions Gate Bridge. Skip the Seawall, and try a new trail in the park this summer!