Easy Bike Rides Around Vancouver

A group of cyclists on the seawall in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

Cycling on the Seawall in Stanley Park. Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver / Coast Mountain Photography

One of the best ways to see Vancouver is from the seat of a bike. Vancouver is a very bike-friendly city with kilometers of dedicated cycling paths and lanes. As a long-time Vancouver resident and cyclist, here are some of my favourite local bike routes. You can ride beside the ocean, through the forest or explore one of Vancouver’s unique neighbourhoods.

Before you go cycling, make sure you get geared up. Under British Columbia law, you have to wear a helmet when you ride. Biking after dark? You need lights too. If you don’t have one, it’s easy to rent a bike. And if you’d rather have someone else show you around, book a bike tour.

 

Stanley Park Seawall

If you do just one bike ride in Vancouver, it should be this one. The Stanley Park Seawall is a 10-kilometer loop around the perimeter of Stanley Park. It’s a great route for photo ops with tons of beautiful views of downtown Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge and the North Shore mountains. Tip: While walkers and runners can go in both directions, the bike path is one-way. Go counter-clockwise.

 

False Creek Seawall

In the heart of Vancouver, you’ll find False Creek, an ocean inlet. You can bike all the way around it from Sunset Beach to Vanier Park. The entire route is a dedicated bike and pedestrian path. Along the way, stop at some of Vancouver’s best attractions including Science World and Granville Island. It’s an 11km ride one way. If you don’t want to backtrack, take the Aquabus back across False Creek.

A group of cyclists on the False Creek Seawall in Vancouver.

Biking through Yaletown on the False Creek Seawall. Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver / Cycle City Tours

 

Seaside Bike Route

On a summer day, ride the Seaside Bike Route that takes you to four of Vancouver’s beautiful sandy beaches. The 7-kilometer ride starts at Vanier Park, then follows bike paths and quiet streets along the shores of Burrard Inlet to Spanish Banks. Bring a bathing suit and towel and go for a dip at Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Beach, Locarno Beach or Spanish Banks Beach.

 

Arbutus Greenway

The Arbutus Greenway is Vancouver’s newest off-street bike path. In 2016 this former railbed was transformed into a dedicated walking and cycling path. It’s a 9-kilometer route running from Fir Street near West 5th Avenue all the way down to Milton Street near the Fraser River. It travels through the Kerrisdale neighbourhood, which has lots of cafes and shopping if you want a break.

 

Central Valley Greenway

A ride on the Central Valley Greenway is an awesome way to explore Vancouver’s suburbs. This 24-kilometer long dedicated bike path travels across the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster following Skytrain’s Millenium Line. It starts at Science World on False Creek and ends at the River Market in New Westminster. Stop at Burnaby Lake halfway along for a nature break. If you don’t want to bike all the way back again, take the Skytrain from New Westminster Station.

 

Seymour Valley Trailway

North Vancouver’s Seymour Valley Trailway is a unique bike ride. It’s a 12 kilometer long paved, biking and walking trail that is entirely deep in the forest. It parallels the Seymour River from picturesque Rice Lake all the way up to the Seymour Dam. Be sure to visit the dam lookout for beautiful views of the spillway and surrounding mountains.

 

North Shore Spirit Trail

Eventually, the Spirit Trail will stretch from one end of the North Shore to the other. Right now, the completed 7-kilometer section between Ambleside Park and Lonsdale Quay makes a great bike ride. Watch for First Nations Art along the way. Tip: You can ride this route as a loop from Vancouver. Ride over the Lions Gate bridge, follow the trail to Lonsdale Quay, then take the Seabus back to Vancouver.

Bike on a pier at Lonsdale Quay with downtown Vancouver in the background.

The view of downtown Vancouver from Lonsdale Quay.

 

Richmond Dyke Trails

Richmond is the flattest part of Vancouver, which makes it ideal for biking. Cycle on bike paths on top of the elevated dykes. You’ll travel alongside the Fraser River and tidal mudflats all the way to the fishing village of Steveston. When you get there, fuel up with fish and chips or ice cream. The ride is 12 kilometers from Aberdeen Skytrain Station to Steveston.

 

Choose Your Own Adventure

With hundreds of kilometers of bike lanes and bike paths to explore, Vancouver is a great place to go on a bike adventure. Use the City of Vancouver’s bike map to plan your route. Discover a new neighbourhood, bike to shopping, or design your own craft brewery bicycle tour.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Say Your Piece

Please be nice, we delete offensive and mean spirited remarks.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.