Vedder Ridge Trail

It was a bit of an adventure getting there as we competed for roadspace with ATV’s, BMX bikes, and trucks loaded with mountain bikes. We mistook a junction for the correct junction according to the directions (the one with the yellow gate on the right is not the correct one, FYI. Plus, there’s no sign there!). But when we finally found the junction with the long, narrow, wooden sign in the middle, and walked up the 800 meters of dirt road (to find some parking space, again, FYI), and meandered our way on the overgrown logging road to enter the wood, we were awed.

The forest is dense, old, and so quiet. The path is covered with evergreen needles and soft, mulchy earth, muffling the sound of your footsteps and softening the range of your voice. It felt so serene and maybe a bit creepy. But, mostly, it was peaceful and the trail rolled and twisted and spouted out at a few stunning viewpoints. It felt very much like we were walking on a ridge. You can see the hardships those trees have weathered - wind-blown carcasses crowding the ground - giving it a very different feel from any of the forests I’ve walked through.

This hike was not too difficult but still a nice workout for the thighs. Easy to follow, lovely rest stops, and, on a hot day, there’s a lake to plunge in at the end (Cultus Lake) and ice cream to be had (Moosie’s Ice Cream).

Lions Bay Loop

An unassuming walk in the woods, the Lions Bay Loop provided a light and informative tour with an abundance of views of the beautiful Howe Sound.

The nearness to the highway bothered us less than we had anticipated, though it is a nearly constant presence. One of the joys we discovered on the walk was that the community of Lions Bay had provided information cards on the various plants and animals along the trails. We learned about the different ferns, witches butter, salal and oregon grape, and much more, including their traditional uses. The trail meanders along and is connected with several other side trails that we did not explore but do take advantage of the various lookouts!

This is a nice one to do for a quick escape into nature with the added bonus of learning more about your surrounding environment.

Easy | 2 hours (with lots of information stops)

Mt. Cheam

This hike, deep in the backwoods of Chilliwack, is known for its 360 degree views of the Fraser Valley and Mt. Baker range. We were not so lucky with the views but the clouds enveloping us added uncertainty and magic to the precipice and the fog slowly lifted as we wandered back down the mountain, affording us views we could only imagine on the climb.

A note on this hike: access to the trail-head most certainly needs a 4x4 vehicle that has decent clearance. Nothing smaller than a truck or large-sized SUV will make it. The forest service road lasts about 10.6 km to the trail-head. 

Mystery Lake

A promising evening hike turned into a bug blood bath. Gorgeous, nonetheless. 

Mystery Lake hike, Mt. Seymour. Vancouver, BC. A place that is inviting for afternoon sunbathing on exposed rocks and late-evening swims, with a short trek in.