Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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7 Things To Do In The Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

View from the Mid Valley Picnic Area. Photo: Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

North Vancouver’s Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve protects the forest and streams of the lower Seymour River Valley, one of Vancouver’s drinking water sources. Explore over 65 kilometres of trails through the rainforest and beside the river or head to easily accessible Rice Lake, a favourite with families. Use this guide to help you plan your trip to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.

 

How to Get to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

Take the Lillooet Road exit from Highway 1 in North Vancouver. Follow Lillooet Road up the hill past the entrance to Capilano University and the North Vancouver Cemetery to the park entrance. There are several small parking lots along the road inside the park, but the most central parking is at the Rice Lake lot at the end of the road.

You can also take public transit to the park. From the Lonsdale Quay, take bus #228 to the intersection of Lynn Valley Road and Dempsey Road or bus #210 to the Underwood Avenue stop. From there, walk along Lynn Valley Road and Rice Lake Road to the Pipeline Bridge trail, which leads to the Rice Lake area.

 

Tips for Visiting

  • Use the park map to find your way around.
  • The park is closed at night. Be sure to check seasonal closing times on the park website so you don’t get locked in after dark.
  • Dogs must be on leash in the park. Dogs are not allowed at Rice Lake and along the Seymour Valley Trailway.
  • Smoking, vaping, cannabis, drones, alcohol, campfires, and collecting plants are not allowed.
  • There are toilets at the Rice Lake parking lot, at Rice Lake, and along the Seymour Valley Trailway. See the park map for locations.
  • Be safe in the park. AdventureSmart recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.

 

Walk, Bike, or Roll the Seymour Valley Trailway

The 10-kilometre-long Seymour Valley Trailway is a smooth paved trail through the rainforest in the Seymour River Valley. Make any of the picnic tables or viewpoint benches along the way your turn-around point, or travel the full distance to the Seymour Dam. It’s a great place for a forest walk, and one of our picks for Vancouver’s best easy bike rides. It’s also on our list of the best wheelchair-accessible hikes in Vancouver. But use caution – the rolling terrain includes grades that may be too steep for some users.

Seymour Valley Trailway Bike Path in North Vancouver

Seymour Valley Trailway. Photo: Jeff Hitchcock, Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC BY 3.0.

 

Hike Around Rice Lake

The easy three-kilometre loop hike around Rice Lake is a fun trail for hikers of all ages and abilities. It made our list of the best Vancouver hikes for kids since it’s flat enough to push a stroller and little ones will enjoy exploring the many side trails down to the lakeshore. It’s also one of our recommendations for wheelchair-accessible hikes and the dock is wheelchair-accessible too.

Rice Lake at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver

Rice Lake. Photo: Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

 

Have a Picnic

The Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve has lots of great picnic spots. There are tables and lots of grass near the park entrance at the Rice Lake parking lot. You can also have a picnic a few minutes away at Rice Lake. There are also picnic areas along the Seymour Valley Trailway at Rice Creek, Balloon Landing, Hydraulic Creek, Mid-Valley, Jack’s Burn, Stoney Creek, Seymour Falls, Seymour Fish Hatchery, and Squamish Creek.

 

Go Mountain Biking

The Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve has some great blue-rated intermediate-level mountain bike trails. For a quick loop, try the Richard Juryn Trail near Lillooet Road. The Circuit 8 Trails a few minutes past Rice Lake are a good choice for beginners. You’ll even get to ride through the middle of an old cedar stump.

Mountain bike trail through a tree on the Circuit 8 Trail in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve

Circuit 8 Trail. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

 

Fish at Rice Lake

Each year the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC stocks Rice Lake with over 5,000 Rainbow trout. There’s a great floating dock to fish from or you can follow the path around the shoreline to find lots of other great spots. Don’t forget your freshwater fishing licence.

The wheelchair-accessible wharf at Rice Lake

The fishing dock at Rice Lake. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

 

Go Gravel Biking

Also known as gravel grinding, gravel biking is a growing cycling discipline that combines road biking and mountain biking. Participants ride specialized road bikes with wide tires on unpaved roads, typically over long distances. Thanks to many kilometres of gravel roads and trails, the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve is one of the best places to go gravel biking in Vancouver. A popular route uses the Twin Bridges Trail, Fisherman’s Trail, Spur 4 Trail, the Bear Island Bridge, Coho Trail, and the Seymour Valley Trailway to make a 29 kilometre loop.

Two gravel bikes leaning against a fence in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver

Gravel bikes on the Coho Trail. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

 

Hike the Seymour River and Lynn Creek Loop

This 8.5-kilometre-long hike uses several trails to make a loop that includes the deep canyons of the Seymour River and Lynn Creek. Highlands include the new suspension bridge over the Seymour River at Twin Bridges, the deep green pools at 40-Foot-Pool on Lynn Creek, and lots of beautiful rainforest. Use our Seymour River and Lynn Creek Loop trail guide to plan your hike.

Twin Bridges suspension bridge in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in North Vancouver, BC

The new suspension bridge at Twin Bridges. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

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