North Vancouver’s Rice Lake in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve is a great place for an easy winter walk since it rarely has snow. The flat trail has beautiful views of the tranquil lake, which often boasts beautiful reflections.
Safety First: 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.
Trail Info: Easy; 3 km loop; no elevation gain; 1 hour; no dogs allowed
Getting There: 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 parking lot at the end of the road.
You can also take public transit. From 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. This will add about 1km round trip and 30 minutes to your hike.
The Trail: The trails in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve are well signed. Bring a copy of the trail map just in case.
From the gravel parking lot, follow the path behind the washrooms. Cross the paved access road on the crosswalk, then head into the grassy area with picnic tables. Towards the back of the picnic area, take the gravel path that branches off to the left.
Stay on this trail for a few minutes until you reach an intersection. Turn right, following signs for Rice Lake. The path takes you through the forest past an exhibit explaining historical logging in the area.
A couple of minutes later, reach another junction. Turn left to begin your circuit around the lake. (The right turn is your return route.) Continue on the trail as it makes a clockwise loop around the lake. Several unofficial spur trails branch off to the right if you want to get a closer look at the water.
At the north end of the lake ignore a trail heading off to the left – it leads to the paved Seymour Valley Trailway. Continue around the lake, exploring more side trails to the right for views.
Eventually, you will arrive at the lake’s centerpiece: the floating dock. Take a break on the benches or watch anglers casting their lines. There is an outhouse here if you need one.
Photo: Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve
To continue onwards, take the trail back into the forest. (The gravel road heading uphill to your left goes to the Seymour Valley Trailway.) Follow the path around the south side of the lake back to the side trail you entered from. Turn left and retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
By Taryn Eyton
Source Inside Vancouver