Arghhh Matey, September 19th be the international Talk like a Pirate day. Celebrate ye Pirate toungue by renting a boat at Granville Island Boat rentals. Theyz gots lots of Pirate gear thar too Matey. Ya, ok, I'm having a bugger of a time keeping that one up. Check out GIBR, the westcoast pirate at and TALK LIKE A PIRATE IN VANCOUVER

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Beaches of Vancouver

Being a port city, Vancouver is encompassed by beaches.

1 English Bay
2 Jericho
3 Kitsilano
4 Locarno
5 Second Beach
6 Spanish Bank (East, Extention, West)
7 Sunset
8 Third Beach
9 Trout Lake

Not listed is Wreck Beach, Vancouvers' clothing optional beach which is located in the UBC lands just beyond Spanish Banks. There is a steep walk to the beach, but if you are part of the naked scene, the trip is definately worth while.

Aside from Vancouver, if you travel due south on Oak Street which leads to highway 99 you will find the town of White Rock. Here you will find Crescent Beach and the Famous White Rock Beach and peer. Here you can walk the prominade to enjoy the view, or pop in to one of the many restaurants for Fish and Chips, coffee or Italian Gelato.

Just across the Lions gate Bridge from Downtown Vancouver you will Find West Vancouver. The more affluent area of Metro Vancouver, west Vancouver boasts Ambleside beach, Whitecliff park, light house park and several other beautifully secluded mini beaches.

Buntzon Lake

If you enjoy inland lakes, Trout Lake in Vancouver, and Deer Lake in Burnaby offer great places for family fun. You can also travel 30 minutes NE or take a boat up the Indian arm to Find Port Moody and Belcarra where you will find beaches as well as Buntzen lake.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Pretty much everyone knows about the world famous Capilano suspension bridge as well as the accompanying tree tops adventure. There is, however, an admission free version not too far away.
The Lynn Canyon suspension bridge can be found in North Vancouver, part way up Lynn Valley Road. The narrow cable strung bridge towers an impressive 20 stories above the sometimes thundering Lynn Creek.


By Car
From Highway 1 (Trans-Canada) take the Lynn Valley Road exit.

Turn right onto Lynn Valley Road.
From Lynn Valley Road turn right onto Peters Road.
The Lynn Canyon Park entrance is at the end of Peters Road.

By Public Transit
From Vancouver, take the Sea Bus to Lonsdale Quay.
From the Lonsdale Quay bus loop take the #228 or the #229 bus. The #228 stops along Lynn Valley Road. The #229 stops at the corner of Peters Road and Duval Road, a 2 minute walk from the park entrance.
Alternatively, if you are coming over the Second Narrows Bridge from Vancouver, take the #229 bus from the Phibbs Exchange bus loop in North Vancouver.

Once there, you can enjoy a plethora of scenic adventures and trails. If you are looking for an education experience and don't have much time, take in the ecology centre. If you are looking for a relaxing afternoon and picnic by the river, take a short hike through the rain forest down to the 30 foot pool. Just make sure to pack your garbage out with you.

If you are more into the torturous adventure hike, the park serves as an access point to many of the North shore mountain trails, including the Baden Powell Trail.

Here is some information on the Park.

Baden-Powell Trail
Named after the founder of Scouts Canada, Lord Baden- Powell, this trail winds from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. The section of the Baden- Powell trail in Lynn Canyon Park can be hiked in about one hour and 15 minutes. It runs alongside Lynn Creek, through the floodplain forest.

Trail to 30 Foot Pool
One of the most popular destinations in Lynn Canyon Park, 30 Foot Pool is an easy 15 minute walk from the parking lot. Once across the suspension bridge, walk north along fairly level terrain until you reach the base of a daunting staircase. Fear not! The emerald waters of 30 Foot Pool are to your left.

Trail to Twin Falls
Another popular and scenic hike is the Twin Falls loop. This 40 minute hike starts at the suspension bridge and finishes in the parking lot. Once across the suspension bridge, take the boardwalk leading to the right. At the fork in the trail, turn right and follow the signs to Twin Falls. Enjoy the view from Twin Falls bridge and then ascend the stairs that lead up, up, up... At the top of the stairs, you will come to a clearing. Turn right and follow the trail beside the fence, to finish the loop in the parking lot.

