The North Shore’s proximity to the City of Vancouver and our own urban centres being steps away from our epic wilderness are some of the best things about our destination! Our outside is ingrained in how we live, work, and play. But, this proximity can also give a false sense of comfort to visiting explorers. Let us tell you, we are the Mother of All Nature and our wilderness is WILD. Be prepared before you go:
Book Off-Peak – Travelling during shoulder seasons or mid-week not only helps local infrastructure and businesses by spreading impacts but also can save you money as the best deals are during this time.
Support Local – When you stay on the North Shore everything you eat or drink, every place you stay, every attraction you visit, and every gift you buy helps support our community. It’s also some of the best ways to talk to locals and get our secret tips on things to do!
Make Reservations – During COVID many attractions and businesses are requesting that you book your tickets or make reservations in advance of your visit. This not only allows our businesses to manage their capacity but also lets your own experience run smoothly!
Leave the Car Behind – The North Shore is one of the most popular places in the Lower Mainland to get into nature but this can lead to strain on our highways, car parks, and neighbourhoods. Many of the popular parks are accessible by bus and our parks and neighbourhoods would appreciate it if you left your car at your hotel. Another option is exploring the North Shore by e-bike.
Tread Lightly – Stay on established trails to avoid disturbing our nature and wildlife and to keep yourself from getting lost! If you want to explore further and aren’t an experienced hiker consider taking an expert with you on a hiking tour.
Take Out More Thank You Bring In – Making sure you don’t leave any trash behind when exploring nature is one thing, but what if we all promised to take out one bit of additional trash when we left too. Let’s leave our parks even better than we found them.
Seek Out Quiet – Quarry Rock and Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge are only a couple of our great experiences. However, they are now extremely busy at peak times with no promise of finding a place to park, or those noises of wind in the trees and bird song you are longing for. Try some of our different less-known trails to avoid the crowds and find our nature at its best.
Know Before You Go – Whether a local day trip or a long weekend once things reopen plan your trip fully. Check what is open and has available admission before your visit and make a plan B for if car parks are full or spaces are too busy.
Plan Your Adventure – Plan your travel route, know the terrain and conditions and check the weather in advance of your hike or ride.
Get Educated – Learn how to deal with the situations nature can throw at you by watching videos and webinars from local experts. Try AdventureSmart programs, Outdoor Safety Education Events, or read up on tips from North Shore Rescue.
Take The Essentials – What to bring with you varies throughout the year but North Shore Rescue has some great suggestions for the essentials. An important thing to remember is that while lower trails may be green and lush, higher trails are often snow-covered for a lot of the year. Do your research before heading out.
Don’t Rely on Technology – Your phone battery could die or run out of signal. Don’t let your phone be your only preparation.
Welcome to the Neigh-bear-hood – The North Shore is home to a variety of wild animals including bears, cougars, coyotes, raccoons and more. You are in bear country! Learn what to do should you cross paths with local wildlife.
Don’t Feed The Wildlife! – Feeding cute animals might be tempting but it puts you and the animal in danger so don’t do it. It may seem harmless to feed a Whiskey Jack but this act is illegal and leads to problems for the birds.
Dispose of Garbage – Don’t leave out any garbage that could attract wildlife.
Leave Wildlife Wild – Do not approach, feed, or call out to wildlife. Keep viewing moments short and move on to leave the animals in peace.
Do Not Disturb – Keep dogs on leash to keep our furry friends, and yours, safe.
Don’t panic Stay calm and maintain a positive attitude.
STOP Sit, Think, Observe and Plan.
Stay put It reduces time and search area for the authorities looking for you.
Seek shelter Protect yourself from the elements by staying warm and dry.
Signal for help Think BIG, Think CONTRAST, Think 3’s.
Create a ground-to-air symbol by making the letter “V” or “SOS”, at least 3 meters in length.
Use whistle blasts x 3, mirror flashes x 3, horn blasts x 3, signal fires x 3 or rock piles x 3 to signal distress.
For a search & rescue, emergency dial 911 and ask for police
North Shore Rescue – Volunteer-based Search & Rescue team on the North Shore
AdventureSmart – Free outdoor recreation education
North Shore Mountain Bike Association – Volunteer-driven non-profit organization dedicated to caring for a sustainable trail network
The Weather Network – Weather updates
Metro Vancouver Parks – Check parks advisories
BC Parks – Park trip planning
Translink Trip Planner – Plan your trip by public transport
Trailforks – Trail database
North Shore Black Bear Society – Learn how to coexist with wildlife