Surf’s Up – Cycling the Stanley Park Seawall


Photo credit: R. Weiss

Stanley Park

Iconic. Majestic. Awe-Inspiring

Nestled in the heart of the city, Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s most beloved parks. Each and every day tourists and Vancouverites alike flock to the seawall to take in the sights and sounds of this urban oasis.

One of the best ways to experience the Seawall is by bicycle. The designated cycling path guides you around the park and features incredible views of downtown, Coal Harbour, the North Shore Mountains and English Bay. The route can easily be completed in an hour but to truly appreciate the ride you need to be prepared to hop on and off your bike. There is much to see and do!


Photo credit: R. Weiss

Your adventure begins as you pass the Vancouver Rowing Club. The masts of moored sailboats create an interesting contrast against the city skyline. With ocean on one side of the bike path and the lush, west coast rainforest on the other side the route circumnavigates Stanley Park. Numerous cultural and historic landmarks are located within the park and should not be missed. The collection of totem poles located at Brockton Point is a definite highlight. These poles are one of the most visited tourist attractions in the province.


Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver

Cycling with the younger crowd? It is common to see bike carriers, trail-a-bikes, bike seats and striders on the seawall. The route is perfect for families! It is flat, easy to navigate and car free. Children will love the freedom and sense of independence cycling the seawall gives them. There are numerous viewpoints, playgrounds and beaches to visit should the kids need time off their bikes.


Photo credit: R. Weiss

Surrounded by the natural beauty of Stanley Park it is easy to forget that you are in the middle of a very busy port City. Sit for a minute and observe the working harbour. You will be treated to views of seaplanes, cargo ships, cruise ships, tugboats and countless recreational boats.


Photo credit: R. Weiss

Extra time? Hop off the bike and walk along the trail bordering Lost Lagoon. You will have ample opportunity to view some of the local wildlife. It is not uncommon to spot racoons, waterfowl, heron and eagles. Lost Lagoon is also home to the Stanley Park Nature house, Vancouver’s only ecology centre. Kids will love the interpretive displays and educational programs!


Photo credit: R. Weiss

It is difficult to capture the spirit of Stanley Park in words. No two visits to the seawall are ever the same as the scenery changes with the seasons, tides and the time of day. Maybe Lord Stanley said it best, “To the use and enjoyment of people of all colours, creeds and customs for all time, I name thee Stanley Park.” (Governor General of Canada, Lord Frederick Stanley, 1882)

Map and Route Tips:

Bike Rentals:  Numerous companies located near Stanley Park offer bike rentals.

Hungry?  Enjoy one of the many concessions or restaurants located within the Park.

Looking to extend your ride?  The seawall path continues around the downtown core….a story for another day!

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