Trails leading to Other Parks
From Lynn Canyon Park, it is possible to go on longer day hikes to the surrounding parks and reserves. North of Lynn Canyon Park is Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, to the south is Inter River Park, and to the east is the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.

Lynn Headwaters is a large protected area with rugged trails leading into the Coast Mountains. The trails in Lynn Headwaters cater to every fitness level. There are easy walks along the river that have minimal elevation gain, a rugged hike up to Lynn Peak, and a long hike to Norvan Falls. Be prepared for cold, wet, weather and don't forget to pick up a trail map at the park entrance.

The Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve is a 56.8 hectare reserve for water use and protection. Trails through the area take you to Rice Lake or along the Seymour River. Visitors can access the Seymour Dam and Hatchery by taking the 9 km paved recreational pathway to the Seymour River, then another 2 km gravel trail through old growth forest. This is a popular trip for cyclists and roller-bladers.

Inter River Park borders the lower reaches of Lynn Creek. The trail in Inter River Park travels through mature streamside forests that are rich in bird activity. It is a pleasant 2 hour walk from the suspension bridge to Bridgeman Park near the mouth of Lynn Creek. From Bridgeman Park it is a short ride on the #229 bus back to Lynn Canyon Park or a short ride to the Phibbs Exchange bus loop, where you can catch a bus back to Vancouver.

For further information, visit the park website at

Vancouver is known for its' sunsets

With a myriad of unobstructed viewing points and a spectacular mountainous backdrop, Vancouver is a great place for sunset watching.

If you can manage to catch a sunset during Vancouvers' Rainy season, here are some of the premiere places.

Grouse Mountain Skyride
If you plan your trip right, you may be privy to a spectacular sunset as you go above the rainy cloud line.

Sunset Beach
This aptly named beach at the intersection of Davie St. and Denman St. in the West End attracts an eclectic crowd every night at sundown, but is plenty big enough to accommodate everyone. Grab a blanket, get some take-out from one of the nearby restaurants, and take it all in. Be weary of the full moon rising from the transvestites wearing rollerblades.

Lighthouse Park
This little known park in West Vancouver has countless little rock outcroppings that jut out into Howe Sound and offer stunning views of the sunset. It's not too big, but you might want to bring a flashlight to get back to your car after watching Mother Nature's show. It is easily accessible off Marine Drive via Beacon Lane in West Vancouver, just east of Eagle Harbour.

Lookout! At Harbour Centre Tower
This attraction boasts an impressive 360� panoramic of Vancouver and the surrounding area from 42 floors up. At sunset, it also boasts one of the most stunning sights you are ever likely to see.

Cypress Mountain
The lookout located about halfway to the parking lot of Cypress Mountain Ski hill in West Vancouver provides a birds-eye view of the city below. But at sundown, all eyes are focused west at the wonderful and humbling setting of the sun. Take the Trans Canada West and get off at the exit for Cypress Ski Area. Head up the mountain and you'll see the lookout on your right.

The Lions Gate Bridge
A great view, but be careful not to get into an accident as you marvel in the view. Pictured above

Horseshoe Bay Ferry
This is also a great excuse to hop on the boat to Vancouver Island. The Horseshoe Bay Ferries take you on a beautiful trip through the Gulf Islands. You can also depart from Tsawassen, however, I prefer Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver.

The North Shore Mountains

Aside from being a Coastal city along side the Ocean, Vancouver British Columbia has a spectacular view of the North Shore Mountains. Consisting of six distinct mountains, including Mount Seymour, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Bowl and the Lions - You will surely be amazed. Below is a winter picture of Grouse Mountain, when in Vancouver, you can take a short trip to North Vancouver where you can board the Grouse Mountain Sky-ride. A Cable Gondola ride taking you high above the city. You can have dinner in the restaurant, check out a movie in the theatre, ski, snow board or simply take in the beautiful view that is Vancouver British Columbia, the Home of the 2010 Olympic winter games.