Biking and Family Bike Paths in Vancouver & Surrounding Areas
Exploring the city on two wheels is the best of both worlds: you can travel further, like you might in a car, while still having an up-close and personal experience as you might on foot. But city biking with little ones can feel a little perilous – narrow lanes and fast drivers might not make your neighbourhood the best place to get out for a family ride. Luckily, there are lots of great family bike paths in Vancouver and the lower mainland.
If your kids could use a refresher on pedal policy – from how to ride, the rules of the road, road safety and more – consider a class at the popular Pedalheads. This organization runs summer and spring camps, as well as programming all year long, focused on cycling (they’ve expanded into swimming and trail hiking, too.) They’re well respected for their work in getting kids of all experience levels riding safely and happily. Check out their lineup of programming or freshen up yourself on how to teach a kid to ride a bike, and then explore some of our favourite destinations for a cycle:
Best Family Bike Paths in Vancouver and the Surrounding Areas
Lafarge Lake Loop – Coquitlam
This short loop is well known for being lit up with a festive display in the holiday season but it’s one of the best family bike paths in Vancouver for a quick ride, especially with the little ones who may not be up for lengthier distances. The loop runs 1.2 kilometres around, and is fully paved. With a fountain in the centre, pavilions and benches along the route, and parking at various points, it’s an ideal destination. For more information, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafarge_Lake
Deer Lake Park – Burnaby
At the heart of the region in central Burnaby, take a tour around Deer Lake Park. Walking and bike paths cover more than five kilometres, linking together the Burnaby Art Gallery, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Village Museum, and more. Want to enjoy a bit more fun? Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are allowed on Deer Lake from the boat access and beach area located off Sperling Avenue at the east end of the lake. For more information, see: https://www.burnaby.ca/explore-outdoors/parks/deer-lake-park.
Stanley Park Seawall – Vancouver
Perhaps one of the most famous footpaths in the country, and certainly in the region, the Stanley Park seawall is a hit with tourists and locals alike. Both on foot, or bike (or rollerblade or skateboard) the views are unparalleled. From ocean views, to panoramic mountain scenery, this path around and through the park is, in total, nearly 10 kilometres long. Want a longer walk? The Seaside Greenway runs 28 kilometres from the Vancouver Convention Centre all the way to Spanish Banks. For more information, see: https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/seawall.aspx.
Green Necklace – North Vancouver
This little known gem is a 7.5 kilometre loop through the centre of North Vancouver, linking up local parks and public spaces with an off-street multi use path ideal for both walkers and bikers. It also links up to other trail systems, such as the North Shore Spirit Trail. The route was designed with an eye to improve walkability in the city. For more information, see: https://www.cnv.org/parks-recreation-and-culture/parks-and-greenways/greenways/green-necklace.
The Quay – New Westminster
The Waterfront Esplanade is shy of 2 kilometres in length but it has lots of great pitstops along the way – from ice cream in the Quay Market to unique riverside areas for recreation and fun. Enjoy the views of the Fraser River, take a break on one of the benches, and soak up the sun. There’s also a playground for the little ones. For more information, see: https://www.newwestcity.ca/parks-and-recreation/parks/community-parks/articles/5504.php
Barnston Island – Surrey
Leave the car behind and take your bikes over to Barnston Island on a small ferry (so small it only holds five vehicles at a time!) There’s no public parking here, except for the handful of private family farms, and access to the island’s small park at the west tip is bike or foot only. The ferry ride is free. After you come back to the mainland, stop in at Surrey Bend Regional Park – which is just up the road from the ferry parking – for a walk, picnic or just to enjoy some quiet time. For more information, see: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/passenger-travel/water-travel/inland-ferries/barnston-island-ferry
Boundary Bay – Delta
Ready for some serious cycling? You can take a 20 kilometre bike ride along Boundary Bay at this regional park. The ride begins at Centennial Beach. Don’t worry, you can simply make the ride shorter by turning around whenever you feel like. When you get back, enjoy some time at one of the region’s best playgrounds, adjacent to the parking lot, or simply enjoy the sun on the beach. For more information, see: http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/parks-greenways-reserves/boundary-bay-regional-park