With the weather turning warm, many Vancouver mamas are taking the opportunity to get outside. It can be a challenge to get outdoors and enjoy nature with babies and toddlers in tow, but it is possible. You just need to pick a kid-friendly trail. We’re here to help with five family-friendly Vancouver hikes.
1. Stanley Park
Creating Stanley Park was the first order of business when the City of Vancouver was incorporated back in 1886. It is the city’s oldest and most-beloved park, and for good reason. Along with the miniature train, aquarium, playgrounds, pools and beaches, it offers the 8.8 kilometer seawall, and more than 27 kilometers of forested trails. We suggest Lost Lagoon for an easy, stroller-friendly start to your Vancouver hikes. If you’d like a different take on the park, try Beaver Lake, which can also accommodate strollers.
Photo credit – Thomas Woodtli on Flickr
2. Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Located on the University Endowment Lands, this park features more than 73 kilometers of walking trails. Many of them are well-maintained, relatively flat, and stroller-friendly, although it’s a good idea to check the map before setting out. Heron Trail, Imperial Trail and Cleveland Trail are specifically designated wheelchair accessible if you’re looking for a gentle hike. Huckleberry Trail is also fun if it’s huckleberry season. There are also off-leash and leash optional areas for your family’s four-legged members.
Photo credit – Jennifer C. on Flickr
3. Everett Crowley Park
This park got its start as a garbage dump. Despite its humble beginnings, this Killarney Park is now a forested refuge in the city. You’ll find a quiet, hilly place with views of Richmond and lots of urban wildlife. There are a number of trails, including many gravel, bark mulch and paved walkways your stroller should be able to handle. To plan your trip check out the trail map online. Everett Crowley Park also plays host to one of the city’s longest-running Earth Day celebrations. This Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 11:00am to 3:00pm volunteers will plant 1500 native trees and shrubs. There’s also lots of free, family-oriented fun.
Photo credit – Richard Eriksson on Flickr
4. Rice Lake
Located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park on the North Shore, Rice Lake is a 3 kilometer stroll along wide, flat, stroller-friendly trails. It’s often listed as one of the most kid-friendly Vancouver hikes. In addition to the trail there is a dock where you can fish and lots of viewpoints where you can see the lake. If your kids like to explore under their own steam this is a safe place to let them do just that.
Photo credit – Jeff Hitchcock on Flickr
5. Reifel Bird Sanctuary
Located on Westham Island in Delta, Reifel Bird Sanctuary is a bit of a drive for urban mamas, but it’s worth it. The sanctuary is home to migratory birds year-round, and it has a variety of trails that any stroller can navigate. It’s worth visiting in different seasons to see different birds. The staff keep count of them if you’re curious. You can also purchase bird seed to feed the ducks – a hit with every kid. Keep in mind: you do have to pay admission rates as this isn’t a public park.
Photo credit – Roland Tanglao on Flickr
What about you – where are your favourite Vancouver hikes to enjoy with your little ones?