Fall is for Hiking – What’s in Your Backpack?

Photo: Flickr, Ann Hung

Like a picture postcard, Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains and their incredible hiking trails beckon. Without question, fall is one of my favourite seasons to hike. From St. Mark’s Summit to Quarry Rock autumn is an excellent time to tackle the trails. Crowds have dwindled this time of year, as though hikers, not unlike our local bears, have begun an early hibernation. The air is fresh and crisp, a welcome contrast to the searing heat of summer. Days are quickly getting shorter and time outside is precious. The sound of crunching leaves under my feet soothes me and serves as a reminder that winter is just around the corner. Yes, fall is for hiking!

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Fall is for Hiking – What’s in Your Backpack?

Forest Bathing – Vancouver Style

Solitude on the Trail Photo: Rob Weiss

Recently, I read an interesting and compelling article on a new health trend called Forest Bathing. Being an outdoorsy type and nature lover, whenever I see or hear the word “forest” my curiosity peeks! Fascinated, I decided to learn more about the Japanese practice of Forest Therapy. Developed in the 1980’s, Forest Bathing or Shinrin-yoku is the medicine of simply being in the forest. Widely recognized as a pillar of preventative health care, folk around the world are seeking their nature fix.

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Forest Bathing – Vancouver Style

Be Prepared – Hiking the Baden-Powell Trail

Deep Cove Photo: Rob Weiss

Be Prepared. Long recognized as the mantra for the Boy Scouts, these two simple words have come to represent the legendary spirit of the scouting movement. Fortunately for Vancouverites, we have the opportunity to honour Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the Founder of Scouting, by tackling the wonderous Baden-Powell (BP) Trail located on Vancouver’s North Shore.  Connecting Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove, winding over 40 km through fantastic, rugged coastal rain forest this scenic trail offers some of the best hiking in the region.

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Be Prepared – Hiking the Baden-Powell Trail

Have you Met Doug? – Exploring Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Photo: R. Weiss

Photo: R. Weiss

Doug. Pseudotsuga menziesii. The Douglas Fir. My favourite tree.

My love affair with Doug began in the 1980’s while hiking the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. I was in awe of the spectacular old growth forest and the majestic giant trees that towered over me. Sitka Spruce, Western Red Cedars and Douglas Fir captured my imagination and stirred my soul. Fortunately, you don’t need to travel all the way to the West Coast Trail to experience a Coastal Rain Forest. In fact, Pacific Spirit Regional Park, a lush urban forest, is right outside our back door. Close and convenient, this regional park features 763 hectares of forest and foreshore and is one of my favourite places to visit Doug.

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Have you Met Doug? – Exploring Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park

5 Fantastic (and Easy) Fall Hikes in Vancouver

Lighthouse Park | 'James Wheeler / Flickr

Lighthouse Park | ‘James Wheeler / Flickr

Vancouver’s brief, glorious autumn is the perfect time to explore the city’s natural charms. Long days, mild temperatures and clear skies make ideal conditions for a walk in a park, along the rugged coastline or into the mountains.

These five, easy hikes are all within a 45-minute radius of downtown. They can be completed in three hours or less and reward with breathtaking views and access to wild scenery.

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5 Fantastic (and Easy) Fall Hikes in Vancouver