Everywhere you look, colourful crocuses are popping up and cherry blossoms are in bloom! Spring is finally here! After a rainy West Coast winter, nothing feels better than warm sunshine on your face and some much-needed outdoor time to get reacquainted with mother nature. Here are five stroller-friendly hikes throughout the Lower Mainland to help you and your munchkins soak in that essential vitamin D.
Top 5 family (and stroller) friendly hikes in the Lower Mainland
Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver
Beauty and tranquility define this network of well-maintained trails that meander through the University Endowment Lands at UBC. Print off a map beforehand or follow the signs for stroller-friendly options; several trails are designated wheelchair accessible. Highlight for kids? Salmonberries and huckleberries can be found during berry season, particularly along Huckleberry Trail!
Gold Creek Falls, Maple Ridge
This 5.5 km riverside trail (about two hours) includes gigantic boulders and wooden bridges to explore in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Mid-way, look for an off-trail clearing; it’s the perfect beach spot to have a snack and throw rocks into Gold Creek. The destination waterfall is a roaring, rushing, misty cascade during the Spring runoff season. Feeling adventurous? Park your stroller and climb up the short, steep trail to the top of the falls for a fantastic view before making your way back to enjoy an afternoon at Alouette Lake.
Located on Westham Island, this wetland estuary is home to nearly 200 species of birds! Spring is a busy time of year for nesting ducks and geese, and migrating waterfowl. Child admission is $3 and bags of seed can be purchased for $1. Black-capped chickadees will eat sunflower seeds right from your hand! The groomed pathways take about an hour if you stop to feed the crowds of friendly ducks and climb the lookout tower.
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, North Vancouver
Rice Lake offers a scenic 3 km stroll (about an hour) with wide, easy trails around the lake that is totally stroller-friendly. Bonus: there is a large dock and the lake is stocked with rainbow trout! Kids under 16 can freshwater fish for free, no license required for BC residents!
Alternatively, the lower section of the Lynn Loop trail is an easy 3 km there-and-back hike. From the parking lot, walk across the bridge and turn left on the wide, gravel service road which travels alongside Lynn Creek. Enjoy berry-picking and discovering old forestry equipment hidden amongst the trees. (Turn back before the upper portion which has some steep sections, streams and stairs.)
Deer Lake Park, Burnaby
Accessible all year around, Deer Lake is a flat, relaxing 5 km grassland walk with beautiful lake views. Start at the beach area and play on the swings before beginning your stroll along the wooden boardwalk. After the gravel path section which passes through a residential area, there is a brief roadside segment before returning to the path. Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and the Burnaby Art Museum are just up the hill, as well as the Burnaby Village Museum.
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