Vancouver is the ideal city for a crisp fall walk. The crowds of the summer have dissipated, the leaves are golden and green and mushrooms are popping up on the forest floor and beside sidewalks. There’s lots to see and do outdoors in the fall, so why not pack up the kids and go for a walk?
Five lovely fall walks perfect for kids
Stroll around your neighbourhood
Vancouver is a beautiful city in all seasons, and for ease, nothing beats a walk through the neighbourhood. With tall, mature trees lining most streets, there is plenty of colourful foliage to look at and lots of fallen leaves for preschoolers to kick around. Bring a plastic bag and pick up handfuls of acorns, horse chestnuts, maple keys and leaves to look at when you get home. Be on the lookout for interesting mushrooms to look at growing at the base of your neighbouring trees.
Walk the Stanley Park Seawall
Stanley Park is a lovely destination in the fall, with a nice mix of evergreen and deciduous trees along the seawall and a gorgeous view out over downtown and North Vancouver. Start at the Information Kiosk by the totem poles and head east, working your way around the 9 o’clock gun, lighthouse and coming back through the playground beside the children’s farmyard before walking behind the Aquarium and down to the Information Kiosk again.
Lift your Spirits on this Trail
Winding its way along scenic waterfront, by urban train and ship yards, public art pieces and playgrounds, this local portion of the new North Shore Spirit Trail stretches 6.5 km from the Lion’s Gate Bridge to Lonsdale Quay where there’s ice cream and snacks aplenty. It’s walkable, cyclable, skatable and stroller-able!
Explore the Beach
Even when it’s wet and cool, the beach is a fun place to explore with kids. Bundle up warmly in fleece jackets and rain gear first, then hit the sand. You’ll most likely have the whole stretch of shoreline to yourself, and there are lots of interesting seaweeds, crabs, shells, rocks, logs and bushes to explore whether it’s sunny or rainy. Spanish Banks, Kits Beach, Wreck Beach and even Trout Lake are fun places to play in the sand in the off-season.
Take a Rainforest Walk
There is something magical about being in the rainforest when the weather is rainy and cool. The Capilano Salmon Hatchery is a perfect destination for an autumn rainforest walk, with a couple of giant old-growth trees to visit and the chance to peek in the windows at the hatchery and watch spawning salmon jump up into the hatchery. Park at the Cleveland Dam, then walk over the dam, turn left down the hill to visit the giant trees, then turn right and continue walking along the river until you get to the bridge. Cross the bridge and turn left to visit the hatchery before climbing the stairs beside the little mushroom house at the edge of the parking lot to return to where you started. Don’t let a grey, cool day deter you from having a great time outside. Dress for the weather, wear rubber boots and don’t forget your rain gear! The beautiful fall foliage and spawning salmon are out there waiting for you.
Original post written by Michelle Carchrae of the Parent Vortex and updated in 2019