At long last, Spring has sprung! Time to put away the parkas, bust out the board shorts and chase after all the excitement under the sun. The list of thrilling activities on the North Shore is as long as the day is now, and whether you’re looking to get up to mountains, down to the water, or just find that middle ground, the North Shore is your first stop for the year’s second season.
Just one look up and it’s easy to see why Vancouver’s North Shore is synonymous with some of the world’s best alpine adventures. You don’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool mountaineer to enjoy some incredible hiking, and accompanying views, on the North Shore. Though if you are, we got trails for you too. No less than six mountain peaks offer a variety of trails to suit whatever kind of day out you’re looking for.
If walking around on a mountain sounds too slow for you, good news: these very same mountains and trails have a well-earned reputation for world-class mountain biking. And again, you don’t need to be a pro to enjoy North Shore mountain biking trails that have been built up over the years by a dedicated and vibrant community of riders, and that can accommodate a wide range of skills and daring-do.
Just starting out? Check out the Spirit Trail, a path along the waterfront that makes for a fun and easy ride with lots to discover along the way. Don’t have a bike? Not a problem, try renting an E-Bike from Reckless Shipyards, the perfect way to experience the North Shore. Want to get out there and explore but not sure where to start? Look into Coastal Cogs, they offer bike rentals and guided tours for all skill levels.
But maybe trails aren’t your thing at all. When you see a mountain, you think, “Let’s climb it!” Lighthouse Park and Cypress Mountain offer many dedicated routes up sheer solid rock for all abilities of rock climbers. As always, safety first, so if you need a little practice, AdventureSmart provides qualified instructors and there are three artificial climbing walls to safely hone your skills on.
With the vast Pacific Ocean spread out before us, and the rapids rushing down from the tranquil alpine lakes above, there’s no end to fun on the water on Vancouver’s North Shore. Have paddle, will travel and there are plenty of spots to dip your oars, from the pristine waters of Deep Cove to the rolling Capilano and Seymour rivers. And a number of places to rent a kayak or canoe for a perfect BC getaway, including authentic First Nations cultural tours from Takaya Tours, opening May 1st for the season.
Waters on the North Shore are abundant with fresh saltwater and fish making for some of the best, and most scenic, fishing in the country. Try your hand up on the Capilano River for the early Coho salmon run, or you’ll find beautiful trout in Rice Lake just north of Lynn Creek. Or head out to the deep sea on a charter from Sewell’s Marina where just 20 minutes out from Horseshoe Bay your knowledgeable guides will help you land that prized salmon.
To truly feel the power of the water that has shaped our mountains over eons, get right down in it on an unforgettable adventure with West Coast Canyoning. Canyoning is a sport taking the outdoor world by storm that consists of a descent into a narrow canyon while waterfalls cascade all around you. Once down, you’ll explore the beauty of the rainforest like you never have before.
For those that like their fun planted firmly on the ground, there are plenty of options to get the most out of the scenic North Shore. Consulting the handy North Shore Bike Map is a great way to plan a day of cycling through the area’s many neighbourhoods and villages, including the Seymour Valley Trailway, a 10-kilometer, vehicle-free, paved stretch through the Lower Seymour Conservation reserve with spectacular views of Mount Seymour.
Golfers know the North Shore well for challenging and picturesque courses, from Northlands carved into the mountainside, to Gleneagles along the water near Horseshoe Bay. Ambleside and Murdo Fraser par 3 courses are perfect for families or those just looking to do a little pitching with their putting.
Bust out your binoculars for a day of bird watching at Maplewoods Flats where more than 250 species of birds have been spotted over 96 hectares of mudflats, salt marsh and forested areas.