Hiking the Baden Powell Trail

The big news of the week is Sam has a job!! She is working for a clothing company called Aritzia who are like a high-end version of Topshop and probably the most well know Canadian womens clothing brand. The downside to retail is she will be required to work weekends. This means for those days I am left to fend for myself and do something (or just sit on my arse all day watching Netflix).

I have been looking at a number of trails that I can do by taking public transport (being able to drive is a task for November). With the bad weather that has now arrived (and expected to be here for the foreseeable future) I wanted a walk that didn’t necessarily matter if clouds obstructed views at a summit/viewpoint so I came to chose the Baden Powell Trail, This is a 50km+ trail which runs from Deep Cove in the east to Horseshoe Bay in the west and named after the founder of the Scout Movement originally in the UK and then in Canada. The whole thing isn’t feasible in a day (maybe one day next summer I will try it) so I decided to do the eastern arm from Lynn Canyon to Deep Cove via Quarry Rock.

Lynn Canyon is a popular walking route for locals and tourists alike. There is lots to see within a small distance of each other. I actually went to Lynn Canyon last weekend with Navid, Jen and Seppy. However with no restrictions on times (or peoples busier schedules) I wanted to push myself abit.

My solo hike started at 7am when I got up with Sam as she headed to work. After taking the Canada line to Waterfront and then the 210 to the top of Lynn Valley I entered the Lynn Valley Park (near Pipeline Bridge). By this time is was 8.30 am so quiet and a stark contrast of the previous weekend which was busy busy busy.

Due to the rain the waters level of the river had increased considerably (2m easily) in just a week, areas that were last week accessible were now beneath a torrent of running water which is a pretty considerable change in just one week.

The jewel of the Lynn Canyon park is the suspension bridge that mimics the one over Capilano gorge (without the $40 entry fee). Last time we went it was full of 30+ tourists which spoilt the occasion. However this time, due to weather and the time in the morning the bridge was beautifully empty.

As the trail moved away from the valley it entered pristine Pacific North West forest. The walk was quite undulating with tricky and steep ascents especially as the route entered towards Mt Seymour. Although the path got pretty hazy and very technical there were always those orange triangle markers nailed to a tree within eyeshot. Otherwise I would still be lost somewhere in North Vancouver.

About 90 minutes into the hike, the sun had risen high enough (and the clouds had briefly dispersed) to allow the suns rays to shine through the trees to brilliant effect.

I remember from a TV show or movie I have watched that the Japanese had a specific name for this effect, Komerebi! It is a beautiful feeling to be ‘lost’ in the woods with no-one around, no noise bar the rushing of water in unseen rivers and the light glistening through the trees! I hope the pictures do this feeling justice.

After about 15km from my starting destination I approached the familiar sight of Quarry Rock which represented the eastern most part of my trip. Quarry rock is a short 2-3km hike from Deep Cove and this short distance mixed with great views makes for a popular hike. I saw a total of 5 people (and a few mountain bikers) over 3 hours and 200+ people in 25 mins at Quarry Rock. Still, for the views can you blame them?

From the top of Quarry Rock it was a quick 25 minute descent down into the Deep Cove to finish the hike although by this time my legs were all over the place (wibbly wobbly like jelly on a plate). Still I made it down the well marked, well used and well looked after descent and entered the village of Deep Cove. After a quick wander around the village it was time for a quick visit to the areas favourite doughnut shop!! Honeys is locally renowned for its doughnuts and I treated myself to 6 of its finest (to be consumed over a few days not straight away haha). The treat was well worth the 3.5 hour hike.

The hike was pretty difficult and 18km was significant seeing as though I am quite out of shape haha. Still I enjoyed the hike and was back in bed for 2.30pm watching Netflix. After a quick outing for dinner with Sam to watch the Canucks and Patriots game I was completely done in and in bed by 9pm. How my life has changed!

Vancouver Trails recommends doing this hike the otherway around but I would disagree. The direction I took has more downhills than up but the tricky uphill descents would make for a quite precarious downhill, especially in the wetter months. It is also great to see Quarry Rock and Deep Cove at the end of the hike.


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