Ultimate Urban Kayak Escape – Spanish Banks to False Creek

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View of Science World Photo: Rob Weiss

Sitting in our kayaks, with bows pointed towards the North Shore Mountains, we were faced with a difficult decision.  To our left, open ocean, the call of Wreck Beach and the natural splendour of Pacific Spirit Regional Park and to the right the urban oasis known as Vancouver.  This is the thrill of launching from the expansive beaches of Spanish Banks.  After much discussion, we decided to head to town.  The glistening towers lining English Bay and Yaletown were like beacons guiding us towards the protected waters of False Creek.

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Ultimate Urban Kayak Escape – Spanish Banks to False Creek

Turtle Power! Burnaby Lake Style

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Cricket comes alive on the sports fields Photo: Rob Weiss

How far would you venture to discover Western Painted Turtles, a stunning wildlife sanctuary, a nature house, a cricket match, an equestrian centre, a rowing pavilion, miles of nature trails and a butterfly garden?  Rest assured, you do not have to travel far!  To my delight, Burnaby Lake Regional Park has it all.  Located in the heart of Burnaby, adjacent to the busy Trans Canada highway, lies a natural oasis and sports haven.

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Turtle Power! Burnaby Lake Style

Kayaking the West Vancouver Shoreline

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The Welcome Figure by Stan Joseph Photo: Flickr Ikan1711

With the magnificent North Shore Mountains towering overhead and spectacular shoreline, West Vancouver is well known for its luxurious oceanfront homes.  Viewing these architectural estates from the water is a unique and thrilling.  Paddling affords you an intimate, exploratory experience.  Think of it as type of “British Columbia Outdoor Home Tour of the Stars”.

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Kayaking the West Vancouver Shoreline

New Film: “Running Wild” Starring the Vancouver Rainforest, The Lions and More

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Meet ultra runner Cody Callon. If you ran in to him in the backcountry you might mistake him as an animal that belongs in the wild. Cody talks about a state of mind that is only achieved when running long distances on the trail. Perhaps this is the same state of mind that hunters would rely on when endurance hunting for survival thousands of years ago.

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New Film: “Running Wild” Starring the Vancouver Rainforest, The Lions and More

Skateboard Friendly – Vancouver’s Best Skateboard Parks

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View from Kensington Skateboard Park Photo: Rob Weiss

True Confessions. I have never been on a skateboard. I will likely never attempt to skateboard, yet the sheer athletic ability and talent of Vancouver’s young skateboarders drew me to the local skate parks to learn about the sport and this unique community of athletes. With my heart in my mouth, I watched countless young men and women twist, turn, plummet, jump, fall and manoeuvre their way through man made concrete jungles. Effortlessly, skilled riders landed tricks with ease and confidence while younger, inexperienced boarders tenaciously worked at perfecting their craft.

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Skateboard Friendly – Vancouver’s Best Skateboard Parks

Back Country Adventure to St. Mark’s Summit

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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

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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