5 Quick and Easy Hikes in Metro Vancouver

Because let's face it: we can't all be the Timberland-wearing, backpack carrying, sleep-on-the-mountain types.

Because let’s face it: we can’t all be the Timberland-wearing, backpack carrying, sleep-on-the-mountain types.

When local hiking expert Stephen Hui began writing his debut book, 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, he realized that not everyone is super-hardcore on the trails. Some of us prefer easy, meandering paths that require less time and energy—and luckily, Vancouver is blessed with an abundance of them. Read on to learn more about Hui’s fave simple hikes and nature walks.

Reminder: Check conditions, tell someone where you’ll be and never leave anything behind: “Pack it in, pack it out.”

Suspension Bridge in Lynn Canyon Park.

1. Lynn Creek

Round trip 14 kmDifficulty EasyLocation Harbourview Park (North Vancouver)

The Sea to Sky Trail along Lynn Creek is delightful in any weather or season. Visit the viewing tower at the creek mouth, then follow the suburban trail upstream to the temperate rainforest of Lynn Canyon Park. After crossing the suspension bridge and Twin Falls Bridge, stick with the east bank of Lynn Creek on your return.

Crown Mountain’s north peaks from Norvan Falls.

2. Norvan Falls

Round trip 14 kmDifficulty EasyLocation Lynn Headwaters Regional Park (North Vancouver)

Lynn Headwaters Regional Park is home to admirable bolete, deer mushroom, apricot jelly, woody bracket and other fungi. On the four-season, transit-friendly outing to Norvan Falls, you’ll also encounter rusty logging relics. Signs warn hikers to keep back from the steep cliff at the horsetail waterfall.

Trail junction in Capilano River Regional Park.

3. Capilano Pacific Trail

Round trip 14 kmDifficulty EasyLocation Capilano River Regional Park (West Vancouver)

The Capilano Pacific Trail begins at the east end of Ambleside Park and runs from the mouth of the Capilano River to Cleveland Dam. Much of the coast-to-canyon route follows a 1917 rail bed built by the Capilano Timber Company. At the dam, which dates back to 1954 and impounds Capilano Lake, feel the spray and hear the roar.

Buntzen Lake, as seen from South Beach.

4. Lakeview Trail

Round trip 11 kmDifficulty EasyLocation Buntzen Lake Recreation Area (Anmore)

A loop around Buntzen Lake is just the thing for unambitious days. However, it’s no fun to stick to the lakeshore path the whole way. Taking the Lakeview Trail on the west side adds some ups and downs and will make you break a sweat. A lovely viewpoint near the trail’s north terminus offers a look across the lake to impressive Swan Falls.

High Knoll overlooks the Pitt River.

5. High Knoll

Round trip 7.5 kmDifficulty EasyLocation Minnekhada Regional Park (Coquitlam)

Start this pleasant jaunt on the Fern Trail. After mandatory side trips to Addington Lookout and Low Knoll, ascend the High Knoll Trail. The day’s high point affords you an outstanding perch overlooking the Pitt River and Lower Marsh. Loop around the Upper Marsh before taking the Mid-Marsh Trail over the scenic dike dividing the marshes. Revisit the Fern Trail en route to the trailhead.

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