Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lynn Canyon suspension bridge and canyon loop hike April 15, 2009


Wednesday dawned as a sunny and nice spring day so once I disposed of my usual morning routine of breakfast, internet surfing and blogging I headed over to the North Shore for a hike. We are blessed here in the Metro Vancouver area with so many recreational opportunities so close to home and while I took my truck over to the trail head for the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge this trip can be done by bus.

One of two suspension bridges on the North Shore - the other being the better known Capilano Bridge - this one is free and is part of part of the District of North Vancouver Parks network - the Baden Powell trail crosses through the park - the park is adjacent to the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and provides a good range of hikes and the two short loops that I did today totalled about 6KM in total - the trail surface ranges from hard packed gravel, to soft river side earth, plenty of steps and stairs and a few places where the trail is in a more natural setting.

Here in words and images and video is the story of my day on the trails of Lynn Canyon Park.


That's me at the Park entrance and Ecology Center - serves as an information center as well.

All the trails in the area are well signposted - in fact they appear to have been updated since my last visit to the area.

Crossing the bridge - at one time I use to be scared sh**less to cross these kinds of bridges but have learned to go with the flow.

Once across the Bridge you come to a junction where there is some signage of the history of the Park - you can go right to Twin Falls or left towards Lynn Headwaters and Rice Lake - I go right to start my first of the two loops.

The trail winds it way down using both the nature earth or with a series of well constructed stairs and steps - at one time many people would just scramble down to the creek ignoring the obvious danger of the cliffs etc.

In about 15 minutes the Twin Falls Bridge comes into sight and after a few more stairs you come down to the Bridge and Lynn Creek which at this time of year is starting to flow pretty good from the early snow melt.

A look up Lynn Creek - there are a number of natural pools that attract the adventerous in the summer time - each year people get trapped on the canyon walls and often with tragic results.

I return back to the start and take another image of the someone crossing the Bridge.

The second part of the Loop is the Baden Powell trail as it heads north and west towards Grouse - you follow this until it merges after a few more steep staircases at Dempsey Road - the terminus for the Lynn Valley Bus.

The staircase makes the climb back up the canyon walls somewhat easier.

From Dempsey Road you head down Rice Lake Road - the signs point you in the proper direction.

Pipeline crossing of Lynn Creek - once across the creek you turn right and head back to the Suspension Bridge - if you were to go straight ahead you will come out at the entrance to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve and their trail network in about 10 minutes.

This large staircase takes you down to the Creek and to a good sun and swim spot in the better weather - there was actually three macho types rolling up the pants legs and taking off the shirts and getting into the ice cold water to have some pictures taken.

If you click on the picture and zoom in towards the upper right you will see the guys mentioned in the previous image.

One last look at the Bridge - it look a little over an hour for me to do this trek - it was a good walk with just enough climbing to get the heart beat going .



Of course it is also playoff hockey time and the town is abuzz with the prospects for the Canucks having a good playoff run - so after catching parts of the first two periods I headed for the Two Parrots Restaurant and Bar on Granville and joined Jim for the remainder of the game - they have $2.00 beers everytime the Canucks score but the 3rd period was scoreless so I had to pay the regular price $5.00 for one beer to enjoy the post game show etc.


The bike training for the Vancouver Marathon continues to process - they had me lead the full course group last time but because many people showed up late we didn't leave on time so we had to shorten the route a little to be back in time for the pizza - we are getting between 16 and 20 riders most nights - we still need to increase that total between now and full course ride on April 26, 2009.

More later



Sunday, April 12, 2009

In search of the Trans-Canada trail West Vancouver April 11, 2009

One of the goals that I would like to be able to accomplish before I have to hang up the spurs as the saying goes is to bike, hike or explore as much of the Trans- Canada trail in BC that I can -I have done most of the route from Horseshoe Bay to east of Chilliwack and parts of the Kettle Valley but one section on the North Shores has eluded me for any number of reasons and that is a short section from the Caufield overpass to Cypress Falls park - their have been a number of changes in access to this section - not the least of which is the changes brought on by the new inland section of the Sea to Sky Highway.

Yesterday dawned dry so it was an opportunity to check out what I wrote before - it turned out to be a good little rekkie - between what I saw for myself and what I picked up from a couple I met on the trail I can now plan on adding this section to my list of sections completed.

I started yesterday walk from Westport Rd at this trailhead figuring if I headed up I should connect to either the TCTrail or the Baden-Powell trail. I ended up finding both.

After about ten minutes of hiking and one side trail I came to this junction which is the TCT trail coming from Cypress Falls.

It was marked as the 5KM mark - that would be from Horsehoe Bay - the trail is multi-use here but some becomes hiking only as the cyclisst have to take a different route.

It appears to be one of the many old roads that dot the area from logging and West Van's water system from years ago.

The route now becomes more of a trail and starts to drop down to the Nelson Creek drainage.

This is another important junctions - there is now a newly improved trail put in by West Vancouver Parks that will connect the TCTrail with the Baden Powell trail - I follow the connecter trail for a short distance.

The trail here is slowly dropping to the Nelson creek drainage.

New bridge over Nelson Creek - this was my turn around point as I wanted to backtrack and explore some more of the TCT.

Nelson Creek - it has a nice flow at this time of the year as the snow melt has slowly begun here on the west coast.

One last look at the bridge and surrounding area.

I now retrace my steps back to the junction and follow the TCTrail for a short distance until I meet with the couple that I referred to early and they were able to provide me with the info that I was looking for - if I was to continue down the TCT I would end up at the Caufield overpass on Highway 1 - so I now know the missing link access point. - that will be a walk in the near future on a drier day than today.

I also followed the TCT pass my connector trail to Westport to see how it leads to the Cypress Falls Park area - it appears from checking some other photos to be about 1.6 K M to my last walking point.

I think I know how to do this a hike and bike loop so I am going to look into that.

Time for lunch