Orange - main 35.3 km track
Magenta - allows for alternate and options
Brown -Walking Trails
- KML/KMZ files can be opened in Google Earth, and many smartphone apps.
- GPX files can be opened by most GPS software apps when KMZ cannot. Note, GPX files do not contain custom colours and icons that we use on our maps; all tracks and icons will appear the same colours and styles. We recommend using KMZ instead when possible.
- GPX-Garmin are GPX files that we have optimized for older Garmin units that only display tracks that contain 500 points or less (such as Garmin eTrex units).
Visit our GPS & Navigation page for instructions of how to use your smartphone as a GPS device (even when outside of data coverage) or how to import data to your Garmin unit.
About the Journey:
This loop offers both cycle and walking options. It features the North Shore Spirit Trail, the Green Necklace Greenway, a number of City Parks, the Capilano Regional Park, and shoreline trails along Burrard Inlet and creeks, in particular, Lynn Creek, Mosquito Creek, Mackay Creek, and the Capilano River. It is in the Squamish Nation Territory, the trail connecting the Mission and Capilano Reserves
See the full description in 'Directions' below. Go to the following links for:
Note that the orange track is the complete cycle route described here. The 'Downloadable' section gives instruction on how to download the tracks using your smartphone or Garmin device.
The best parking and Staging areas are: Brigman Park, Auto Mall area, Ambleside Park, Cleveland Dam, Mosquito Creek Park entrance, and anywhere along Grand Boulevard -all are indicated on the map.
Shopping is available at Mountain Equipment Coop, Park & Tilford Mall, Lonsdale Quay, Park Royal Shopping Centre, and Ambleside. There is limited shopping at Edgemont Village.
Washrooms are readily available at Brigman Park, Tilford Park Gardens, Lonsdale Quay, Waterfront Park, Ambleside Park, Cleveland Dam, Capilano Park Fish Hatchery, Eldon Park, Mosquito Creek Park entrance
North Shore Trail Loop
Distance: up to 35 km, allows for several smaller loops – See Sub-loops descriptions.
Suggested Starting and end point: Bridgman Park –Accesses by car from east end of Keith Road or from Mountain Highway south of the Upper Levels Highway.
Mode of travel: Well maintained Mountain or hybrid Bike, Good hiking shoes
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate - long distance and fairly steep inclines
Altitude – 0 to 204m/670 ft.
Time allowed for cycling: 4 to 6 hrs including lunch for the complete loop
Fitness level: Should be in good physical condition and have experienced cycling over 30k and uphill.
Possible places for coffee and snacks –Tilford Shopping Centre, Lonsdale Quay, Pemberton Station, Ambleside, and Edgemont Village.
Features and Description
Suggested starting point
Bridgman Park is a good starting point. It has washroom amenities and free parking, and is easily accessible. From the Second Narrows Bridge take the Main Street exit and turn right on Mountain Highway immediately after heading west into North Vancouver. It is also recommended to travel clockwise by first heading south on Lynn Creek Trail for gentler uphill inclines.
Lynn Creek Trail – 840 metres
Head south along the Creek. It is a pleasant wooded area giving refuge from the neighbouring commercial area around Park & Tilford Mall. Be aware that this is an off-leash area for dogs. Just past Mountain Coop, turn west on Cotton Road. This will soon be the Spirit Trail but for now follow the north side sidewalk.
Spirit Trail – North Vancouver Section – 10 km
Along Cotton Road just past Park & Tilford are the Park & Tilford Gardens accessed from Gladstone Avenue, a worthwhile visit.
Continue on Cotton Road past to 3rd St E and head uphill to where the completed Spirit Trail begins. This part of the trail, through a wooded area, overlooks the grain elevators and Burrard Inlet and comes out on 2nd St E.
Follow 2nd St. (part of the Spirit Trail) to St. Davids Ave. and turn left. Another natural trail begins at the end of the street. This section of trail comes out on Esplanade.
The market is a great spot to eat and stroll around. Also the Quay is the accesses to the SeaBus, a good spot to start this loop from the Vancouver side.
Past the Quay is Waterfront Park along the water. It has washrooms. Do enjoy its interesting sculptures, interpretive signs, and the national aboriginal theme Trans Canada Trail Pavilion with its welcoming totem Sculptures by Darren Yelton.
