Monday, March 19, 2012

Outdoors with my kids: hiking to Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Hiking with the kids makes for some great exercise and outdoor fun, even on a day when the weather is less than perfect, like this past Sunday. We ended up with a mixed bag of every kind of weather: some cloud, some sun peeking through, some drizzling rain, and even some hail (!) and snow.

Natural wooden sculptures in Lynn Canyon Park.

This weekend's outing we went to Lynn Canyon Park in North Vancouver where we decided to hike up to and around Rice Lake. We crossed the suspension bridge, and then turned right and headed up the mountain. This is the only really steep part of the trail and it's still a fairly easy walk with the kids since it's not steep for very long.

Rice Lake in the rain/snow/hail.
Once the ground levelled out we followed the trail signs for Rice Lake and once we got there we walked around the lake. It's a kid-friendly hike, all on level ground. Snow and hail fell on us for a bit, but it wasn't too bad, and the trail was easy to walk, with only some minor mud puddles here and there as obstacles. In spite of the bad weather, we saw quite a few other hikers, bikers, and even some guys fishing in the lake!

On the trail around the lake.

After walking around Rice Lake and enjoying the forest scenery there, we headed back down the trails to 30 foot pool by the river, and then back to the suspension bridge. It made for a good day out, even though we all forgot to bring mittens and ended up with cold fingers!

The kids did great, with only minor complaints (the 5 year old still thinks we might cave in and carry her occasionally), and as usual we had a nice walk and a nice chat on the trail. To me, the conversations I have with my kids when we're hiking are one of the absolute highlights of our walks.

Hiking in Lynn Canyon Park is a fun and easy way to see some beautiful west-coast forest scenery up close. The area is easily accessible and most of the trails are easy enough to bring even little kids on.

Tips & maps
  • You can find some good directions and trail descriptions at LynnCanyon.ca.
  • There are also some good trail maps and trail information at VancouverTrails.com.
  • The District of North Vancouver has a nice map of Lynn Canyon Park.
  • If you want to take a look at a map of trails in the larger region of Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve where Rice Lake and Lynn Canyon Park are located, this is a great map.

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