We all have our go-to running routes. But sometimes it can start to feel like Groundhog Day – same street loop, same greenway, same seawall, same street loop, over and over and over again.
A great way to revive your running is hitting the trails. We are very fortunate to live in an area where a 10-30 min drive can get you on some of the best trails in North America.
So where do you start?
Here’s a list of our favourite trails, all within a short drive from our store. We’ve divided our list into green/easy and blue/intermediate based on their topography, difficulty and trail types.
Pacific Spirit Park. Photo courtesy of vancouvertrails.com.
These trails are relatively flat, wide and with easy access. They are perfect for an easy off-day run or to experiment with trail running.
Pacific Spirit Park
We’d be remiss to not start off with Pacific Spirit Park. Home to more than 55 km of trails, this park is a maze of paths that wind through the expansive forest. Cruise along flat trails, climb steeply along Spanish Banks, descend all the way to the beach or lose yourself amongst the lush evergreens. With so many trails you can choose your own adventure. Trail map.
Most Vancouverites are familiar with running, walking or cycling around the seawall, but few people venture within the 1,000 acres of park. Explore relatively flat, wide and well-manicured trails connecting Lost Lagoon, Beaver Lake and Prospect Point. Trail map.
Tucked away in Burnaby is a gorgeous 10km gravel loop around Burnaby Lake. Flat, soft and accompanied by gorgeous views. This is 2019 Sun Run Champ Justin Kent’s favourite spot for an off-day run. Trail map.
Although these green trails are relatively wide and well-groomed, they do require proper footwear. You can get away with a well-cushioned running shoe, but if you prefer more traction and stability you should check out our trail running lineup.
Buntzen Lake Trail. Photo courtesy of vancouvertrails.com.
The more intermediate trails will have elevation gain and be more technical, involving some rooty, rocky and mostly single-track trails.
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park
You can’t go wrong running in Lynn Headwaters, located in North Vancouver. The terrain is varied and slightly technical, but not crazy if you don’t stray too far from the parking lot. Great options are
Buntzen Lake Trail
Just north of Port Moody sits Buntzen Lake. The 8km trail that loops around the lake traverses through a scenic forest and offers several views of the lake, crosses a suspension bridge, and passes the quieter beach at the north end. An alternative and more challenging route that takes you on the Sendero Diez Vistas trail offers great views of the Indian Arm (15km). (Trial info for the lower Buntzen Lake route, and the upper Diez Vistas route.
One of the hidden gems in the Lower Mainland is an intricate trail network that lines Burnaby Mountain. A great option that gives you the flexibility to choose your own route based on how long you feel like running. The mountain is full of spectacular single track and double track trails with more than enough elevation to get the quads burning. Trail map.
To optimize your traction and stability we’d recommend trail running shoes for these routes as they require a bit more caution. Take a look below at a few of our store favourites.
Brooks Cascadia 15
Rule the trail with cushioned, durable protection in the Brooks Cascadia 15. Built to explore our beautiful pacific northwest, theses trail shoes come equipped with a ballistic Rock Shield that protects your foot, and a unique Pivot Post System that provides a stable platform on uneven terrain.
Saucony Xodus 10
The Saucony Xodus 10 is engineered to handle your toughest adventures. The most protective trail running shoe in Saucony’s lineup gets lighter with added comfort. Now featuring Saucony’s latest innovation PWRRUN+ cushioning, the Xodus 10 provides an aggressive comfort level for the most treacherous trails.
Saucony Peregrine 10
For those seeking a lightweight alternative, look no further than the Saucony Peregrine 10. Experience soft, lightweight comfort to confidently explore off-road with.
Saucony Peregrine 10 GTX
Don't like wet feet? Good news for you, the Peregrine 10 comes in a GORE-TEX version (Yes waterproof!). A perfect companion to explore YVR all year round.
ASICS Fujitrabuco Lyte
Made to go fast— the ASICS Gel Fujitrabuco Lyte is the lightweight, neutral version of the Gel Fujitrabuco. Whether you’re zipping through the North Shore trails, climbing the Grouse Grind or traipsing through Pacific Spirit Park, the Fujitrabuco Lyte is the recommended runner for those who love to hit the trails.
New Balance Fresh Foam Heirro V5
An everyday trail running shoe that balances comfort and performance engineered with a plush Fresh Foam midsole.