The Best Walking Routes in Vancouver

Because—literally—what else are ya gonna do?

A distanced walk is just about the only way to socialize right now. On the bright side, Vancouver is an eminently walkable town, with parks, beaches, leafy streets and coastline-hugging pedestrian pathways for days. Here, our editors share their best bets for a great social stroll.

The Fairview ’Hood

Tucked between Oak Street and Cambie, the Fairview neighbourhood doesn’t get much buzz (save for the always busy Corduroy Pie Co.) but the sleepy residential area makes the ideal locale for an evening walkabout. I like to pick a corner of Douglas Park to start at, and meander the surrounding leafy streets in a zig-zag west-to-south-to-east-to-south-again route as my whims decide. Any direction you go, you’ll find adorable heritage houses, with the odd modern new build tossed in, sure to fuel real estate debates for blocks on end. I call dibs on the modernist beauty at Heather and 28th.—Stacey McLachlan

Stanley Park Loop

I’ve been in the West End for going on a decade and I’m a longtime seawall stroller, but I didn’t head into the trails themselves much until it was pandemic time and I desperately needed room to breathe—particularly in those early, stranger-danger days. Nine months later, I’ve got a pretty regular loop: head into the trails at Second Beach, follow Bridle Path to Lees Trail and then turn right on Tatlow to hit the lagoon. Keep following that loop around, admire the glassy water on still days, and wind my way back through the West End, playing spot-the-art-deco with the buildings that characterize west of Denman. I was once afraid of getting lost (and in fact I have)—but 2020 tech means all the trails are on Google Maps now. So just pick a trail and keep walking. —Anicka Quin

Trout Lake

I recently moved to Commercial Street, and while I definitely did and continue to mourn moving out of Mount Pleasant, it hasn’t been all bad in my new spot. A large part of that is the landlocked wonder that is Trout Lake. With a mishmash of very walkable trails and actual chances to get lost in the middle of East Van, it really is a nice getaway from, well, everything that is 2020. There’s even a farmers’ market (well, usually), a basketball court to practice your solo game and (we assume) the city’s smallest beach. —Nathan Caddell

Steveston’s West and South Dikes

Before you dismiss this for the 25-minute drive (yes, it’s only 25 minutes from Vancouver; my mom reminds me of that every time I go more than a week without visiting), let me tell you: the dike lining the Richmond waterfront is the most peaceful, people-free, COVID-cool walk you can find in the Lower Mainland. Lots of parking, no cars rushing by and enough space on the gravel path that walking past another person doesn’t feel like sidewalk parkour. You can start at Garry Point Park and walk west, but parking at the end of Williams, Francis or Blundell Road is better. Any way you slice it, you’ll have the ocean on one side, gorgeous homes on the other and absolutely no uphill, guaranteed. —Alyssa Hirose