28 easy trails to explore in Metro Vancouver

Feb 24 2021, 11:09 am

Disclaimer: To ensure your safety and well-being when visiting parks, practice physical distancing between you and other visitors, stay on marked trails and abide by trail closure signs. To avoid hazards, we recommend keeping a safe distance back from slopes, bluffs and river edges. More info on how to prepare for a visit to Parks Canada places during COVID-19. And please, leave no trace. Dispose of your waste properly and respect wildlife.

Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe whilst out hiking is available from North Shore Rescue and AdventureSmart.

As recommended by BC’s provincial health officials, if you choose to participate in events or leisure activities outside of your home, please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and wearing a mask in public places. If you are sick or are experiencing any symptoms, please stay home.


Here in Metro Vancouver, we’re blessed with relatively mild (albeit rainy) winters, with nature at our doorstep.

And with a wide variety of low-elevation, snow-free locales right across the region, getting out into the great outdoors while staying close to home is a pretty straightforward process.

But where to begin? With so much to choose from, it can be hard to know which way to go, particularly if you want your hike to be simple, snow-free, and an easier form of exercise.

With that in mind, here are our picks for the 28 best easy trails in the region to explore during these winter months.

Happy trails!

Iona Beach Regional Park

What: This hike follows a long, narrow beach and grass area along the mouth of the Fraser River, offering views of the Georgia Strait and dramatic descent into hundreds of logs washed up along the shoreline.

Where: Iona Island Causeway, Vancouver

Foreshore Trail

What: This trail through Pacific Spirit Regional Park passes through Vancouver’s famously nudist Wreck Beach. Along the way, you’ll enjoy scenic views and see an old WWII tower designed to warn Vancouver of an impending attack. Note that more than half of the trail follows the beach, which is rocky, slippery, and can be challenging during high tides.

Where: UBC, Vancouver

Stanley Park

 

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What: The quintessential Vancouver hike through a beautiful urban park, Stanley Park is full of many networks of trails for both cycling and hiking.

Where: Starts near the Rose Garden and loops back around – Stanley Park, Vancouver

Maplewood Flats

 

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What: The trail through Maplewood Flats Conservation Area on the North Shore offers picnic tables, scenic views, and rocky terrain. Managed by the Wild Bird Trust of BC, it is also a popular bird-watching park. Look out for the more than 200 species of birds spotted in the area annually.

Where: North Vancouver

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver (JamesChen/Shutterstock)

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver (JamesChen/Shutterstock)

What: This West Vancouver spot offers lots of short, easy trails offering breathtaking ocean views, huge, old-growth Western Red Cedars, and the picturesque picnic spot of Starboat Cove.

Where: West Vancouver

Whytecliff Park

Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver (Taylor McColl/Shutterstock)

Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver (Taylor McColl/Shutterstock)

What: This park in West Vancouver boasts spectacular views of Howe Sound, a myriad of easy trails weaving through the forest, plus a beach, island area and chance to go scuba diving.

Where: Marine Drive near Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver

Capilano Pacific Trail

 

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What: This trail follows the Capilano River, taking you from pavement, rocky shores and beaches past steep cliffs and through thick rainforest to the imposing Cleveland Dam. Recommended all year-round.

Where: Starts at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, finishes at the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver

Capilano Canyon

What: This trail offers beautiful views of Grouse Mountain and the Lions in the distance as you walk through hemlock and fir trees and clamber over tree roots surrounded by rainforest. You can also stop at an interpretive salmon hatchery on the way.

Where: Cleveland Dam off Capilano Road, in North Vancouver

Lynn Loop

What: Enjoy a forest hike among Cedar and Hemlock trees, with views of Vancouver Island and some of the Gulf Islands, then stroll back along the gushing waters of Lynn Creek.

Where: Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver

Deer Lake Park

 

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What: Deer Lake Park in Burnaby offers a nice, flat, and easy walk that circles the lake and passes by a beach area, a viewing tower, and pier, all offering great scenery. The trails are accessible all year and are popular with residents walking dogs or just out for an afternoon stroll through the park.

Where: Halfway between Burnaby Lake and Metrotown

Burnaby Lake

 

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What: The largest lake in the Lower Mainland, Burnaby Lake has a rich ecology and is home to many species including ducks, geese, beavers, and much more. Located right in the heart of Burnaby, it is a place to reconnect with the natural world without leaving the city.

Where: Burnaby

Minnekhada Regional Park

 

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What: This regional park in Coquitlam has a great network of low-elevation trails through the forest and around a marshy area. You can also climb up to the High Knoll viewpoint to gaze down at the Pitt River and nearby farms. Use the Quarry, Fern, and Lodge trails to make an easy 2.5-hour loop.

