The North Shore is home to some of Vancouver’s most beautiful scenery, stunning hikes and most popular tourist attractions. Living on the North Shore for the past year has been a dream come true – this is a hiker’s paradise and hiking is one of the things I love most in life. But, with three kids under 5, it was absolutely essential that we find walks and hikes that are stroller-friendly!
We’ve found a few favourite spots that are not only stroller-friendly but also fun for toddlers and preschoolers. You’ll find that most of the walks we list below are short distances (1.5-4 km) and involve other ‘engaging’ elements, like creeks, playgrounds and beaches! These are stroller-friendly walks on Vancouver’s North Shore that our whole family can enjoy together and we are so excited to share them with you!
1) West Vancouver Sea Wall
Many of our outings here on Vancouver’s North Shore involve the West Vancouver Sea Wall. The views of Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge are gorgeous. There is also lots to see and do along the way: two amazing playgrounds, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers; beautiful sandy beaches; and two ocean-side restaurants to stop for drinks & snacks!
My favourite stretch to go for a stroller-friendly walk is between Dundarave Park and Ambleside Park, which is about 2.5 km. If you plan to do a round-trip and want to shorten the walk up for little legs, you can easily turn around at John Lawson Park instead, which is only about 1.7 km from Dundarave Park.
This walk is mostly paved. There is a short section of packed dirt/gravel but it is easily manageable with a stroller. The ONLY downside of the sea wall is that because it is so amazing, it does get very busy – especially on a sunny summer day. Despite the crowds, this is one of the best stroller-friendly walks on Vancouver’s North Shore.
Find more information about the Sea Wall Walk, here.
2) Lighthouse Park
Lighthouse Park is hands-down one of the best stroller-friendly walks on the North Shore, and probably within all of metro Vancouver. In fact, this is where we usually take our out-of-town guests – young and old – for a little stroll. Why? Because this is an iconically ‘West Coast’ walk and it is easy for everyone to enjoy (my daughter walked from the parking lot all the way to the lighthouse at just 20 months old and my parents, who are in their 70s also enjoyed it). The main road (which is the stroller-friendly part of the park) takes you through a beautiful old growth forest and ends up at the lighthouse station grounds, which is a national historic site.
I usually also bring my soft carrier so that we can either take a short hike down one of the side trails OR take a quick little hike up to the lighthouse viewpoint at the end of the main road. Taking the extra few minutes to head up to the view point is well worth it as the views of Burrard Inlet are stunning. You do, however, need to be cautious with toddlers as there are steep drop-offs.
The stroller-friendly, direct route along Beacon Lane Trail to the lighthouse station is approximately 3 km round trip. It is a very easy hike, on the way out and a little more challenging on the way back to the parking lot as it is all uphill.
Find more information about Lighthouse Park, here.
3) Seaview Walk
This is another stroller-friendly gem in West Vancouver. True to its name, this walk has some amazing, elevated sea views of Burrard Inlet and Fishermans Cove. We usually park at Gleneagles Community Centre and then pick up the trail on the East side of Marine Drive. There’s also a little parking lot at the corner of Marine and Eagleridge Drive.
The trail is made of packed gravel and is about 4km return.
For more information about the Seaview Walk, click here.
4) Capilano River Regional Park
Capilano River Regional Park is home to a couple of the North Shore’s popular tourist attractions: the Cleveland Dam and the Capilano Salmon Hatchery. It also happens to have a wide, stroller-friendly trail through beautiful, natural forest. A word of warning – there are a lot of steep drop-offs beside the trails in this park so you’ll need to keep a close eye on your toddlers.
Our favourite route is to start at Glenmore Drive and then walk the main road/trail down to the Cleveland Dam, where we stop for a snack and playtime. This route is only about 1.5 km round trip. But the best part of this stroller-friendly North Shore walk is the opportunities for forest play. My 2 yo and 4.5 yo can spend hours in the park exploring the forest, discovering fairy doors and stomping in mud puddles.
A warning about the route between Glenmore Drive and the Dam – the way home is up a big hill and my kids usually decide at this point that they are tired and all pile into the stroller. The silver lining is that if you’re looking for a good workout, this might just be the stroller-friendly North Shore hike for you!
Find more information about Capilano River Regional Park, here.
5) Bridgman Park
This is a lovely little walk alongside Lynn Creek. We usually start at Park & Tilford where we pick up a coffee and then access Lynnmouth Park at 3rd Street, just north of MEC. We then head North along the pathway up to the Bridgman Park playground, which is well-suited to toddlers and preschoolers.
At only 1.5km round trip, this is a short but sweet route. In fact, this is one of my favourite spots for a stroller-friendly walk with the kids. The path gets really beautiful light and I find it really peaceful, even when we see lots of other walkers along the way. Bridgman Park is also home to one of my kids’ favourite playgrounds, which makes for a great family outing.
The current playground will soon be replaced with a brand new one, which we can’t wait to check out. For more information on the Bridgman Park updates, click here.
6) Maplewood Flats Conservation Area
Maplewood Flats Conservation Area is a really unique stroller-friendly walk on Vancouver’s North Shore. If you have any budding little nature enthusiasts in your house, this is the one for you! The Conservation Area provides opportunities to look out over Burrard Inlet, as well as to observe several other types of habitats, including marshes, grasslands and ponds.
Once you enter the Conservation Area, head south toward Burrard Inlet and then turn right to head across the wood bridge. Once across the bridge, our favourite route is to turn left, again toward Burrard Inlet, and make a clockwise loop. This loop is approximately 2.5 km and will take you past viewing points where you can observe a grassland area as well as a beautiful pond where the kids love to watch the ducks & keep their eyes peeled for frogs.
Find more information about Maplewood Flats Conservation Area, here.
7) Cates Park
Cates Park is a great stroller-friendly and toddler-friendly walk for a few reasons. First, the walk is right along the seaside which makes for beautiful views and also provides lots of opportunities for rock throwing, which is pretty much my 2 year old’s favourite pastime. Second, the pathway has an awesome playground at either end, which makes for a great motivator for the toddler/preschooler crowd.
The walk is along a packed gravel pathway and the route between the two playgrounds, Cates Park and Little Cates, is approximately 1.5km round trip.
Find more information about Cates Park, here.
Have you check out any of these trails? Know of other great stroller-friendly walks on Vancouver’s North Shore? We would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or contact us!