Explore Rice Lake, Twin Falls and Lighthouse Park.
Getting out into nature can be a great way to spend time as a family and ensure your kids develop a connection with the outdoors. Try one of these three kid-friendly easy to moderate North Shore hikes.
Set your family up for success by being prepared: Read our blog How to Get Started Hiking to review the 10 essentials you should bring on every hike and check out our tips for Hiking with Kids. For organized parent and child hikes, sign up for NVRC’s Baby and Me hiking program.
This easy gravel trail loops around Rice Lake in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. The trail is flat enough to push a stroller, although it can get bumpy in places. There are several side trails where you can access the lakeshore. Be sure to visit the dock on the east side of the lake. It’s a popular spot for fishing or just taking in the view.
Directions: Park in the lot at the end of Lillooet Road in North Vancouver, past Capliano University. From the Seymour Valley Trailway trailhead, take the gravel path to the left, then follow the signs to turn right through the wooden gate to get to Rice Lake. Walk the loop around the lake in either direction. Bring a copy of the Rice Lake trail map to stay on track.
Trail Stats: 3km loop, minimal elevation gain, 1-1.5 hours
Toilet Facilities: Flush toilets at the parking lot and an outhouse near the dock.
Dogs: Not permitted.
Twin Falls Loop, Lynn Canyon
This hike lets you experience the raw power of Lynn Creek as you walk high above the raging waters in Lynn Canyon. You often get close to the edge of a precipice, but there are fences and railings everywhere, so it’s always safe. Be sure to check out the kid-friendly exhibits at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre before your hike (admission is by donation). Despite its short length, this trail involves a lot of stairs and hills so it’s not easy. And if you’re afraid of heights, you may not like crossing the suspension bridge.
Directions: From Lynn Valley Road in North Vancouver follow the signs Lynn Canyon to turn right on Peters Road and park in the lot at the end of the road. On foot, cross the suspension bridge then turn right and follow the boardwalk and stairs downstream to reach Twin Falls bridge. Cross the bridge and take the stairs and trail back upstream to the parking lot. The Lynn Canyon Park map can help you find the right path.
Trail Stats: 1.5km, 65m elevation gain, 1-1.5 hours
Toilet Facilities: Flush toilets next to the Lynn Canyon Cafe at the suspension bridge.
Dogs: Permitted on leash (but many will refuse to cross the suspension bridge!)
Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver offers lots of options for family hiking. The easiest route is the wide and stroller-friendly gravel Beacon Lane trail that heads straight for the lighthouse viewpoint. If the kids are up for more adventure, take the Valley Trail to Starboat Cove so they can explore the small pebble beach. For a longer outing over some rocky and rooty terrain, string together a few of the parks trails to make a loop. Try the Shore Pine Point and Juniper Point trails since they have great views. Be sure to keep little ones close at the viewpoints since there are some steep drop offs.
Directions: To get to Lighthouse Park turn off Marine Drive in West Vancouver on to Beacon Lane. Follow this short, narrow street to the parking lot. From the parking lot take the wide gravel path past the yellow gate to head straight for the Lighthouse viewpoint or branch off on to one of the many side trails. Plan your route with the help of the Lighthouse Park map.
Trail Stats: 1.5-10km round trip, 100m elevation gain, 1-4 hours
Toilet Facilities: Flush toilets near the lighthouse viewpoint, on the Juniper Loop trail and part way along the main Beacon Lane Trail. (See map for details.)
Dogs: Permitted on leash.
Taryn Eyton is a Vancouver-based hiker, adventure traveller and blogger. You can find her on the trails of Vancouver’s North Shore on weeknights and camping in the backcountry of Southwestern B.C. on weekends. Follow Taryn’s adventures at HappiestOutdoors.ca.