Already an outdoorsy city with spectacular water and mountain views from every angle, Vancouver is ideal for biking and has a reputation as being bike-friendly in general. It has bike lanes running throughout the downtown core, and in 2016, the Mobi bike-sharing program began, allowing those who don’t own a bicycle to borrow one for a ride.
Bike riding offers an inexpensive way to spend time together while getting some exercise and energy while you’re at it. Whether you’ve been bike riding with your family for years or are taking it up this year for the first time, consider one of these easy, scenic family bike rides and get to know a part of the city you might not be familiar with. With some well-known routes along with a few hidden gems, there is something for everyone in the following list.
For those of you with preschoolers or beginner bike riders, the Lafarge Lake Loop is the perfect ride. Approximately 1.2 kilometres around, it’s easy, paved and only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete the loop. Bonus – a huge fountain in the middle of the lake is a delight for the little ones. Feel free to ride it as many times as your preschooler can handle!
For an easier ride that kids and dogs alike will love, visit Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. At approximately 5.4 kilometres, the ride is a nice way to get some exercise and some time together as a family in a stunning environment that’s not too crowded and tons of fun. If you have some extra time, stop at the art gallery for some local culture. Visit burnaby.ca for details.
Whether you’re visiting Vancouver for the first time or you’re a long-time resident, the Stanley Park Seawall is usually on the yearly bucket list of Vancouver attractions. A decadent visual feast of expansive ocean, towering mountains, interesting wildlife, lush green forests, totem poles and more, Stanley Park is the jewel of Vancouver and biking around the seawall is good for the soul. Bring your bikes or rent some and ride all, or part of, the 9.4km path for a ride you’ll never forget. Visit vancouver.ca for route options and amenities.
If you’re keen for a visit to the stunning north shore, the Green Necklace is a wonderful, paved bike loop about 7 kilometres long that is relatively easy and great for beginner riders of all ages. As you ride at your leisure, your kids will enjoy the many parks you’ll pass, offering opportunities to stop and play or enjoy a picnic. Visit cnv.org for location and details.
Beginning at Quayside Park, you can take a ride around the New Westminster riverfront and enjoy beautiful scenic views of the many tug boats and barges along the Fraser River and a vibrant, bustling waterfront. Stop in at the New Westminster Quay for some shopping or pick up some lunch and enjoy some family time back at the park while the kids enjoy the marine playground. Visit newwestcity.ca for more info.
This quaint little island is a hidden oasis that many, even long-time locals, aren’t aware of. Located in the Fraser River, Barnston Island is accessible via a free ferry ride and offers two interest points at either end of the island – Mann Point on one and Roberts point on the other. Each offers picnic areas, restrooms and beautiful river views. There are no public parking areas on this island, so there are few vehicles, making it the perfect place for a family bike ride without the worry. So, load up your backpack and plan a family day that feels like a getaway! Visit metrovancouver.org for details and directions.
Boundary Bay Regional Park in Tsawwassen is a wonderful, scenic place for a family ride that boasts a ton of bird watching and lookout points. Start your ride at Centennial beach and ride along the dyke for a short ride and back that is about 4 kilometres total, or choose the longer, extended version if you’re up for a challenge. Visit metrovancouver.org for amenities and details.
Biking is a wonderful and invigorating way to get out with the family and explore this beautiful city and its surrounding regions. The splendour of Vancouver can be appreciated in so many ways, and biking is one of the best. With water, mountains, forests and trails, you will have no problem finding a trail that suits you and your family perfectly. With summer approaching, make bike riding one of your family go-to adventures this year.