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Hiking in Vancouver doesn't have to be a gruelling all-day commitment
You like the idea of escaping to more natural surroundings while the fantastic summer weather lasts, but have a limited schedule. Or maybe you just don’t feel like working up too much of a sweat. Luckily, it’s possible to explore much of our stunning forest, mountain and coastline scenery on foot and still be home before lunchtime. Here are a few of our favourite hikes that take two hours to complete and reward walkers for their efforts with impressive views and wildlife.
If you’re new to hiking, Lynn Valley is an excellent place to start. The Twin Falls Loop is an easygoing introduction to local trails and leads walkers along Seymour River, down into the canyon, through ancient forest, past pools and waterfalls. The lush trees provide both shelter from the sun or a breakthrough shower. Lynn Canyon Park has several short hikes that are ideal for families and beginners.
Completion time: 2 hours
Looking for breathtaking views of the Vancouver coastline without having to put in too much effort? Dog Mountain trail in Mount Seymour Provincial Park is remarkably accessible. Its path gently winds alongside the mountain and ends at an impressive vantage point. Although this is a short trail with a steady incline, some parts of the route can present challenging footwork for the very young or elderly.
Both Trails 3 and 4 provide a satisfying tour of the Point Grey coastline, which lead to Acadia and Tower Beaches. These beaches are much more peaceful than nearby Wreck Beach, as well as rockier and wilder, which makes them an especially good location to spot an array of wildlife. You’re likely to come across herons, seals, kingfishers and bald eagles.
Completion time: 1 hour
Known by some as Burnaby’s answer to the Grouse Grind, the Velodrome Trail begins with a 500-stair climb. You’ll find the Kamui Mintara Japanese totems at the top with arguably the best view in Burnaby as their backdrop. The added bonus is that unlike the Grind, four-legged friends are welcome to come along to keep you company.
A short hike doesn’t have to mean an easy hike. Grouse’s lesser-tread trail is a steep, rocky climb – and sometimes scramble – that runs almost alongside the Grind. It’s ideal for those who’d prefer to follow a more natural path. Swing a right at the Baden Powell signpost around five minutes into the Grind, and follow the trail until the BCMC Trail sign. You’ll need to join up with weary Grinders at the top to take the gondola back down to the base.
Completion time: 90 minutes
Quarry Rock is a highlight and short ‘cheat’ section of the gruelling Baden Powell Trail. The walk up to the viewpoint is a decent workout that takes around 45 minutes. Take in the beautiful views over Mount Seymour and the city skyline while watching the paddleboarders glide across the Burrard Inlet below. Panorama Park is a great post-hike retreat for a picnic.