Past the BCIT Marine Building the Spirit Trail and Trans Canada Trail must follow Forbes, 3rd St, 2nd St and Bewicke Ave for now. On the left are the Mission Squamish Lands with its National Historic Site, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, the oldest church in Vancouver.
The finished Spirit Trail Path begins again shortly after the railroad tracks. Follow the trail by taking a right fork towards the waterfront. This greenway goes around an Automall area along the waterfront taking in Mills Walk and Mackay Creek over a delightful pedestrian overpass to First Street.
Continue on the Spirit Trail along 1st past the former Pemberton Train Station into Welch Strip Park then through the Capilano Squamish Nation lands reaching the Capilano River under the Lions Gate Bridge. Note the Squamish Nation’s Long House along way.
Spirit Trail – West Vancouver Section – 2.2 km
The section of the Spirit Trail continues once over the bridge crossing of the Capilano River. At this junction the walkers should follow the better option along the Pacific-Capilano Trail to eventually reach the Fish Hatchery in Capilano Regional Park, an extraordinary walking trail.
Cyclists continue following the marked Spirit Trail Path through Ambleside Park with its great amenities. (Walkers have another option of following the waterfront on a Spur Trail all the way to Dundarave.)
Connecting to Stevens Drive – 4.2 km At 13 th St head across the railroad tracks and veer to the right unto Keith Rd and stay o Keith right up and under the Upper Levels Highway where you need to take a trail to the left. This unfinished section of trail follows the Upper Level to 3 rd St. Go up 3rd to Mathers Ave. Turn right on Hadden Drive. Stay on Hadden up to Stevens Drive. Turn on Stevens Drive.
Stevens Drive – 3 km
Stevens Drive is a steady climb on the Trans Canada Trail past the Capilano Golf Club to Deep Deny Rd. Turn left continuing on the Trans Canada Trail on Glenmore Drive. Shortly up Glenmore Drive watch for an alley which is a pathway into Capilano Regional Park via the Trans Canada Trail.
Capilano Regional Park – 2.7 km (plus 2.2 km with fish hatchery)
Well into the park cross over the Cleveland dam overlooking the Capilano Canyon. Watch for TCT signage and turn right down a Park roadway to Capilano Park Road. At this juncture there is an opportunity to go right to visit the highly popular Capilano River Fish Hatchery with its viewing windows of salmon climbing fish ladders. Otherwise, turn left on Capilano River Road and watch for a trail veering to the left. It goes through a forested area to Eldon Rd. (Note that walkers follow a canyon trail from the hatchery to the Eldon Trail).
Edgemont Village – 2.5 km
Cross Capilano Road and continue on Eldon Road to Eldon Park. Enter at the park entrance and take a trail around the sport fields to Sunset Blvd and cross over to Emerald Drive. Take it to Edgemont Blvd and turn left. Enjoy the amenities of this village and continue to Queens Road. Turn left. Watch for a TCT sign on the right to enter Mosquito Creek Trail.
Mosquito Creek Trail – 2.3 km
Follow Mosquito Creek Trail all the way to its entrance at the corner of Fell Road and Larson Road enjoying the forest and the enhancements made to the creek for salmon spawning. To continue along Mosquito Creek, cross Larson Road, turn left and then right again along the east side of the creek to 14th St. Head left on 14th and turn right on Bewicke Ave to 13th st and turn left.
Keith Road – Greenway – 2.7 km
Soon up 13th St, head east along Keith Road taking a pathway in the boulevard all the way through Victoria Park taking in the architecture and views. Past Victoria Park continue to Grand Boulevard. And turn left.
Grand Boulevard – 1.7 km
Head up a gentle hill on a pathway in the middle of this very wide Boulevard and keep going all the way to 19th Street. Follow 19th to a High School. Go left and watch for a trail on the right just past the schoolyard.
Greenway to Bridgman Park via Lutet and Keith-Lynn Parks – 3 km
From here follow a good trail all the way back the Bridgman Park across Keith Road. Make sure to follow the trail along the playing fields when they come into view. Do not take a very steep trail that is closer to the highway. After the playing fields the trail is under power lines and is a fairly steep downhill.