Spring is here! The sun is out, the flowers are in bloom, and the allergies are peaking.
Whether or not you took a winter break from the trails, it’s time to gear up for the ambitious hikes of summer.
Here are four short and sweet hikes — all perfect for springtime and close to Vancouver — to get you started up the path.
Lynn Peak Lookout
Location: Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, North Vancouver
Round trip: 4 hours
When the desire to work up a sweat and spend some time in the woods hits, an outing to the Lynn Peak Lookout is just the (transit-friendly) ticket. A rocky path and switchbacks transport you up to the first viewpoint overlooking the Seymour River valley.
Up the ridge, the trail penetrates the Enchanted Forest; the old-growth Douglas fir and western red cedar trees certainly do look magical. The final bluff delivers views of Metro Vancouver and the Salish Sea.
Location: North of Lions Bay
Round trip: 5 hours
Sweeping views of Howe Sound are the raison d’être for this hike. The most treacherous parts of this outing are the start and the finish, as the trailhead lies across the fast-moving Sea to Sky Highway from the Tunnel Point rest area.
A succession of viewpoints facing Howe Sound or Mount Harvey offers ample opportunity for breaks. The cliff-top destination overlooks Horseshoe Bay, Bowen Island, Gambier Island, and Anvil Island.
Coquitlam Lake View Trail
Location: Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, Coquitlam
Round trip: 5.5 hours
The Burke Mountain area features a variety of delectable hikes that pair well with rainy days and shoulder season. This circuit comes with a triple serving of waterfalls — Sawblade, Dry Crossing, and Woodland Walk falls.
An old-growth Douglas fir stands next to Woodland Walk Falls, with a humongous western red cedar stump waiting just down the trail. Vistas of the Coquitlam Lake reservoir are an added reward.
Location: Golden Ears Provincial Park, Maple Ridge
Round trip: 4.5 hours
A few years back, B.C. Parks built a new bridge over Gold Creek. This connected the East Canyon and West Canyon trails, and created an attractive loop for hikers and trail runners.
Detours to visit the scenic backcountry campsites at Viewpoint Beach and Alder Flats are highly recommended. From the beach, the wild scene includes the double summits of Edge Peak and Golden Ears.