Where to enjoy outdoor activities at SFU

Dec 20 2017, 1:19 am

Simon Fraser University is located on Burnaby Mountain, a lush forested hill that is largely protected from over developing by the province. As such, there are a plethora of outdoor activities that people attending the school can enjoy during their time there.

From hiking to intramural sports, there’s never a lack of things to do in the great outdoors up on the hill.

Here are five fun outdoor activities to do at SFU.


Hike one of the numerous trails.

With over 330 hectares of protected land, it’s no surprise there are a number of hiking trails to choose from, but fair warning: they start at an intermediate level and go up to advanced.

Here’s a list of the trails accessible within SFU with their ratings:

  • Trans Canada Trail (Intermediate): this one has two entrances on the North side of the campus, and walking West will reveal spectacular views of Metro Vancouver.
  • Cardiac Hill (Advanced): be careful, this one is described at the Grouse Grind of SFU trails. The name is very telling of what you can expect. It’s located at the Northeast side of the campus, but links up to the Trans Canada, so you can have an easier walk back.
  • Mel’s Trail (Intermediate): Located on the East side of the campus near Univercity, you can choose to walk the whole trail or just half.
  • Poplar Trail (Intermediate): This one hooks up to both Mel’s Trail and the Water Main Trail, and the entrance is about 10 minutes away from Univercity.
  • Water Main Trail (Intermediate): Named for the water pumping station that it leads down to, the entrance to this trail is right near the Poplar Trail entrance. If you walk past the pumping station, you end up at Gaglardi Way.

Join the recreational soccer league.

Most of SFU’s intramural sports are played indoors, but the one that is still in the great outdoors is their recreational soccer league. It’s free to join and will guarantee a great opportunity to form new friendships, get in shape, and breathe that fresh mountain air.

The outdoor soccer league meets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Click here for a full schedule of SFU’s various intramural sports.

Join an outdoor sports club.

In addition to great intramural sports, SFU also offers various sports clubs. To capitalize on your outdoor time, choose one of the following sports:

  • Rowing
  • Quidditch (yes, you read that right)
  • Field Lacrosse
  • Field Hockey
  • Rugby
  • Tennis
  • Ski/Snowboard
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Ski/Snowboarding
  • Triathlon

Keep in mind, unlike most of the intramural sports that are just for fun, many of these leagues compete on a provincial or national level. Check out SFU’s website for more information on their various sports clubs.

Go on a Geocaching adventure.

Geocaching is described as “the world’s largest treasure hunt.” First you download the geocache app, then you go on an adventure to find the geocache(s) based on the map the app provides you with on your smartphone. Once you find it, log it, share your experience online and then re-hide the geocache where you found it.

On SFU’s campus alone, there are at least seven geocaches waiting to be found. If you want to broaden your horizons, Burnaby Mountain has dozens more.

To learn more about geocaching, click here.

Explore the Playground of the Gods.

Not far from SFU’s campus lies a myriad of stunning Japanese sculptures in a display called the Kamui Mintara or Playground of the Gods.

The carved wooden poles were created by Japanese sculptor Nuburi Toko and his son, Shusei, to commemorate the good relationship between Burnaby and its sister city, Kushiro, Japan.

To get there, just turn North onto Gaglardi Way from Lougheed Highway to Centennial Way.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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