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Vancouver’s Top 19 Biking Trails for Every Level

Vancouver's Top 19 Biking Trails for Every Level

Vancouver Island has a lot to offer, but one of the best ways to explore this place is through cycling! From easy paths to challenging mountain trails, there’s something for everyone. 

This guide will show you the best routes for every fitness level and interest, such as enjoying beautiful coastal views, conquering steep climbs, or exploring historic towns. So, get your bike ready, and let’s go on an adventure on Vancouver Island!

1. Lochside Regional Trail

Address: Saanich Core, BC V8X 2E1, Canada

Time to complete: 6 hours 32 minutes

Distance: 29 kilometers

Difficulty level: Easy

The Lochside Regional Trail is a 29-kilometer multi-use trail that starts at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal and ends in Victoria, British Columbia. It’s a popular route for cycling as the trail winds through forests, farmland, wetlands and beaches. 

This trail is flat perfect for riders of all ages and abilities. If you’re up for a more extended bike adventure, the Lochside Regional Trail connects to the Galloping Goose Trail for more trails and Vancouver places to explore.

Pro tip:
Stop at the Saanich Historical Society Museum and learn about the history of the Saanich Peninsula. You can also take a break at the Butchart Gardens, just a short distance from the trail. 

2. Galloping Goose Regional Trail 

Address: Victoria at the intersection of Lochside Trail and Admirals Road

Time to complete: 3 to 5 hours

Distance: 55 kilometers

Difficulty level: Moderate

The Galloping Goose Regional Trail stretches 55 kilometers from Victoria to Sooke, making it a popular cyclist route. Built on the abandoned railway bed of the Canadian National Railway, the trail offers a glimpse into the island’s transportation history. 

The trail winds through urban areas in Victoria to rural farmlands, forests, and ocean views. It also intersects with several other trails, including the Lochside Regional Trail and the Trans Canada Trail, offering endless exploration opportunities.

Pro tip:
There are several cafes and restaurants near the trailhead in Victoria and Sooke where you can grab a bite or a refreshing drink. 

3. Cowichan Valley – Kinsol Trestle Trail 

Address: Sooke Lake Road, Shawnigan Lake, BC

Time to complete: 1 to 2 hours

Distance: 114 kilometers

Difficulty level: Easy

The Cowichan Valley Trail is a 114-kilometer-long multi-use trail that stretches from the Malahat to the Nanaimo Regional District. The Kinsol Trestle, a 187-meter-long timber trestle that stands 44 meters above the Koksilah River, is one of the trail’s highlights. 

It’s one of the tallest and most spectacular free-standing timber rail trestle structures in the world, making it a sight to behold. The trestle offers stunning views of the valley and river, making it a perfect spot for taking photos and enjoying the scenery.

Pro tip:
There are no amenities near the trestle, so pack plenty of water and snacks for your trip. There are also picnic tables near the trestle, so pack a lunch and enjoy the views while you eat.

4. Fulford Harbour Loop 

Address: Salt Spring Island, near Vancouver

Time to complete: 1 hour and 12 minutes

Distance: 4.4 kilometers

Difficulty level: Easy

The Fulford Harbour Loop, also known as the Fulford Harbour Trail, is a 4.4-kilometer loop trail on Salt Spring Island. The trail winds through forests along the waterfront with views of the Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea.

Make sure to stop at the lookout point near the beginning of the trail, which offers stunning views of the harbor. You may also see deer, eagles, and other wildlife along the trail, but it’s relatively quiet and uncrowded, making it a great place to relax and enjoy nature.

Pro tip:
Wear good shoes because although the trail is well-maintained, some sections can be muddy or slippery. You could also drop by the Fulford Harbour, a charming little town with several shops and restaurants.

5. Arbutus Greenway

Address: 2205 W 11th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 4T1, Canada

Time to complete: 1 hour 44 minutes

Distance: 8.5-kilometer

Difficulty level: Easy

The Arbutus Greenway is an 8.5-kilometer multi-use pathway with a car-free corridor for walking, cycling, and rolling, stretching from False Creek to the Fraser River. The greenway follows the path of a former rail line.

Besides enjoying the greenway without worrying about traffic, it winds through Kitsilano, Shaughnessy, and Fairview. The greenway is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike for a walk, bike ride, or jog.

Pro tip:
The greenway is not lit at night, so be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight if you plan on using it after dark. You can take a break at one of the many parks along the greenway, such as Quilchena Park or Kerrisdale Park.

6. Saltspring Island Cheese Farm Loop

Address: Saltspring Island Cheese Farm, 1230 Mt. Maxwell Rd, Saltspring Island, BC V8K 1T2

Time to complete: 30 minutes

Distance: 3.2-miles

Difficulty level: Easy

The Saltspring Island Cheese Farm loop is a 3.2-mile, easy trail near the Trust Area. The trail is relatively flat and well-maintained, making it a good option for families with young children or new to hiking. 

