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It's time for the entire family to hit the trail.
Getting outside with the kids is often easier said than done. It helps to seek out trails that appeal to their interests — beachcombing and beaver lodges, for instance.
Here are four easy hikes that are fun for the whole family. You don’t have to complete these trails to enjoy the outings.
Reminders: Check trail reports, bring the essentials, leave a trip plan with a responsible person, and leave no trace.
Photo: Stephen Hui
Round trip: 3.5 km
Location: Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest (Squamish)
Hit the Brohm Lake Trail to hike beneath towering trees and earn clifftop views.
From the north end of the parking lot, head right into the woods. Quickly fork right and pass the outhouses. Keep right to bypass the Rock Bluff Loop. A fence guards a drop-off before a sweet blufftop viewpoint presents itself off to the left.
Head up wooden staircases fronting a rock face. Descend to meet the Powerline Trail. Go left and descend steps. Take a lovely bridge over a steep creek. Drop down more stairs to lake level. An old-growth cedar leans over clear Brohm Creek, which is crossed on a bridge.
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Go left at the Brohm Creek Trail junction, then keep left at the Thompson Trail junction. Head south, communing with old-growth survivors on the quieter west side of the lake. Stay right at an unsigned junction and then left at the Connector Trail.
Meet the Bridge Trail. Go left to cross over the wetland. Turn left on the other side. Head north, next to the Sea to Sky Highway, arriving at the south end of the parking lot.
Round trip: 8 km
Location: Crippen Regional Park (Bowen Island)
Half the fun of hiking on Bowen Island is taking the ferry. This foot-passenger-friendly hike in Crippen Regional Park boasts many attractions, such as big trees, a waterfall, a fish ladder, and a beaver lodge.
At Horseshoe Bay, catch a B.C. Ferries sailing to Snug Cove. From the ferry dock, walk up Bowen Island Trunk Road and turn right on Cardena Road. Find the Crippen entrance on the left. Set off on the Alder Grove Trail.
Reach Bridal Veil Falls and drop down a path to see the cascade and aging fish ladder. At the end of Alder Grove, take the Miller Road crosswalk to begin the Hatchery Trail. Cross a bridge over Terminal Creek and head right on the Meadow Trail. Follow the path by an equestrian ring and to a bridge over Killarney Creek.
Make a left on the Killarney Creek Trail to keep going to Killarney Lake. Fork left at the Cedar Trail junction to begin a clockwise loop. Meet Magee Road, turn left, and recross Killarney Creek. Exit the gravel road to the right on the Killarney Lake Loop Trail.
Continue on the pleasant loop trail, which gets more rugged on the east side of the lake. Briefly go left on Magee Road. Turn right on the Cedar Trail. Merge with the Killarney Creek Trail and stick with it to Miller Road. Go right to reunite with the Alder Grove Trail. Retrace your steps to the ferry dock.
Round trip: 5 km
Location: təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park (Belcarra)
This beach in newly renamed təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park is enchanting. The shoreline hosts barnacles, crabs, limpets, sea stars, and multicoloured rock.
Find the trailhead next to the picnic shelters. Follow the path to Bedwell Bay Road; cross by the bus stop. Pass the Bedwell Bay Trail and turn right to start the Jug Island Beach Trail. The roadbed rises in the second-growth forest and levels out. Pass under a rock wall draped with moss, go up stairs, and scamper over outcrops. Descend the muddy path, with the aid of stone steps.
Emerge at Jug Island Beach. Comb it for interesting rocks and shells, but remember the fourth principle of Leave No Trace: “Leave what you find.” Head back to the trailhead.
Round trip: 12 km
Location: Hayward Lake Reservoir Recreation Area (Mission)
Navigate the west shore of a B.C. Hydro reservoir and spot the remains of a historical B.C. Electric Railway line.
From the Railway Trail’s upper parking lot, drop down to the shore of Hayward Lake and follow the wide path northeast. Pass a little beach. The trail curves up and away from the shore to bridge streams under the dappled light of fir and cedar trees.
Near the top of the Railway Trail, turn left onto Harry’s Trail. Round a pond, clockwise, in shade. At trail’s end, continue straight past a large parking lot and the warden’s house to the swimming beach. Head southwest on the Railway Trail to return to the trailhead.
Stephen Hui is the author of Best Hikes and Nature Walks With Kids In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, coming to bookstores in May 2022.
His first two books, 105 Hikes and Destination Hikes, were #1 B.C. bestsellers.
Learn more: 105hikes.com