The next time I travel in North America I really want it to be in Canada and the province of British Colombia is at the top of my list. The city of Vancouver has been described as Manhattan with mountains and this Canadian metropolis wrapped around its sparkling harbour has unlimited opportunities to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of British Colombia.
The combination of water and mountains make this modern, trendy city a perfect destination for travellers like myself who love the great outdoors. The options for hiking in and around Vancouver seem endless but here are the three hikes from Vancouver I would especially love to walk:
The Baden Powell Trail
The Baden Powell Trail is a hiking path traversing Vancouver’s North Shore and was named after Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the world Scouting Movement. It is about forty-eight kilometres long from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. The trail winds through old growth forest; has boardwalk sections lined with ferns and skunk cabbage, and a few stiff climbs with rewarding views. It also features the popular Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. The biggest climb of the hike is up Mount Seymour through stunning old-growth forest scenery and the vistas from above Quarry Rock over Deep Cove are gorgeous.
St Mark’s Summit
St Mark’s Summit takes you deep into the mountains around Vancouver but is relatively accessible and achievable. Start the hike from Cypress Provincial Park and enjoy the varied terrain of this trail, leading to spectacular views from many points. Rocky outcrops, vertical cliffs and beautiful forest frame the fantastic views over Howe Sound. There is a bit of scrambling to be done near the summit.
Pacific Spirit Park
This park has an extensive 73 kilometres of trails, running around the University of British Colombia and along the shores of Georgia Straight. Deep old-growth forest surrounds hikers enjoying the park and there are a number of stairways leading down to various lovely, unexpected beaches along the way. Pacific Spirit Park is in the affluent Point Grey neighbourhood of Vancouver.
Public transport for hiking from Vancouver
Vancouver is famous for being liveable, including without needing a car, which makes it perfect for visitors. When planning your visit and hiking activities make use of the extensive public transport options in Vancouver to go hiking. The city is very bike friendly and the Vancouver public transit system is excellent. There are SkyTrain and West Coast Express train services, as well as an extensive network of buses in Vancouver and on the North Shore. The SeaBus passenger ferry connects downtown with the North Shore’s Lonsdale Quay terminal.
Where to stay in Vancouver
Staying in central Vancouver and particular in the waterfront district will give you great options for getting out into nature with public transport. The Pan Pacific Vancouver is a landmark hotel that rubs shoulders with the Alaska cruise terminal on the waterfront and as it starts from the eighth floor, has stunning views over the harbour. If your budget is limited AirBnB has some good options for accommodation that start at $28 per night.
This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series