The trail offers stunning countryside views, including the Gulf Islands and Mount Baker. You’ll likely see deer, eagles, and otters and pass by the award-winning Salt Spring Island Cheese Farm, where you can sample some of their delicious cheeses.

Pro tip:
The trail is exposed to the sun in some areas, so bring sunscreen and insect repellent. It’s also mostly gravel, so wear sturdy shoes with good traction.

7. Stanley Park Inner Loop

Address: Stanley Park Loop, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1A2, Canada

Time to complete: 2 hours

Distance: 27 kilometers

Difficulty level: Easy

The Stanley Park Inner Loop is a 27-kilometer paved trail that circles the park’s interior. It’s a popular choice for runners, cyclists, and walkers and offers views of the forest, Second Beach, and the Lions Gate Bridge.

It’s a shorter loop that takes in some historic landmarks, including the Stanley Park Pavilion, the Brockton Point Lighthouse, and the Nine O’Clock Gun. It’s also a good option for families with young children, as it’s mostly flat and easy to navigate.

Pro tip:
Stop at Second Beach, the Lost Lagoon or Beaver Lake for a swim or to relax. You can rent a bike at the park and explore the loop on two wheels.

8. Salish Trail in Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Address: Vancouver, BC V6N 2C4, Canada

Time to complete: 1 hour and 41 minutes

Distance: 4.6 miles

Difficulty level: Moderate

The Salish Trail is a 4.6-mile loop trail in Pacific Spirit Regional Park. It’s a moderately challenging trail that winds through second-growth forests, over bridges, and along bluffs with ocean views.

The trail is open year-round, so you can enjoy it any season. The trail is relatively quiet, even on weekends, but expect to see deer, eagles, and other wildlife.

Pro tip:
Dogs are allowed on the trail but must be on a leash. Make sure also to respect the wildlife by not approaching or feeding them. 

9. Adanac Heights Loop

Address: Burnaby’s Boundary Road, connecting with the Francis Union Bikeway

Time to complete: 30 to 45 minutes

Distance: 8 kilometers 

Difficulty level: Easy

The Adanac Bikeway is an 8-kilometer bike path from the False Creek seawall in downtown Vancouver to Boundary Road in Burnaby. It is one of the busiest bike routes in the city, and it is a popular choice for recreational cyclists.

The Adanac Bikeway passes through Strathcona, Mount Pleasant, and Renfrew, offering stunning views of the Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains. It’s a safe and comfortable place to cycle, mostly separated from traffic.

Pro tip:
Stop at the Trout Lake Community Centre for a coffee or snack or visit the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site.

10. Mayo Lake Loop

Address: Mayo Lake Rd, Cowichan Valley, BC V9N 6T8, Canada

Time to complete: 1 to 2 hours

Distance: 3.3 kilometers

Difficulty level: Easy

The Mayo Lake Loop is 3.3 kilometers long and primarily consists of gravel roads. It’s suitable for most fitness levels, winding through a lush forest with towering Douglas firs and cedars, making it a refreshing escape from the sun on hot days.

The trail is relatively lightly trafficked, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a quiet escape. While primarily forested, the trail offers lake views and glimpses of surrounding hills.

Pro tip:
Take a break at Mayo Lake by enjoying a picnic by the lake or going for a swim. Along the trail, you can also explore the Cowichan Heritage Village or the Butterfly World. 

11. Seaside Touring Route

Address: Vancouver Convention Centre, 999 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3B5

Time to complete: 2 to 4 hours

Distance: 28-kilometer

Difficulty level: Easy

The Seaside Bike Route stretches 28 kilometers from the Vancouver Convention Centre to Spanish Banks Park. The route takes you past some of Vancouver’s most stunning scenery, including Stanley Park, False Creek, and the English Bay beaches.

What makes it unique is that it’s a car-free route, so you can relax and enjoy the ride without worrying about traffic. The route is also mostly flat and paved, making it suitable for all fitness levels.

Pro tip:
Be aware of other cyclists and pedestrians, especially on busy days. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the views at one of the many parks along the route.

12. Strawberry Fields Mountain Biking Trail

Address: Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada

Time to complete: 10 to 12 minutes 

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty level: Easy

The Strawberry Fields Trail is a 4-mile out-and-back trail near Pemberton and is best suited for experienced mountain bikers. The trail features some technical sections, including rock gardens, drops, and climbing.

The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, but the best time to ride it is in the summer and fall when the weather is dry and the ground is not too soft. The trail can be muddy and slippery in the spring and winter.

Pro tip:
Be sure to wear a helmet and other protective gear. After riding the trail, you can stop for a picnic at Mosquito Lake.

13. Parkway Trail 

Address: The Parkway Trail, Nanaimo, BC V9X 1A6, Canada

Time to complete: 4 hours

Distance: 19 kilometers

Difficulty level: Difficult

The Parkway Trail is a 19-kilometer paved, multi-use trail that runs from one end of Nanaimo to another, great for biking, running, hiking, and even foraging. It’s an excellent option for a family outing, as it’s relatively flat and easy to navigate.

