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?

Parks & Parties – Metro Vancouver Celebrates 50 Years

Sunrise Bedford Channel Photo: Rob Weiss

2017 promises to be an epic year for parks and parties! Our beloved Canada is turning 150, and in honour of this epic birthday, Parks Canada is offering their Discovery Pass granting visitors free admission to our world renowned National Park network. Closer to home, there is another special anniversary of note. Metro Vancouver Regional Parks is celebrating 50 years of “hikes, dog walks and morning runs among centuries-old trees.”

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Parks & Parties – Metro Vancouver Celebrates 50 Years

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

Hike Upper Shannon Falls – the Sea to Summit Trail

Discover Outdoors Upper Shannon Falls7

Shannon Falls Photo: Rob Weiss

Do waterfalls capture your imagination?  A waterfall, almost any waterfall, is fascinating mesmerizing, awe-inspiring.  We stand for hours listening, admiring, photographing, painting.  For centuries waterfalls have inspired poets, artists and musicians. Today we post pictures to Instagram and tweet on #WaterfallWednesday.  Personally, I find myself inexplicably drawn to their power and beauty.  Something about the thundering roar of water cascading down a mountain stirs me deep inside and energizes me to follow the trail toward them, as if drawn by their sheer energy.

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Hike Upper Shannon Falls – the Sea to Summit Trail

Got Mud? Hiking the Big Cedar Trail to Kennedy Falls, North Vancouver

Kennedy Falls Flickr Colin Knowles

Kennedy Falls Photo: Flickr, Colin Knowles

Mount Fromme, a mecca for local mountain bikers is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the North Shore, but don’t be fooled by the men and women riding the trails.  Day hikers are also welcome in the area and the Big Cedar trail to Kennedy Falls is a must see.  Who can resist a 600+ year old red cedar, cascading waterfalls, boulders, deadfall and creek crossings?  I know I can’t!

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Got Mud? Hiking the Big Cedar Trail to Kennedy Falls, North Vancouver

The Lions – Hear us Roar! Hike Capilano River Regional Park, North Vancouver

Discover the Outdoors the Lions

View of the Lions Photo: Rob Weiss

The Lions.  Proud, majestic, strong. These famous peaks are iconic Vancouver landmarks and define our ever changing skyline. They serve as beacons and silently remind us of Mother Nature’s strength and beauty.  I am forever drawn to them.  A key and vital component of my morning ritual includes a check-in with The Lions.  I miss them on grey days when they disappear into the clouds.  Conversely, on bright, sunny days they fill me with positive energy and an urge to get outside and play!

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The Lions – Hear us Roar! Hike Capilano River Regional Park, North Vancouver

Rainforest Romp – Lynn Canyon Park Day Hike

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Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge Photo: Rob Weiss

I love to be alone in nature.  The quiet solitude of a hiking trail is a welcome respite from life in the city.  My husband and I can hike for hours together in total silence.  Not the uncomfortable, stone cold silence of a marital spat.  Instead a warm, comfortable silence created from our shared love of the outdoors.  Mother Nature often rewards those who tread lightly.  Sounds of the wind, a thundering waterfall, a babble of a brook or the call of a bird come to those who are patient.  One of my favourite places to connect with nature is Lynn Canyon Park on Vancouver’s North Shore.

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Rainforest Romp – Lynn Canyon Park Day Hike