Vancouverist’s first Car-Free Hikes in Vancouver article gave you a taste of what’s possible when you grab a bus ticket and lace up your hiking boots. In this edition, we take it a step further. These transit-friendly hikes are wilder, longer and surprisingly easy to get to on the bus.
Seymour Demonstration Forest Road:
Transit Directions: Catch bus #229 from Lonsdale Quay. Your stop is Peters Rd. at Henderson Ave. Walk up Henderson Ave. to get on Lynn Valley Rd. Walk up Lynn Valley Rd until you can turn right on Rice Lake Rd. Take this to join the Baden-Powell Trail towards Rice Lake. When you come upon the parking lot and picnic area, get on the wide, paved, multi-use Seymour Demonstration Forest Road. Since bikes are allowed on this road, and because the following hikes start 6-10km down the road, bringing a bike on the bus is recommended.
Coliseum via Paton’s Lookout: After 9.2km or 1 hour of cycling on the road, there is a dirt spur road. Hike up here a little bit and hide your bike. The trail is on the right after a dry creekbed. If you have GPS, there are good waypoints available.
South Needle: Ride just under 6km on the road to Hydaulic Creek. Lock up your bike under the bridge. Start looking for the flagging tape on trees 10m or so north of the bridge that marks the beginning of the trail. Head up steeply through the forest, and enjoy a view of the North Shore peaks from the top. Note: Although there are 3 Needles, the middle and north needles are considerably more difficult and dangerous than the south needle. Keep it fun, stick to the south!
Vicar Lakes & Mount Bishop: Cycle 10km on the paved road following signs for the fish hatchery. After the hatchery, head to the Bear Island Bridge, cross it and head up on the service road trail until you reach a gate. Go right from here and start looking for flagging and a yellow diamond on a tree. The Vicar Lakes trail goes up from here, passing some of the oldest Yellow Cedars in Vancouver. Caution: there are several sections of this trail where it is necessary to pull yourself up on chains and cables over steep rocks. From Vicar Lakes it is possible to gain the ridge and carry on the Mt. Bishop.
The Lions Binkert Trail:
From the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal in West Vancouver, catch bus #C12 Lions Bay. Get off in Lions Bay and walk 1.6km up Bayview, Mountain and Sunset Drives until you reach the parking lot at the end of Sunset Dr. This is the trailhead. From here follow signs to The Lions, and enjoy one of the most iconic Vancouver hikes. Please note, it is not advisable to try and actually summit the West Lion unless you have considerable climbing experience and the correct gear. People have died on the loose steep rocks. Enjoy the meadows, and the beautiful view from the base of The Lions.
Mt. Harvey: Follow the directions to The Lions. After about 45 mins. on the main trail, you will see the turnoff for Mt. Harvey.
Mt. Brunswick: Follow the directions to The Lions. At the painted sign for “The Lions” go left and you will join the Mt. Brunswick trail.