9 Ways to Get Outdoors in North Vancouver

The Lions from Cleveland Dam

View of The Lions from Cleveland Dam. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Kazutoshi Yoshimura

North Vancouver is known as an outdoorsy city, which isn’t a surprise since it is nestled on the slopes of the North Shore Mountains, and filled with forested neighbourhoods. Here are nine ways to have fun outdoors in North Vancouver.

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9 Ways to Get Outdoors in North Vancouver

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.

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Where to Try Gravel Biking Around Vancouver

December’s Vancouver Hike of the Month: Rice Lake

Rice Lake Trail in North Vancouver

Photo: Taryn Eyton

North Vancouver’s Rice Lake in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve is a great place for an easy winter walk since it rarely has snow. The flat trail has beautiful views of the tranquil lake, which often boasts beautiful reflections.

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December’s Vancouver Hike of the Month: Rice Lake

7 Things To Do in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

Mountain view on the Seymour Valley Trailway in North Vancouver

View from the Mid Valley Picnic Area. Photo: Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

North Vancouver’s Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve protects the forest and streams of the lower Seymour River Valley, one of Vancouver’s drinking water sources. Explore over 65 kilometres of trails through the rainforest and beside the river or head to easily accessible Rice Lake, a favourite with families. Use this guide to help you plan your trip to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.

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7 Things To Do in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

March’s Vancouver Hike of the Month: Seymour River and Lynn Creek Loop

Twin Bridges suspension bridge in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver, BC

The new suspension bridge at Twin Bridges in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Photo via happiestoutdoors.ca

The lower slopes of the North Shore mountains have an incredible network of interconnected trails that are perfect for exploring. The forested paths and rushing rivers are a great destination for the rainy and misty spring days of March. There are so many options that it can be hard to choose. See some of the highlights on this hike that uses several trails to make a loop that includes the deep canyons of the Seymour River and Lynn Creek. 

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March’s Vancouver Hike of the Month: Seymour River and Lynn Creek Loop

Vancouver Hidden Gem Alert: Seymour Demonstration Forest

Photo credit: Skip the Filler | Flickr

Photo credit: Skip the Filler | Flickr

It’s hard to believe that minutes from the noise and chaos of downtown Vancouver is an alternate, carbon-free civilization inhabited only by cyclists, rollerbladers and pedestrians.  But it’s no dream: It’s North Vancouver’s Seymour Demonstration Forest.

This 5,668-hectare park, formally known as the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, is actually a bit difficult to find, which may explain why it’s stayed relatively off-the-radar all these years.  Google Maps isn’t much help (though searching “Rice Lake” will get you close).  Directions online sound a bit like an old treasure hunt:  “Head toward Capilano College and drive straight past the main gate to the campus. Keep right on driving, past the riding stables and cemetery.”

But it’s worth hunting down.  You’ll know you’re on the right path when you start hitting speed bumps every 50 metres.  The road makes its way through thick forest and past a mysterious-looking building called the LSCR Waste Stream Diversion Facility before dead-ending at a gravel parking lot.  Here, you’ll notice every single car has a bike rack mounted on it.

This is because the main draw of the park is the Seymour Valley Trailway: a 10-kilometre-long paved path that threads its way through one of the most gorgeous – and bike-friendly – stretches of forest in the area.  Over the weekend, I hopped on my bike and explored the trail for the first time. Continue reading:
Vancouver Hidden Gem Alert: Seymour Demonstration Forest