Spring Hike Spring is just around the corner. With lengthening days and beautiful sunny rays warming up my apartment it's clear that the season is changing. I'm not the only one feeling excited about what spring will bring, others around me are going outside more and more as well. People start to emerge from their houses and enjoy hikes and walks along the boardwalk. Buds are appearing on the trees and birds are busy making nests for their new eggs. Spring is a time where many people rejuvenate after a long dark winter; spring cleaning to fix up the house, starting the garden, and working on that summer beach body.
My version of a summer beach body, is to get healthy. I used to be able to run a half marathon in high school and would like to get back to that.
Something I know and love very much is hiking! It’s a great way to get healthy. I have been going out and enjoying this lovely spring weather by going for three hour hikes. A combination of running, jogging, and walking each day I push myself a little more. I hike five days a week, and haven't gotten tired of it yet. This post is focused on mountains and trails in the lower mainland of BC, but if you live anywhere near a trail I encourage you to get out and explore it. The payoff feels amazing and I am already seeing results in my endurance and speed.
The Baden Powell trail in North Vancouver is one of my recent favourite hikes. It is full of streams, bridges and beautiful brush. It's definitely a good choice if you have dogs. However, it is also a commercial dog walking trail on weekdays so if you have a dog who doesn't do well with other dogs, or a little one who doesn't feel comfortable around other dogs I would suggest a different trail.
Deer Lake is located in Burnaby BC. It's an easy one hour hike that circles the lake. Wide paths and flat terrain make it appealing for families and elders. It has a viewing tower and a pier that displays the beautiful scenery. It also has a beach that fills up with families, swimmers and boaters when the warmer weather arrives.
An hour and a half hike from Whistler Village will take you to Lost Lake. It's a great easy hike ending with a lovely lake and park. There are trails that surround the lake as well. It's dog and family friendly, with a park, beach area, docks and picnic tables.
Mount Thom, Bridal Veil Falls, and Teapot in Chilliwack are a couple of my other favourites. It is a bit of a drive to get to, but they have some absolutely amazing views, especially if you are a frequent hiker and you're looking for some new scenery.
Mount Thom takes about two and a half hours but has amazing views of the Fraser Valley and Cultas Lake. This hike has three starting points depending on what level of intensity you are looking for. It begins with steep a staircase that goes on seemingly forever that is a great way to work out those legs. If you're not one for stairs, you can park at the base of the trail as well. It starts with a steep incline for about a half hour, but then has some ups and downs that even out. If you're looking for a shorter hike, there is a road that leads to the top with a parking lot. A trail from there, takes you about fifteen minutes to reach the summit.
Teapot is a two hour hike and is dog friendly if they are on a leash. It also has secret "tea pots" hidden all throughout the trail. It has two viewpoints; one of Cultus Lake and the other of the Columbia Valley.
For those who aren't looking for a crazy hike or want something a little more family friendly Bridal Veil Falls is a fifteen minute to half hour walk up to the waterfall. With camping available, outhouses and picnic areas, it’s a great park for families. Dogs are also allowed, but must be on leash. Also always remember to please clean up after your pup.
I have yet to attempt the Grouse Grind. It is closed until late spring because of dangerous conditions, but I will be attempting it as soon as it's open. It is notorious for its steep incline: in less than 3km it climbs 850m vertically. This hike takes determination and I will definitely be bringing a couple bottles of water!
Those are just a few of my favourites! I'd love to hear about your experiences and what your favourites are.
Be prepared! Wear comfortable clothing and footwear, and don’t forget to bring water for longer more difficult hikes. The risk of dehydration is increased at higher elevations, with physical activity, and with heat. It can cause dizziness and headaches and develop more complications if left untreated. Also, if you are going alone, let someone know where you are hiking and the estimated time of return. It isn't uncommon to get turned around and get lost if you aren't familiar with a trail.
I encourage you to grab a bottle of water, get out in this lovely spring air, and enjoy the mountains in beautiful BC.