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There are not enough words to describe the rugged beauty of British Columbia. Visitors and those of us fortunate enough to reside in this beautiful province are able to witness the towering mountain ranges, extensive wildlife, lush green forests, and dynamite coast lines -- it's kind of hard not to fall in love with this province and everything it has to offer. One highlight of this province is it's endless supply of trails and outdoor destinations - with over 850 parks, British Columbia has no shortage of trails. The wonderful thing about living in a temperate climate like British Columbia, is the weather -  it's great pretty much all year long and there are an endless amount of trails and outdoor activities to choose from. 

1. Golden Ears Provincial Park:
Where: Maple Ride, BC (1 Hour and 30 Minutes from Vancouver)
Best time to go: Year-round
Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Time/Distance: Varies, depending on trail

Located in the city of Maple Ridge, BC in Golden Ears Provincial Park just East of Vancouver, this provincial park has a number of great trails for all fitness levels. This popular hike offers some pretty amazing views, including Gold Creek Falls, which is a short and easy 2 hours (5.5km round trip), Mike Lake (2km round trip - 0.75hrs), and the stunning Alouette Lake.

2. Lighthouse Park:
Where: West Vancouver, BC (40 Minutes from Vancouver)
Best time to go: Year-round
Difficulty: Easy
Time/Distance: 2hrs (6km round trip)

One of the most stunning parks in the West Coast and labelled as one of Greater Vancouver's "most beautiful parks," Lighthouse Park is the perfect weekend stroll to be done all year-round. Located along the shores of West Vancouver, this park is every outdoor lovers dream. Walk among The Valley of Giants - the park is full of lush trees, and is home to some of the largest Douglas Fir trees in all of the Greater Vancouver area, and has stunning views of the water to boot. Pack a picnic and spend your weekend afternoon here and walk any number of the trails, and see some amazing picturesque sights along the way such as the historic Lighthouse and Starboat Cove.

3. Trainwreck Trail:
Where: Whistler, BC (40 Minutes from Vancouver)
Best time to go: March-November
Difficulty: Easy
Time/Distance: 1-3hrs (5km round trip to see all seven trainwreck cars)

Trainwreck trail is roughly 10-20 minutes outside of Whistler Village. Trainwreck trail is the perfect short hike/walk in the Whistler area. Whistler has several amazing hikes to choose from, however; this one is particularly great because of the story behind it. In 1956, a train derailed just south of Whistler at Function Junction, where 7 train cars were derailed and scattered along various parts of the Cheakamus River. As it turns out, it ended up being quite a great deal of work to remove the cars from the area, so they were just left as is. Now, the derailed cars have been transformed into a beautiful work of art, a local bike park, and a popular hiking trail for both locals and those residing in the Lower Mainland. 

There are seven cars scattered throughout the trail within the forest, a short distance from the train tracks. The cars have been fully covered with graffiti inside and out. Hikers will have the pleasure of viewing a great hidden local gem and get a chance to see stunning views of waterfalls and rushing rapids along the Cheakamus river. For simplicity sake, this short hike is best started in Function Junction, where hikers can park their car and then begin the hike a short distance from the tracks where they will see a path (beginning of trail head). 


 4. Lynn Canyon Park:

Where: North Vancouver, BC (30 mins from Vancouver)
Best time to go: Year-round
Difficulty: Easy-moderate
Time/Distance: 1-4hrs (time and distance varies depending which trail)

Another local favourite: Lynn Canyon Park is both striking and beautiful. There is lots to see at this park, which is only a mere 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Spend a day or an afternoon here and explore all the different trails and all this park has to offer. One of the highlights is the suspension bridge which is located at the beginning of the park's trail, by the visitors centre. Many come from all over the world to see the popular bridge and for good reason; it compares to the much larger Capilano Suspension bridge in a smaller scale and is free of charge. Besides the suspension bridge, there is the 30 Foot Trail, Beaver Trail and Twin Falls Loop, which takes you across a small bridge and onward to Lynn Creek, stopping at Two Falls Bridge where you can see two waterfalls. If you have extra energy and are feeling adventurous, you can try the moderately challenging Baden Powell trail, which leads to Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.




5. Sasamat Lake:

Where: Village of Belcerra, BC (45 mins - 1hr from Vancouver)
Best time to go: Year-round
Difficultly: Easy
Time/Distance: 3hours

Hikers residing in the Trti-Cities will be familiar with the Sasamat Lake/White Pine beach trail. This hike, can again be easily done by anyone of all fitness levels and is family friendly. Sasamat Lake is located in the Village of Belcerra, in Port Moody and features a number of different walking trails, a beach area and concession stand (typically open in the warmer months). It can get pretty busy in the summer, but this hike is the perfect forest walking trail for the fall, with stunning views of the mountains and the popular floating bridge. 

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