Last Updated on April 29, 2021
Sometimes you just want to get outdoors without having to prepare for a long day on the trails. We are always looking for easy hikes near Vancouver to take the kids and our adventure puppy Comet to explore outdoors that isn’t too strenuous and is easy enough to keep four kids and a dog safe. As always though, just because you’re heading out on an “easy” hike does not mean that you can be ill-prepared. Always do your research and bring your essential safety items.
The hikes below are relatively easy hikes near Vancouver. Depending on the chosen path at some, you may find yourself taking a lot of stairs (especially Lynn Canyon), but otherwise have a limited elevation gain and not too many difficult twists and turns. Some hikes will, of course, be easier than others, but the below hikes are good to us with four kids in tow, now aged six and under.
Lynn Canyon Park is home to several beautiful hiking trails that are suitable for all hiking levels. You can find a lot to do that is a leisurely stroll, but know that depending on the path, there could be a ton of stairs ahead of you! The park has grown from 12 acres in its early years to 617 acres today. Lynn Canyon Park contains second-growth forest with most of the trees aged approximately 80 to 100 years old. Take a look at an adventure we have had exploring Lynn Canyon for more details on the park and trails.
Campbell Valley Park
Campbell Valley Park is one of our favorite places to wander in nature with the kids. Gorgeous forest, grassland vistas and wetlands make it an outdoor paradise. There are a variety of trails and nature abounds all around you with such beauty and tranquility. We always feel rejuvenated after some time exploring the trails. The park is especially gorgeous in the Fall and we can never get enough of its beauty when the leaves are changing color.
Quarry Rock is an easy 3.8KM hike, that with kids ( baby, 2,4, 6 years old), takes a couple of hours round trip. The views at the top are absolutely breathtaking. You will want to bring a picnic to enjoy. There are some massive drop-offs, so always make sure your kids are safe.
Bring a lot of water, even on a cloudy day. In the summer the trail gets crazy busy. Make sure you wear athletic clothes — this is not a hike to do comfortably in jeans and flip flops!
Lighthouse Park is so close to Vancouver that you can see the city buildings in the distance, but you are among an absolutely gorgeous and dramatic coastal rainforest, peaceful nature and crashing waters. It is nothing short of a magical example of British Columbia’s coastal rainforest, with its huge trees, deep forest, rugged coastline and magnificent ocean views.
Lighthouse Park has several options for hiking; with only a few steep uphill and downhill sections. Keep in mind that trails near the shorelines do have some tricky rocks and roots. Also, at the viewpoints, there are some serious drop-offs, so pay extra attention to any little ones that like to run off or wander.
Reifel Bird Sanctuary
The Reifel Bird Sanctuary is one of the best places in the Vancouver area for bird watching. It is an important location for migratory birds and there are several different trails and routes to take. The sanctuary does charge an entrance fee and you must buy seed from them if you want to feed the birds. The kids love all the bird sightings and it is a great way to spend some time with the family.
In the early 1900s, the Canadian Pacific Railway decided a route was necessary to link the Kootenay Region with the BC Coast by rail. The Othello Tunnels are a series of five tunnels originally built for the railway access. The tunnels are constructed through granite, with concrete and wood interior supports and are connected in several areas by trestles.
There are many beautiful sights to see as you walk along the trail, through the tunnels and over the bridges. The canyon itself is breathtakingly beautiful. Looking around there are sheer vertical walls, stunning views up and down the Coquihalla River and to the Cascade Mountains to the north.
The Othello Tunnels was a great way to spend an hour for a leisurely walk.
Whistler Train Wreck
Known as the Whistler train wreck hike, the hike leads you to the site of several abandoned box cars just south of Function Junction. Little was actually known about the wreckage for years, beyond that it had been there since the ’50s.
As it turns out, the wreck happened in 1956, in a rock cut and there were three boxcars loaded with lumber jammed in there, causing a blockage to the line. The railway equipment was not able to move them, so logging machinery was used to pry the boxcars out, and they were dragged into the forest where you will find them today.
Golden Ears Provincial Park
Golden Ears Provincial Park is a peace of heaven on earth. There is an extensive network of hiking trails in the park ranging from short walks to strenuous backcountry trips, with a jaw-dropping lake in the middle of the woods. It is one of our favourite spots to go camping in BC.
The seawall is one of the most picturesque, relaxing walks in Vancouver. The seawall is a stone wall that was constructed around the perimeter of Stanley Park, to prevent the erosion of the park’s foreshore. Today, the seawall is one of the top attractions in Vancouver. Take a short walk along the seawall and you’ll understand why it is so popular.
Burnaby Lake Regional Park
Burnaby Lake is the largest lake in the Lower Mainland. We start near the sports field, where you’ll find plenty of parking and access to the skytrain, and take the path down to the lake. Burnaby lake is home to many species that include ducks, geese and beavers. The kids absolutely love watching all the ducks and we could spend hours there with them entertained with all the wildlife. Piper’s Spit is the best area in the park to find the ducks and geese. There are always birdwatchers around with their fancy cameras; it is a popular spot for viewing.
We say it time and time again, but we are so blessed to call Vancouver home and to be surrounded by such a wonderland! Vancouver is such a great outdoor paradise; there is something for every curious mind to explore!
What are some of your favorite easy hikes and walks near Vancouver?