It connects to several parks and green spaces, including Colliery Dam Park, Morrell Sanctuary, Westwood Lake, Vancouver Island University, Buttertubs Marsh, Bowen Park, Millstone River, and Harbourside Walkway.

Pro tip:Take a break at one of the many parks or green spaces the trail connects. If you’re visiting Nanaimo in the summer, pack sunscreen and water, as there isn’t much shade on the trail.

14. Railway Trail 

Address: Mostar Road, Nanaimo, BC

Time to complete: 30 to 45 minutes

Distance: 5 kilometers

Difficulty level: Easy

The Railway Trail is a 5-kilometer multi-use paved trail perfect for walking, jogging, rollerblading, cycling, skateboarding, and wheelchairs. It stretches from Rosehill Avenue in the south to Dunstar Road in the north.

The trail is mostly flat and easy to navigate, making it suitable for all. It winds through forests and meadows alongside the Nanaimo River, offering scenic views. If you’re cycling, continue onto the Coombs to Parksville Rail Trail for an extended adventure.

Pro tip:
Stop at the historic Nanaimo train station and learn about its role in development. You can also detour the Nanaimo River estuary and observe the diverse birdlife.

15. Kanaka Bay Trail 

Address: Newcastle Island, Nanaimo, British Columbia

Time to complete: 51 minutes

Distance: 2.4 miles

Difficulty level: Moderate

The Kanaka Bay Trail is a singletrack suitable for hiking and mountain biking. It’s a moderate bike trail with hills and uneven terrain but offers a chance to explore a car-free island with a rich history and stunning scenery.

The Kanaka Bay Trail leads from the day-use area to Kanaka Bay and guides visitors through a mature forest of Douglas fir, past a marsh area, and a historic ventilation shaft for a coal mine that is 390 feet deep and over 100 years old.

Pro tip:
Visit the Newcastle Island Marine Park website or download a map to learn about the island’s past and see historical sites like the Teacherage Museum and the abandoned mine shafts.

16. Mallard Lake Trail

Address: Mallard Lake, Alberni-Clayoquot, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada

Time to complete: 1 hour and 6 minutes

Distance: 2.7 kilometers

Difficulty level: Moderate

The Mallard Lake Trail in Tofino is a moderately challenging 2.7-kilometer trail. The first part of the trail follows an old logging road, but then you will enter a forest with a steeper incline.

Once you reach the top of the hill, there is a tower, and the trail descends steeply down to the lake. The trail offers diverse forest and mountain scenery and opportunities to see wildlife like birds and deer.

Pro tip:
The trail can be muddy and slippery in some sections, so wear shoes with good traction. There are also no amenities at the trailhead, so be sure to bring your food and drinks if you plan on spending any time there.

17. Pacific Marine Circle Route

Address: Vancouver Island, Canada

Time to complete: 4 to 5 hours

Distance: 263 kilometers

Difficulty level: Moderate

The Pacific Marine Circle Route is famous for cyclists due to its breathtaking ocean views, diverse landscapes, and moderate difficulty. The terrain is mostly paved roads with gravel sections, rolling hills, and winding coastal paths.

The route takes you past rocky coastlines, sandy beaches, towering old-growth forests, and charming seaside towns. Watch for eagles, whales, bears, and other animals.

Pro tip:
You can stop at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park and hike through the forest to see the unique potholes carved by glaciers. You can also go whale watching in Victoria to see orcas, humpback whales, and other marine life.

18. Log Train Trail 

Address: Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Time to complete: 5 hours and 16 minutes

Distance: 22 kilometers

Difficulty level: Moderate

The Log Train Trail is a 22-kilometer multi-use trail popular for hiking, biking, horseback riding, dirt biking and ATV-ing in some sections. The trail follows the old railway line route transporting logs from the forest to the mill. 

The trail goes along the Alberni River, with some sections leading to views of the Beaufort Range mountains. The trail is mostly flat and easy to navigate, making it an excellent option for families with young children or those new to hiking or biking.

Pro tip:
The trail is not well-signed, so download a map or have a GPS device. If you’re biking, stop at the top of the hill for stunning views of the Alberni Valley and stop for a treat at Coombs Country Candy, near the trailhead.

19. Wild Pacific Trail

Address: 250 Coast Guard Dr, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0, Canada

Time to complete: 4 hours and 58 minutes 

Distance: 25 kilometers

Difficulty level: Moderate

The Wild Pacific Trail is a 25-kilometer coastal trail offering dramatic ocean views and diverse ecosystems. The trail winds along the rugged coastline, offering incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, Barkley Sound, and the Broken Group Islands.

The area is home to the Ucluelet First Nation, and the trail incorporates interpretive signs about their history and connection to the land. The Amphitrite Lighthouse is a popular stop on the trail, offering panoramic views and a glimpse into maritime history.

Pro tip:
The best time to visit the trail is during low tide when you can explore the tide pools and see more of the beach. If you’re visiting between June and September, join a free guided tour to learn more about the area’s flora, fauna, and cultural history.