The Spirit Trail is an easy-going 11.1 km hike along the shipyards of Vancouver’s North Shore that offers beautiful views of the water and the chance to see a steady stream of boats coming in and out of the harbour. A popular route with runners, hikers, and dog walkers, this paved trail is a great option for a steady walk along the water’s edge to experience a beautiful Vancouver sunset. Don’t forget to bring your camera to grab some amazing photos of the city from the Burrard Dry Dock Pier.
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Route Description for Spirit Trail
The Spirit Trail is a heavily-trafficked route that starts near the iconic Lions Gate Bridge and travels close to the waterfront to reach Lonsdale Quay. This trail is popular with families, runners, hikers, and dog walkers, meaning that during peak hours, it will become very busy. It is best to arrive early to get a parking spot and beat out the crowds, especially if you are looking to take some photos along the pier.
This trail passes by the shipyards of the North Shore before meandering closer to the water’s edge and past numerous parks on its way to Lonsdale Quay. From here, users of the trail will have the opportunity to walk along the Burrard Dry Dock Pier to catch some amazing views of the water before backtracking along the same route.
Setting out on the trail from the parking area, make your way east along the trail as it closely follows Welch Street and moves past Welch Park. After 2.2 km, you will cross over McKay Creek and follow the trail south as it heads toward the Burrard Yacht Club. From here, hikers will have to cross over a bridge to skirt around the harbour and its many boats on the right side.
Shortly after passing the harbour, you will reach Lonsdale Quay, passing through the area to get to the Burrard Dry Dock Pier and its scenic views of the city. After taking in the views, head back along the same trail, keeping the iconic Lions Gate Bridge ahead of you to return back to the parking area.
Getting to the Spirit Trail Trailhead
To reach the trailhead for the Spirit Trail from Vancouver, drive north on BC-1A/BC-99 N and cross over the Lions Gate Bridge. Take the exit to the right to merge onto Marine Drive. In 600 m, make a right turn onto Lower Capilano Road and another right onto Welch Street. In 600 m, the parking area will be on your left.
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