Where to Try Gravel Biking Around Vancouver

Cycling on the Pitt River Greenway in Vancouver

Photo: Pitt River Regional Greenway

Many cyclists love gravel biking because it widens the horizons of where you can take a bike and often brings you to gorgeous natural destinations. Many people like to take extended gravel bike trips on unpaved backroads. But you can experience the beauty of gravel biking right here in Vancouver.


What is Gravel Biking

Also known as gravel grinding or gravel riding, gravel biking is exactly what it sounds like: riding a bike on gravel roads and trails. The ride is a bit bumpier than pavement but not technical like mountain biking. You don’t need a special bike to go on a gravel ride, but it helps to have one without skinny tires.


Gravel Biking Tips

  • Under British Columbia law, you must wear a helmet when you ride.
  • If you don’t have one, it’s easy to rent a bike from one of Vancouver’s rental shops.
  • If you haven’t ridden in a while, your bike might need a tune-up. Make sure your tires are pumped up and your brakes and gears work.
  • Bring snacks and water to keep you fueled up and happy.
  • AdventureSmart recommends bringing a bag with essential safety and first aid gear on every adventure.
  • Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather.
  • Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.


Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver

Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park features 50 kilometres of multi-use trails in the forest near UBC. Use the park map to plan your route through the park. Since the shared trails are popular, keep an eye out for walkers and dogs, especially on busy weekends.


Trans Canada Trail, Burnaby

Burnaby’s portion of the Trans Canada Trail is 12 kilometres long and mostly on quiet gravel paths through the forest. The route runs from the Burnaby Heights neighbourhood near the Second Narrows Bridge, through Confederation Park and Scenic Park to connect with trails on the north side of Burnaby Mountain at Barnet Marine Park.


West Dyke Trail, Richmond

The gravel West Dyke Trail in Richmond is a popular route for cyclists. The path stretches six kilometres along Sturgeon Banks from Terra Nova Park to Steveston Village. It has incredible views of the ocean and the North Shore Mountains. You can use the Middle Arm Trail and paved Railway Greenway to make a 16 kilometre loop.

Cycling the West Dyke Trail in Richmond near Vancouver, BC

Cycling the West Dyke Trail in Richmond. Photo credit: Tourism Richmond


Grouse Mountain Highway, North Vancouver

If you’re up for a challenge, try cycling up Grouse Mountain Highway to the top of Grouse Mountain. It’s a lung-busting climb as you gain 800 meters over 12 kilometres of rough gravel road. The route starts at the top of Mountain Highway and finishes at the Grouse Mountain Peak Chalet. Leave this trip for summer when the snow has melted and skiing is done for the year.


Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, North Vancouver

This huge park has a network of unpaved roads and trails that are perfect for gravel biking. Explore the Fisherman’s Trail and Spur 4 Road for great views of the Seymour River and surrounding mountains. Use the park map to find your way. These routes are best for more experienced gravel riders since the surfaces can be rough, the routes are sometimes steep, and it is a wilderness area.

Biking on the Fisherman's Trail in North Vancouver

Fisherman’s Trail. Photo: Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve


Traboulay PoCo Trail, Port Coquitlam

Named for a former mayor of the city, Port Coquitlam’s Traboulay PoCo Trail makes a 25-kilometre-long loop through the community. Most of the route is on gravel trails next to the Pitt and Coquitlam River.


Pitt River Regional Greenway, Pitt Meadows

As you ride along the dykes of the Pitt River Regional Greenway you’ll enjoy great views of the Fraser and Pitt Rivers, nearby farmland, and the Golden Ears Mountains.


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