Biking is definitely a defining characteristic of Vancouver culture. Cycling around the city as your means of transport is one thing, but every now and then it's nice to take a more peaceful ride out and away from the regular commotion of downtown. BC has some world famous mountain biking trails, but there's plenty to do close to Van as well. So enjoy the wind on your face this summer as you pedal on some really remarkable rides close to home.

All of these routes are no further than an hour from downtown Vancouver and are for any level of cyclist. For more challenging trails still close to the city, venture into the North Shore trail system or head to Whistler. For more relaxing and scenic riding, check this list:

1. Stanley Park Seawall

To start us off, it may be obvious, but it's always worth a mention. A flat, paved and easy ride from Vancouver Harbour to English Bay, with lots to see and places to stop. If your feeling hot, split the trip up and take a refreshing dip at Second or Third Beach in the park. You'll definitely have some company on the ride, but it'll be all smiles.

Distance: 10 km


2. Sunset Beach to Kitsilano Beach

Make it a separate ride or continue from Stanley Park to Sunset Beach and then make your way along the north side of False Creek all the way to Science World and then return on the other side of the creek. Cross back on the Burrard St. Bridge to complete the loop or pedal onwards through Vanier Park to Kitsilano Beach, where you can take a hard earned break and cool off in the ocean or pool.

Distance: 11 km


3. Jericho Beach to Wreck Beach

Just a little ways down the Coast, take a lovely ride from Jericho Beach to Wreck Beach. A nice bike path takes you to Spanish Banks, where you continue on Marine Dr. to Wreck. You'll have the choice of heading down the staircase to cool off in the ocean or push those leg muscles even further by riding through UBC and back to the starting point.

Distance: 6. 3 km

If your feeling up for it – do the first 3 on a single ride!


4. Burnaby Mountain Trails

There is a range of bike trails on the east side of Burnaby Mountain that will lead you through wooded terrain on dirt paths. Get some really good exercise as you trudge up and down hills, and move on to some of the more difficult trails on the mountain once you get the hang of it.

Distance: Depends on trail selection


5. Traboulay PoCo Trail

In Port Coquitlam, this trail takes you around the entire city and along Pitt River. It's not very difficult and you'll get to see a little of everything, including the beautiful Colony Farm Regional Park.

Distance: 25 km


Photo cred - @li.hailun

6. West Dyke to South Dyke in Richmond

Starting at Terra Nova, head towards Steveston. You're bound to see some wildlife as you traverse marshlands with a mountainous backdrop, eventually reaching Fraser River where you can return via Horseshoe Slough. The protected habitat parks are profoundly relaxing when you need to get away from the riffraff and simply take in BC's natural splendor.

Distance: 26.5 km


Photo cred - @cyclingbc

7. Central Valley Greenway to Barnston Island

From Vancouver's Science World, a popular route is the 24 km ride down to New Westminster. Continue across a Fraser River just a bit further to the ferry crossing at Parson's Channel. A quick five minute barge ride will place you in a quaint little farming community for easy pedaling as you shift gears into a more simpler time.

Distance: 40 km


Photo cred - @melkyllo

8. Seymour Valley Trailway

Cycle through a diverse forest on a beautifully paved loop. If you're on a road bike stick to the pavement, otherwise there are several opportunities to diverge from the main loop onto off-road tracks that range in difficulty. This is a pristine environment where you can ride to your heart's content.

Distance: 10 km


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