Where: Near the Pitt-Addington Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Pitt River Greenway

 

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What: The Pitt River Regional Greenway is a long trail in Pitt Meadows located along the dikes of the Fraser River where it joins the Pitt River. The route is part of the Trans Canada Trail and this section spans from the area near the Pitt River Bridge to Harris Landing.

Where: Along the Fraser and Pitt River dykes in Pitt Meadows

Aldergrove Regional Park

 

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What: Aldergrove Regional Park is popular with families for its easy trails, scenic landscape, and multiple picnic areas. The area also has a number of horse trails, and the wide open section of Aldergrove Bowl is popular with horseback riders.

Where: The park located on the border of Aldergrove and Langley and is just a short distance from the US Border

Bert Flinn Park

What: Bert Flinn Park in Port Moody has a number of scenic hiking trails that pass through lush forests and make for a short, easy walk. The route passes several streams and raised boardwalks and is a popular area for locals and dog walkers.

Where: Port Moody

Boundary Bay Regional Park

 

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What: Boundary Bay Regional park is located south of Vancouver near the border with the United States and is a popular bird-watching area for nature enthusiasts. The area includes Centennial Beach and a Wildlife Reserve area. Bring your binoculars and take your time enjoying the wildlife in the area.

Where: Tsawassen

Brae Island Regional Park

 

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What: The short walk to Tavistock Point on Brae Island offers scenic views of the surrounding Fraser River and distant Coastal Mountain range.

Where: Langley City

Burns Bog

 

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What: Burns Bog is the largest domed peat bog in the world encompassing over 40 square kilometres of land. Only a small portion of the area on this sensitive eco-system is accessible to the public in an area on the eastern side called the Delta Nature Reserve. Raised boardwalks weave through the forested areas, passing over unique plant life created by the bog.

Where: North Delta

Campbell Valley Regional Park

What: Boasting an overall total of 29 km worth of trails, Campbell Valley Regional Park is located amongst farmland and with a sprawling network of trails for walking, horseback riding, and exploring. The park is also home to the Campbell Valley Downs Equestrian Centre and the historic Langley Speedway. Bird watching, picnicking, and dog walking are also popular in the park as the easy terrain is perfect for families.

Where: Langley Township

Colony Farm Regional Park

 

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What: Colony Farm Regional Park has a number of trails that pass along the Coquitlam River and offer views of the nearby fields. The area is popular with joggers, cyclists, bird watchers, and those going for a quick walk who want to enjoy some scenery along the Coquitlam River.

Where: Port Coquitlam

Cypress Falls

 

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What: Cypress Falls is the perfect hike to do during the winter months when other trails at higher elevations are buried under snow. Just a short walk takes you through a dense forest full of old Cedar and Douglas Fir trees while following Cypress Creek up past two beautiful waterfalls.

Where: West Vancouver

Deas Island Regional Park

 

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What: Located south of Vancouver, the trails around Deas Island Regional Park offer scenic views of the Fraser River area. Named after the settler John Sullivan Deas, the island was once the primary operation of a cannery that produced the largest amounts of salmon along the Fraser River.

Where: Delta

Derby Reach Regional Park

 

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What: Derby Reach Regional Park includes the scenic trails along the Edgewater Bar section and a forest loop along the Houston Trail in the Historic Area. The park offers a dog off-leash area and easy walking trails that are popular year-round.

Where: Langley Township

Fort to Fort Trail

 

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What: The walking route known as the Fort To Fort Trail connects the Fort Langley National Historical Museum with the site of the original fort near Derby Reach Regional Park. The four-kilometre trail is a popular walking or family-friendly biking path.

Where: Langley Township

Mundy Park

 

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What: A beautiful community park with a wide network of trails.

Where: Coquitlam

Rice Lake

What: A calm, quiet lake located on the edge of the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Just a short walk takes you around this lake that is full of life and natural beauty.

Where: North Vancouver

Tynehead Regional Park

 

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What: Tynehead Regional Park is a popular park for cycling, picnics, dog walking, or exploring the upper Serpentine River. The area features two sides to the park, the east side, called the Serpentine Hills, has a perimeter bike trail, and the west side has hiking trails and the Serpentine Hatchery.

Where: Surrey

Whyte Lake

 

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What: A small, peaceful lake in the hills of West Vancouver above Horseshoe Bay. The trail begins at a somewhat steep pace but, overall, is relatively short and easy.

Where: West Vancouver

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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