Best Vancouver Area Hikes for Kids

Children hiking in the forest near Vancouver, BC

Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver / Hubert Kang

Vancouver has so many hiking options. Introduce your little ones to the outdoors early with one of these easy hikes. They’re short, flat(ish) and have lots of things to keep young hikers occupied along the way.

Safety First

Just because these trails are easy doesn’t mean you aren’t going to the wilderness. Many of the hikes on this list are very snowy and dangerous in spring and winter or can have other hazards the rest of the year. North Shore Rescue recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. And leave a trip plan with a friend so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.

Rice Lake

Families will love the easy gravel loop around Rice Lake in North Vancouver’s Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. It’s flat enough to push a stroller, although there a few bumps. Keep little ones entertained by following side trails down to the lake. Or pack your fishing gear and try your luck from the dock. Use the park map to find your way.

Trail stats: Easy  / 3km loop / no elevation gain / 1-1.5 hours

Reifel Bird Sanctuary

If your kids enjoy birdwatching, they’ll love a walk at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta. They have dozens of different bird species including sandhill cranes, owls, snow geese and tons of ducks. Trails wind around the various ponds, so there are lots of route options. But be sure to climb up the observation tower for the best views. You can buy birdseed, pay the small admission fee and get copies of the sanctuary map at the entrance. Get more info on their website.

Trail stats: Easy / 1-5km return / no elevation gain / 1-3 hours

Reifel Bird Sanctuary. Photo Credit: Ruth Hartnup on the Inside Vancouver Flickr pool

Sasamat Lake

On a hot day, add a short hike to your day at the beach. Head to Sasamat Lake in Belcarra Regional Park. Follow the trail around the lake to discover great views of the surrounding mountains. There’s also a fun floating bridge to cross. Brave kids may even want to cannonball off the swimming platform. Finish your hike at sandy White Pine Beach, a great place for a picnic. Bring the park map so you don’t get lost.

Trail stats: Easy / 3km loop / no elevation gain / 1-1.5 hours

Lower Lynn Loop

Keep kids engaged with a hike on the Lower Lynn Loop trail at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver. There are lots of side trails leading down to the river where they can play with rocks, throw sticks in the river and connect with nature. Follow the wide gravel trail as far upstream as you like, before turning around. If your kids have more energy and are ok with steep hills, complete the entire Lynn Loop. Use the park map to plan your route.

Trail stats: Easy or Moderate / 4km return or 5km loop / no elevation gain or 200m elevation gain / 1.5-3 hours

Othello Tunnels

Head to the Othello Tunnels in Hope to combine history with scenery on a kid-friendly hike. The trail takes you through a series of former railway tunnels above the rushing Coquihalla River. Although the tunnels are short, you may want to bring a flashlight to reassure little ones who are afraid of the dark. Get more info on the BC Parks website.

Trail stats: Easy / 3.5km return / no elevation gain / 1-1.5 hours

Othello Tunnels. Photo Credit: BC Parks

Yew Lake Trail

The mellow Yew Lake Trail at Cypress Provincial Park in West Vancouver lets stroller-pushing families get a little taste of the mountains. The trail meanders through a sub-alpine meadow and wetland. Along the way, there are picnic tables to take a break as well as interpretive signs to help you learn about the ecosystem. Don’t miss the big trees on the adjacent Old Growth Loop. Bring a park map to stay on track.

Trail Stats: Easy / 2km loop / no elevation gain / 1 hour

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