The shoulder season of Spring can be the best time to get out hiking as life begins to bloom again in the forests, rivers are fierce and at their fullest, and the air is still so crisp and fresh.
We’ve given you some ideas as to where to go on a day hike in the lower mainland. Now try heading out for a weekend or even longer with these hiking location ideas, all within a day’s drive from Kitsilano.
Old growth forests, amazing wildlife, and not as far as you might think – Vancouver Island is one big outdoor playground dotted with small cities and quaint villages loaded with delicious refreshments. Of course, there’s the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve along the west coast of the island which is home to the famous West Coast Trail and Long Beach in Tofino. Here you’ll find a wind-swept rugged coastline like no other. It’s perfect for surfing and spotting marine life, too.
But there are also some easier to get to, and less challenging hikes in amongst the MacMillan Provincial Park. This park, west of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and Coombs (all towns worth visiting at some point) protects the accessible and stunning Cathedral Grove – a stand of 800-year-old Douglas Fir trees that will inspire and humble any visitor.
If you’ve got the time, drive east for a day, passing through Manning Provincial Park (this park itself is a worthy destination with outdoor activities for all seasons, and tons of hiking options), heading all the way to the West and East Kootenays.
This rural southeast area of BC is rich in not only history, craft beer, and awesome coffee, but it’s also got an endless supply of hiking trails for all levels and time commitments. You’ll probably need a Backroads Map or the Where Locals Hike guidebook to sort it all out. Be prepared for epic views, pristine glacial-fed lakes, and total, absolute, solitude.
Note: whenever you’re out hiking, whether you’re out for an hour or a week, always be prepared for the unexpected. Pack an appropriate emergency kit, plan your clothing for all weather conditions, and let someone back home know where you’re going and for how long.
Last modified: April 4, 2018