Back Country Adventure to St. Mark’s Summit

Hike St Marks Discover Outdoors2

View from St. Mark’s Summit Photo: Rob Weiss

The majestic North Shore mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for Vancouver, arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Towering over the city and ocean below, these mountains beckon to those who wish to get outside and explore. Heeding the call of Mother Nature, we decided to grab our backpacks, hiking poles, ten essentials for back country travel and set our compass headings on Cypress Provincial Park. The area offers numerous opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts – a veritable smorgasbord for day trippers, “instagrammers” and mountaineers alike!

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Back Country Adventure to St. Mark’s Summit

Car Free Cycling on Vancouver’s North Shore

Discover Outdoors Seymour Demonstration Forest9

Car free cycling, Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve Photo: Rob Weiss

Imagine a 10 km paved roadway through a lush and scenic rainforest.  Now remove all vehicle traffic and add the majestic North Shore Mountains.  Voila! You have arrived at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, affectionately referred to by locals as the Seymour Demonstration forest.  Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages flock to the trail and employ all modes of transportation to explore this unique treasure.  Don’t be surprised to encounter sleek road racers, sturdy downhill mountain bikers, babies in strollers, inline skaters and tots on striders all sharing this unique North Shore experience.  A delightful mix of folk to be sure!

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Car Free Cycling on Vancouver’s North Shore

Al Fresco Dining and Bocce in Vancouver!

Flicker: Dion

Flicker: Dion

A recent game of bocce with my boyfriend reminded me why it’s such a lovely way to spend an hour or so in Vancouver’s beautiful outdoors. It’s leisurely, easily learnt by a newbie, and a fun, interactive activity to do together. With August slipping away, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the sun and the summer warmth!

Here are three different ways to enjoy a game of bocce in the city:

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Al Fresco Dining and Bocce in Vancouver!

Get ready for the 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower in Vancouver

meteor shower vancouver

Time to brush up on your photography skills…

If you haven’t had the chance to see a shooting star before, you’re in luck. Twice as many meteors as usual are expected to streak across the skies during this year’s Perseid meteor shower, which will peak August 11-12 in a particularly remarkable star show.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth travels through the debris of the comet Swift-Tuttle. This year, Earth will be closer than usual to the comet trails, making for what scientists call an “outburst.” Or, as non-scientists call it, a really cool light show!

Those in the Metro Vancouver area are in luck this year, because the forecast is calling for clear skies, making it an excellent opportunity for stargazing.

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Get ready for the 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower in Vancouver

Skimboarding – Coming to a Tide Pool Near You

Discover-Outdoors-Skimboarding10

Skimboarding at Spanish Banks Photo: Rob Weiss

When I think of tide pools, I visualize anemones, barnacles, clams and crabs, but visit Spanish Banks at low tide and you will notice large, two legged creatures inhabiting the pools.  Imagine a sport similar to surfing, a smaller board and a puddle!  Arguably, skimboarding is a perfect mix between surfing and skateboarding.  Bright and colourful, the boards are approximately three times wider than skateboards and about one and a half times as long.  It will come as no surprise that skimboarding originated in Southern California. Originally, the boards were simple wooden planks.  Today, the equipment has evolved and high end skimboards are constructed from carbon fibre and fibre glass.

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Skimboarding – Coming to a Tide Pool Near You

Stop and Smell the Roses – UBC Rose Garden

Discover Outdoors UBC Rose Garden2

Photo: Rob Weiss

Sensory Overload.  By their very nature rose gardens are a sensory experience.  Colours, smells, textures, beauty and grace combine to make any rose garden exploration a delight.  One of Vancouver’s best kept secrets and one of my favourite rose gardens is located on the University of British Columbia campus.  Situated in the most unlikely of places, the UBC Rose Garden is found on the top of a parkade, maybe the ultimate rooftop garden?  More than a dozen different rose species, in a wide variety of colours bloom between June and September.  Imagine the splendour and fragrance! Add a brisk ocean breeze and panoramic mountain view and you have found Zen!

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Stop and Smell the Roses – UBC Rose Garden

Dipping at Deas

Discover Outdoors Kayak Deas 5

Kayak Deas Island Photo: Rob Weiss

Ask Vancouverites where Deas Island is located and you may get a puzzled look.  Yet, thousands of commuters navigate the George Massey Tunnel on a daily basis, emerge on to Deas Island and cross the Deas Slough.  Wetlands, marshes, protected harbours and tidal flats are there for the taking. What better way to view this secluded natural hideaway than from the cockpit of a kayak?

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Dipping at Deas