Where to enjoy outdoor activities at SFU

Sep 5 2016, 3:10 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.

Take a hike and enjoy the view

With more than 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 outdoor soccer league…

Soccer player (Stephen Mcsweeny/Shutterstock)

(Stephen Mcsweeny/Shutterstock)

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

The outdoor soccer league meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, depending on which division you join.

… or join a competitive 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:

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.

Go on a Geocaching adventure

Woman and man geocaching (Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)

(Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)

Geocaching is described as “the world’s largest treasure hunt.” It’s also kind of like Pokémon GO, without the fighting and gyms.

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.

Explore the Playground of the Gods

The Playground of the Gods near SFU (Marius M. Grecu/Shutterstock)

The Playground of the Gods near SFU (Marius M. Grecu/Shutterstock)

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.