Easy hike in Vancouver

The lockdown has begun to lift in BC. Whilst we must remain vigilant and cautious to maintain social distancing, it’s now OK to go for a hike on public trails. Great news! We were desperate to stretch our legs after months in our 1-bed apartment, so looked for an easy hike in Vancouver that we could do with trainers and would take an hour or two.

I use All Trails to find accessible local trails. I like it because it:

  • Clearly shows routes with map overlays
  • Has a large user-base who add reviews giving you great insight on the trail including recent access
  • The ability to filter routes to find something to suit your needs
  • Good imagery so you get an idea of the view from the top!

After checking out local trail possibilities, we ended up in Lions Bay. Lions Bay is about 40 minutes drive outside of Vancouver. OK this isn’t strictly an easy hike in Vancouver, it’s an easy hike near Vancouver, but you won’t find many decent hikes actually in Vancouver downtown!

We selected the Centennial Trail, but eventually combined a few different routes as we kept walking for longer than initially anticipated. The Centennial Trail runs along the edge of the highway, so can be noisy depending on the level of traffic. However there are some very nice view points where you can poke your head out of the forest trail and gain incredible vistas of Howe Sound. The trail snakes due North, and was over fairly quickly (it’s only short, and we’re quick walkers), but you can wander East up the hill, and check out other linked trails. We walked along Harrisons Trail and Trudis Trail before connecting to Bayview Road, looping back to Lions Bay cafe. The image below just shows the Centennial Trail.

The route we completed had more elevation gain than we planned for. We were going easy because of some achey knees, but enjoyed the unexpected cardio! The trails are well maintained and the path was easy to follow. You’re either on a well trodden soil path or gravel roads if you follow Harrisons Trail and reach further East up the slope. We really enjoyed spotting new trees growing on old tree bases, as you can see below!

As always, you’re in bear country so you should be prepared – walk in groups, make noise as you go, carry suitable sprays – but the only wildlife we really saw were birds and this impressive snail gliding slowly across some moss, fern and lichen. The green foliage cover is soft to the touch and superficially springy, and made us think of a woodland mattress.

As we don’t have a car but are members of the local car-sharing co-op Modo, we took a Modo to get to Lions Bay. We parked around the corner from the Lions Bay Cafe, went hiking, and then returned to the Cafe for an ice lolly and coffee refreshments post-hike.

I’m a big fan of car-sharing because it’s a lower hassle way of having access to a car compared to owning, arguably is cheaper (depending on your usage), you can access a massive range of cars including fully electric cars like the Kona.

We booked our car just before leaving, and my favourite Kona wasn’t available, but we did get a RAV4 Hybrid instead. It didn’t feel like too much of a compromise as the RAV4 was also relatively new (2018), feels spacious and is a pleasure to drive.

If you’d like to try out Modo, you can sign up by clicking below and using the following Modo referral code:

Full disclosure –  this referral link will give me a few $ driving credit. If you do choose to sign up with this code, I will massively appreciate it and consider it a token of thanks for authoring this and other related posts on car sharing in Vancouver.

If you’re looking for an easy hike in Vancouver, check out the All Trails app and explore what’s on your doorstep!

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