With its mountainside slopes, evergreen forest and numerous bodies of water, the North Shore is home to a network of world-class hiking trails – a number of them accessible to both you and your kiddos.
Vancouver-based author Stephen Hui released his newest book, Best Hikes and Nature Walks With Kids In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, on Tuesday (May 17).
Here are his five favourite hikes in North and West Vancouver – and a few nearby bonus picks – to enjoy with the whole family.
Capilano Canyon – North Vancouver
Easily accessible by transit, Capilano Canyon has a list of attractions packed into a relatively small area. The Cleveland Dam, old growth trees and various viewing platforms provide plenty of eye candy.
Along the route, hikers can visit the Capilano Salmon Hatchery (free admission), which features an inside look at the river and any fish swimming in it.
Hui is leading a hike at Cap Canyon May 29 in partnership with NatureKids Vancouver.
Fisherman’s Trail – North Vancouver
Hui says the Fisherman’s Trail along the Seymour River is wonderful, especially with its suspension bridge – the newest one built by Metro Vancouver. On Dec. 7, 2014, a devastating rock slide tore through the area.
The trail features lush forest with picnic tables at the mid-valley viewpoint.
Dog Mountain – North Vancouver
For something higher, Hui recommends Dog Mountain up Mount Seymour, which is perfect for helping little hikers feel like they’re mountain climbing.
But the trail is closed now, and should be for around the next month as heavy snow melting makes the trail muddy and nearby creeks hazardous.
Lynn Canyon – North Vancouver
Many who hike on the North Shore are familiar with Lynn Canyon and its many attractions, including the suspension bridge and Twin Falls.
The relatively flat terrain makes for easy hiking, and there are a number of places to swim in the cool water on a hot day. Rice Lake is also nearby.
Cypress Falls – West Vancouver
Lesser known than some of its North Shore cousins, Cypress Falls presents a small degree of challenge with some steeper terrain.
But there’s plenty to look forward to: canyons, waterfalls and even hollow trees – “Those are always fun,” Hui said.
Spring is the perfect time of year to check out this North Shore hiking gem with your kids.
Sasamat Lake – Port Moody
For Hui, Sasamat Lake is a good opportunity to introduce young hikers to trails with changing elevation. But it’s still a relatively easy trek, as you go up and down around the lake.
The hike also features a floating bridge, which is always cool.
Pender Hill – Sunshine Coast
The Sunshine Coast is great for kid hikes, Hui said.
In the Pender Harbour area, Pender Hill is fantastic for feeling like you’ve climbed a mountain. You can even have Northern alligator lizards join you at the top.
Along the way, you’ll also see a bent-over tree that looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, which is sure to catch your child’s attention.