A Typical Sunday Stroll

By: Dylan Book

On April 21, I joined John and Hazel Wong on a 25.5 km hike across North Vancouver.  John and Hazel, with 25 pound packs, were training for their upcoming trip to the Kalalau trail in Hawaii, and I was enjoying a nice break from finals.  We hiked along the eastern half of the Baden-Powell (BP) Trail, going from Cleveland Dam all the way to Deep Cove.

The Baden-Powell Trail was first built by Scouters and Guiders in 1971 in honour of the centennial anniversary of British Columbia joining Confederation.  The first section of the trail runs from Horseshoe Bay up to Black Mountain in Cypress Provincial Park.  The trail then winds down into the Cypress Ski Area and runs along the Hollyburn Ridge before dipping down into the British Properties in West Vancouver.  After that, hikers cross the Cleveland Dam and enter into the second half of the trail in North Vancouver.

A view of the Lions from the starting point at Cleveland Dam

Cleveland Dam offers the best and most easily accessible view of the Lions and Hazel, John and I began our hike here in the morning.  From Cleveland Dam there is a bit of road walking up to the base of Grouse Mountain, but we managed to avoid some of it by following the streams that run through the residential neighborhood.  From the base of Grouse we chose to take the lower Powerline Trail, which offers clearer views than the official BP trail further up.

We hooked back onto the BP trail soon afterwards and after a quick dip to cross Mosquito Creek we began the relatively flat run across the foot of Mount Fromme.  This section has changed significantly and is especially well maintained compared to some of the later sections.  Mount Fromme is popular with mountain bikers and the North Shore Mountain Bike Club has added more stone paths and boardwalks for bikers.  There are a lot more access points to the BP Trail in this area so it is also popular with trail runners coming from Lonsdale and Lynn Valley.

From Mount Fromme there is a steep descent onto Mountain Highway then across Lynn Valley Road.  The road leads to the entrance to Lynn Headwaters Regional Park to the North, but we hooked south and walked along Lynn Creek on the Varley Trail.  We crossed Lynn Creek over the Pipeline Bridge, which leads to the Seymour Demonstration Forest and then walked south towards Lynn Canyon.

You can instantly tell when you’ve entered Lynn Canyon. You feel the moisture in the air and just know it.  We passed by the famous (and free) Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and carried on down into the Canyon.  It was just past noon at this point and things were starting to warm up a little bit.  We carried on and crossed Lillooet Road and the Seymour River and stopped for lunch at Riverside Drive.

It wasn’t soon after we began to eat that the sun turned to rain and the gloves and jackets came out.  After lunch we continued on and soon began the “Seymour Grind” up the base of Mount Seymour.  This was the last major climb we had to make, and was followed by a slow descent across Mount Seymour Road and onto Indian River Drive.  After a kilometer or so of road walking we started the final descent into Deep Cove.

The first view of the water is beneath the power lines, but is followed by a nicer view at Quarry Rock, a popular spot for locals due to its relative proximity.  From Quarry Rock we could even see the parking lot where we parked the car.  You feel so close, but the last section is tough.  Between you and the end are about 7 small but steep valleys carved by creeks flowing from Mount Seymour.  But after that section and 7.5 hours and 25.5 km Hazel, John and I will be enjoying honey donuts and sitting in Deep Cove.It wasn’t soon after we began to eat that the sun turned to rain and the gloves and jackets came out.  After lunch we continued on and soon began the “Seymour Grind” up the base of Mount Seymour.  This was the last major climb we had to make, and was followed by a slow descent across Mount Seymour Road and onto Indian River Drive.  After a kilometer or so of road walking we started the final descent into Deep Cove.

I’ve spent my whole life on the North Shore and have hiked these trails before, some sections many times.  Some areas would give me fond memories of hikes in Beavers and Cubs and I would feel both comfort and awe in how similar hiking them now feels to how it did as a Beaver.  But before I could get caught up in my relatively young perspective, I would remember John and Hazel, who have been hiking these trails for longer than my lifetime.  They crossed creeks before there were bridges on them.   Experiences like this are one of the big reasons why I love Scouting.  Scouting provides a constant, not only in my life, but also across generations.  It acts as witness both to the things that change, new boardwalks and bridges, and to those things that stay the same, like the feeling of a trail as Beaver or a Rover Scout.

To read some more of our outdoor adventures:

The Key to Unlocking Beauty in the Winter

Mt.Baker Mountain Steward Recap

Mountain Skills for Life

ElaineAu

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