Summer is officially here and the trails are calling you to go hiking. South Western British Columbia has a bunch of great options for taking the kids hiking this summer. Here are a few of our top picks.
Make the drive out to West Vancouver to Lighthouse Park where yes, there is a lighthouse. This hike takes you through a bit of forest and then has spectacular views of Howe Sound and the Burrard Innlet. Be sure to get here early because there is limited parking and this is a very popular destination during the day. There are several trail options, some shorter than others, and you can go for a 20 minute stroll or do a 6 km loop. Check what the tides will be like for when you’re there – when the tide is out, you can get down to the beach. With younger children, consider baby wearing and taking in the views from above.
While it may be a bit of a drive to get to Hope, it is worth it to see the Othello Tunnels. The tunnels are part of a series of old train tunnels and bridges that were cut through granite. The trail through the tunnels is even stroller friendly, especially if using a jogging stroller. If your kids love trains they will love checking out these tunnels – and you get to enlighten them with a little bit of the CPR history in British Columbia. You will be amazed by the beauty of the mountain range the tunnels pass through and the river that rages next to them in the canyon. The Othello Tunnels are also a great hike option if you’re looking for something with some cover from the sun.
GOLDEN EARS PROVINCIAL PARK – GOLD CREEK FALLS
Golden Ears Provincial Park is located out in Maple Ridge where you are surrounded by some of BC’s beautiful rain forests. You can also spot several different mountain peaks while on the hike. If it’s been raining at all before you went hiking you’ll want to bring a change of shoes for the ride home because the trail can get muddy, you may even need a change of clothing if you make it to the waterfall and get soaked by the mist. This is a beautiful and very scenic hike, take the time to pop off the major trail when the opportunity comes up. Toss some rocks in the river or find the perfect walking stick.
Round-trip, there is a 2 km loop at Whytecliff Park for you and your family to enjoy. Park in the overflow parking lot to easily get to the main loop trail so you can see Whytecliff Park’s incredible views of Howe Sound in West Vancouver. It’s the perfect place to have a family picnic and explore the shoreline.
If you have “mini” hikers with you, do a little stroll on one of the trails and head back to the ocean front for some beach combing. During low tide you can hike out to Whytecliff Island and even climb up to the peak. Just be sure to keep an eye on the tide coming back in. To do even more exploring and hiking, head down the beach and find the rock steps that will take you to a spectacular view at the end of your little hike. Whytecliff Park is another one of BC’s gems you’ll want to see if your family and hike together.
This hike is for those of you with older kids who can handle something a little more challenging. Lindeman Lake is stunning and not to be missed out on in the Chilliwack Lake area. Make sure you double check where you are going and be prepared to park on the side of the road and hike in. You even get to cross a log bridge while on this hike, which is why we recommend it for families with older kids, unless you plan on child wearing the whole hike with younger ones. The reward at the end of this hike is seeing Lindeman Lake in person. It’s crystal clear but a stunning green in colour.