5 Places to Get a Quick Nature Fix in Vancouver

Exploring nature in Vancouver, BC

Photo: Destination BC/Jordan Manley

By now you’ve probably seen countless news stories about how exposure to nature is good for us. It makes us happier, reduces stress and boosts creativity. According to scientists, just listening to birdsong and running water or smelling trees can help us chill out.

In Vancouver, you don’t even have to leave the city limits to spend some time in the woods. Here are five Vancouver parks with a wilderness feel, perfect for a quick nature fix in the city.

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5 Places to Get a Quick Nature Fix in Vancouver

Meet the Locals on Family Day

Photo: Kate Paton on Instagram @pacificnorthwestkate

In the distance, I could hear their distinctive howl. It began as a highly pitched series of yips and yelps which quickly escalated into an attention-grabbing chorus of sound as the pack joined in. Although I was in the heart of suburbia, I found myself captivated by the calls of a coyote pack. Unsure whether to feel frightened or excited, I froze in my tracks. I wondered what was causing all the excitement? I wondered if I was the source, having perhaps wandered too close to a den? Then, as if on cue, the howling stopped and the stillness of the evening prevailed. I suppose the party was over.

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Meet the Locals on Family Day

Take a ride on the wild side with the Vancouver Parkbus

garibaldi lake transit

Image courtesy of Parkbus | Facebook.com

The close proximity of nature to Vancouver’s city centre is one of the top reasons it’s one of the most spectacular destinations in the world. With parks, mountains, and oceans all easily accessible by transit, biking, or walking, it’s easy to escape into the forest when you’ve had enough of the buzz of city life.

However, if you want to explore a little further from the nearby nature, you’re likely going to need a car. For those without access to four wheels, the Vancouver Parkbus is offering you a ride to the great outdoors with an easy connection to nearby BC Parks.

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Take a ride on the wild side with the Vancouver Parkbus

10 Perfect Places in Vancouver for an Outdoor Yoga Practice

Photo: SANDMAN SAYS – WordPress.com

There are two things I will always recommend to anyone needing a pick-me-up: Yoga and fresh air. One of my favourite things about Vancouver is that it’s filled with parks, green space, and beaches for everyone to enjoy Continue reading:
10 Perfect Places in Vancouver for an Outdoor Yoga Practice

Surrey Nature Centre – Gateway to Urban Wilderness

Nature Exploration Photo: C. Gillespie

Nature may be the last thing that comes to mind when you think of Surrey’s City Centre, yet nestled on the northern edge of the Fraser Highway lies a natural oasis known as Green Timbers Urban Forest.  I have a penchant for nature, and when time limits my ability to travel to the mountains, nothing thrills me more than exploring an urban forest. Featuring over 10 kilometres of nature trails, a lake, meadows, and countless wildlife viewing opportunities, Green Timbers does not disappoint! Once a destination for tourists in search of old growth trees, Green Timbers is considered the birthplace of reforestation in British Columbia and certainly one of Surrey’s natural gems.

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Surrey Nature Centre – Gateway to Urban Wilderness

Kids In Vancouver: Teeter Above The Treetops On The Greenheart TreeWalk

Greenheart TreeWalk, UBC Botanical Garden | Photo: Bianca Bujan

Vancouver is rich with forested trails and garden-side galavants, but few destinations offer the unique opportunity to explore the outdoors from above the forest floor. The UBC Botanical Garden’s Greenhouse TreeWalk offers a thrilling, treetop perspective of the natural surroundings that BC has to offer. Here’s what you can expect from this teetering arboraceous adventure.

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Kids In Vancouver: Teeter Above The Treetops On The Greenheart TreeWalk

Connecting to Nature – Stanley Park Nature House

Discover-Outdoors-Stanly-Park-Nature-House2

View from Stanley Park Nature House Photo: Rob Weiss

Have you had an opportunity to watch the Stanley Park Heron Cam?  I must confess I have been captivated by this “birds-eye-view” of North America’s largest Pacific Great Blue Heron colony.  Interest piqued by the webcam, I decided I wanted to learn more.  Who better to explain the courtship and nesting behaviour of these prehistoric looking birds than the knowledgeable interpreters volunteering at the Stanley Park Nature House?

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Connecting to Nature – Stanley Park Nature House