Favourite Hikes and Snacks to Refuel - Bruce's Roots
I love nature, but my all time favourite is hiking in the forest. I spend a lot of time there because I have a dog and it's a great workout. Over the last 5 years I've noticed I feel more connected and grounded. The little things just don't matter anymore and I feel calmer, less stressed. I'd rather hit the mountain on a gorgeous day then lift weights indoors so here are some of my go to hikes.
BROTHERS CREEK LOOP
Intermediate. Dogs allowed off leash.
This hike starts in the British Properties in West Vancouver. This 7 km loop takes about 2 hours to hike, but always allow for extra time. The bridge to complete the loop is currently broken so the safest option is to continue to Lost Lake then cross over to Blue Gentian Lake. It's gorgeous in here and there's even a waterfall view.
ST MARK'S SUMMIT
Difficult. Dog friendly.
I personally think this is a tough hike, but one worth doing because you get an amazing view of Bowen Island, Sunshine Coast, and UBC. This well marked hike starts at Cypress Mountain and is part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail. There are steep sections on the way up and I feel it in my knees going downhill. Dogs are supposed to be on leash on this hike. It takes me 2.5 hours with a short stop at the top. * the bugs are out of control right now so bring citronella spray or wait a month.
Intermediate. Dog friendly.
Eagle Bluffs is on Black Mountain which is part of Cypress Provincial Park. This trail is wonderful with a steep beginning then it levels out and you head down hill towards the bluffs. Hang out, eat a snack and enjoy the view with everyone else. This hike has fewer bugs and mud then St Marks and has a great view of the Howe Sound, Bowen Island and Vancouver. On the way back, you can go for a dip at Cabin lake with your dog!
EA TO SUMMIT
Difficult. Dog friendly.
I've rated this as difficult due to there being over 800 m of elevation, however the trail is well maintained and there aren't roots or fallen trees to hop over. It is a great workout with amazing views. I would allow between 2-3 hours minimum. I often see dogs off leash, but they're supposed to be on leash. I like this hike because I can download on the gondola with my dog and this saves my knees. It is expensive to due to the recent increase to $15 per person and per dog so it's a treat hike. It is lovely dogs are allowed on the trails, just know that once you get to the top they can't come with you to the suspension bridge or the patio.
Easy to Intermediate. Dogs allowed off leash.
There are so many great hikes in the Lynn Headwater region with a range in difficulty. Lynn loop is great when you are in a rush, hit up Norvan Falls for a flat hike or run to a waterfall, or if you've got the energy hike up Lynn Peak for the view. I love Norvan because the trail narrows and I feel like I'm lost in the forest, plus my dog can be off leash without breaking the rules.
Intermediate. Dog friendly.
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a stunning spot with 3 bright blue glacier-fed lakes. The hike isn't overly steep as the elevation gain is approximately 370 m. Dogs are allowed, but should be kept on leash. We drove from the North Shore and did it in a day, it is do-able, but does make for a long day. You can camp here for a fee during the summer, just be mindful that it may be full once you reach the top.
Intermediate - difficult. Dog friendly.
This hike is located at Buntzen Lake just north of Anmore. It's a tough hike for me as I always do the loop the opposite way that Vancouver Trails suggests so there is more elevation in a shorter amount of time. If you have a dog, bring water as there aren't many water sources. There are 10 different viewpoints, however I think I have only been to 4 or 5. The view of Deep Cove, Burnaby, Vancouver and Port Moody is breathtaking. Perch yourself on the rock and take it all in. Allow at least 3-4 hours to avoid feeling rushed or getting caught in the dark.
I'm keeping a couple of my favourites a secret because the trails are so busy lately. It's wonderful to see so many people being physically active and enjoying the benefits of nature. If you like to avoid crowds on the trails, I recommend starting early in the morning, going for sunset or hiking during the week.
SNACKS FOR YOUR DAY HIKE
I'm not the only one that gets excited about food for my day hike, right? It is important to stay fueled if your workout is over an hour long.
I like to bring dates because they are easily digested by the body and give me a quick boost in energy. My neighbor and friend add coconut oil to the middle of her date then freezes it which is a great idea on a hot day! The fat in coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride which means the body metabolizes it quickly for energy versus long chain triglycerides that the body stores. Other yummy snacks? Vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and my favourite bars, Go Macro. Don't have too many nuts or high fat foods as they won't give immediate energy. Lots of water throughout the hike it smart in this summer weather as you'll be sweating more and need to replenish.
What's your favourite hike? Your favourite snack?
See you in the forest!