We’re all about bang for your buck here at Curiocity. And whether that’s grabbing a bite to eat or looking for the best places to go for a run in Vancouver, we stick by it. After all, we live in one of the prettiest (and healthiest) cities in North America, so it’s no surprise that you can see some truly incredible stuff on your weekly jog. Or whatever you get up to.
Without further ado, here are 12 of the most scenic places to go on a run in and around Vancouver.
Honestly, when talking about convenience and quality Queen Elizabeth is hard to beat in the city. Not only is it centrally located, but you get some lovely gardens, vistas of Vancouver, and top-notch people-watching rolled into one convenient loop. If you’re looking to just dip your toes, this is a great one.
Length: 1.8 km
Right alongside Queen E is Vancouver’s most famous park for, well, just about anything. The main attraction here is the Vancouver Seawall. But, Stanley Park also has a variety of trails cutting through it, which means you don’t have to commit to the full (and admittedly pretty tiring) outer loop.
Length: 1.4 km and up
And now, for our fave running/walking spot. Of course, it can be pretty busy every day of the week during the warmer months, especially on weekends. But if you go at a good time and/or don’t mind navigating around people on bikes or rollerblades occasionally, it’s a pretty gorgeous (and relatively flat) route. Plus, you can kind of peel off at any point along the seawall for a photo or to take a rest on one of the many benches around.
Length: 12.1 km
Are you the type of person who likes to go house hunting while on a run? We think that Kits and Point Grey are the places to be. While most houses might be a little less insane than West Van’s mega-mansions, they’re also not hidden among steep climbs. Instead, you’ll find relatively gentle inclines as you explore the neighbourhoods and some of the city’s most expensive addresses.
Of course, if you want to really challenge yourself (and see more big houses), you could run through Arbutus Ridge up to Dunbar.
Length: 3km and up
Speaking of Arbutus, the Greenway is not just there for bike rides or stopping to smell the roses along the plots of community gardens (although the latter is still encouraged). The massive trail also makes for a great running spot, as it’s open year-round and spans multiple neighbourhoods. See more of Vancouver in a single run and avoid getting lost on the busier roads!
The highest point in elevation is around Kerrisdale, with a downhill slope heading towards the Fraser River and downtown, respectively.
Length: 8.7 km point-to-point
Lions Gate Bridge
For one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, we’re ashamed to admit that we’ve never actually walked on the Lions Gate. For whatever reason, it’s always seemed somewhat daunting, and yet we’re always tempted to stop the car on one side or another and walk back to take in the views. Park near Ambleside, then check out one of Vancouver’s best landmarks.
Length: 1.8 km (one-way)
Ambleside has a lot more to offer than a way to get on the bridge. This picturesque West Van spot also has a gorgeous Seawalk that is usually quieter than Stanley Park and Kits, while still offering stunning views of the city. Our suggestion? Do Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge in one summer, and you’ll hit peak Vancouverite status.
Length: 5 km
Ok, now we’re into some destination running spots around the city. First up is Pacific Spirit, which offers the perfect way to start out your trail running career. Still relatively easy to access (it’s just outside UBC) but offering tons of trails to explore, Pacific Spirit is great for those who aren’t exactly sure how long they want to run for, but still want some fresh scenery.
Length: 2km and up
We like to put Burnaby Lake in a similar category as Pacific Spirit. Arguably the shining star of Burnaby, this popular spot is also convenient from a distance standpoint, since the outer loop comes in at 10 kilometres pretty much on the nose and has minimal elevation change. If you’re trying to get some fun Strava times, this is a great place to train.
Length: 10 km
Even though a landslide this winter wiped out a lower section of the Capilano Pacific Trail, this park is filled with incredible and accessible trails with varying degrees of elevation change. Whatever length of run you pick, make sure to work in a stop at Capilano Lake and the Cleveland Dam.
Length: 3km and up
Of course, we need to have a pick that offers an expansive view of the city while you’re on it. And, there’s no better place to find it than on the Dog Mountain Trail at Mount Seymour. Due to its location, the trail isn’t accessible without snow gear until the lake summer. So, keep it on your radar and work up to it for August!
Length: 5.6 km
Alright, time for our big pick. While this park has a few great trails, it’s the one to Norvan Falls that holds a special place in our hearts. Decently long and with a reasonable (345m) elevation gain, this should only be attempted after you’ve got some solid cardio and a few trail runs under your belt. But, it’s guaranteed to be worth it if you go.
Length: 14 km
And that’s our guide to some of the best places to go for a run around Vancouver! Whether you’re new to the whole ‘jogging’ thing or just looking for new places to explore, we hope this helps you get started. One foot in front of the other!