- 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 takes in the Vancouver City core including Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, Gastown, English Bay, Yaletown, Chinatown, the Italian Quarter, and New Brighton Park. In Burnaby, it features the Central Valley Greenway, Burnaby Mountain, and Burnaby Heights. Go to 'Directions' below for a more complete description of the main cycling route. Go to the following links for:
Note that the orange track is the complete cycle route described here. Our 'Downloadable' section gives instruction on how to download our tracks using your smartphone or Garmin device.
Metro Cycle Trail Loop
North Burnaby - City of Vancouver
Note: Shorter/easier loops and sub-loops are shown in magenta and walking only sections are shown in brown on Google Earth. The description below describes the cycle routing only.
Distance: More difficult 60k -- Much easier 56k
The route chosen will depend on participants. Difficulty is based on hill climbing up Burnaby Mountain. Some hills are steep enough to require pushing bikes, at least for most of us.
Starting and end point for this description: 8100 block on Winston St. Burnaby near Brighton Ave. with parking along Winston St. Winston is north of Burnaby Lake and is best accessed from Lougheed Highway on Government Road or Brighton Ave.
Connecting Roads - 13.5k (less difficult 12.5k) - the connecting roads are designated bikeways.
Trails and Pathways - 46.5k (less difficult 48k)
Mode of travel: Well maintained Mountain Bike. Pay particular attention to brakes, chain, and derailleur.
Low altitude - 0 -- High altitude - 320m/1050ft (most difficult) -- 100m/328ft (easier route)
Time allowed: 7 to 8 hrs including lunch
Fitness level: Should be in good physical condition and have experienced cycling over 40k. -- for the most difficult route, hill experience.
Suggested Food breaks: Take a snack along for a morning break at New Brighton Park; lunch at about 12:30 p.m. in Gastown.
Features and Descriptions
On Winston St. (part of the Central Valley Greenway) head east and north to catch the Stoney Creek Trail heading up Burnaby Mountain. Note that the Central Valley Greenway continues southeast along Brunette River.
Stoney Creek Trail for 5.2k
Note: See below for a description of the less difficult route at the junction for the Stoney Creek Trail.
This important salmon spawning creek coming down from Burnaby Mountain flows into Brunette River and ends up at the Fraser River. Follow this trail and a power line trail to a split in the trail. Take the one going uphill on the Trans Canada Trail.
Burnaby Mountain (Trans Canada Trail) - 11k at Hastings for 5.8k, distance to summit-2.8k
Heading up Burnaby Mountain enter a sensational wooded and geological area up to Burnaby Mountain Centennial Park. At the Park there are washrooms and exceptional views along Indian Arm and Burrard Inlet as well as Burnaby and Vancouver. It is also the location of a Trans Canada Trail Pavilion.
Kensington/Scenic View Trail, Capitol Hill -14.2k at Penzance for 3.3k
From Hastings head for a back alley and along a golf range to Kensington. Back on the north sidewalk on Hastings across Kensington Park turn right at the TCT signs on the Scenic View Trail. This pleasant undulating trail through forest along Burrard Inlet completely isolates the trail user from the busy urban life just to the south of this park.
Penzance Trail - 15k at Willingdon for 1k
The trail continues along Penzance Drive through Confederation Park past a Miniature Railway Park. Washroom facilities are available on the south side of the park. Follow the TCT signs.
Burnaby Heights - McGill, Eton and Montrose Parks - 17k at Boundary for 2k
The Burnaby Heights section of the Trail starts with McGill Park followed by Eton Park along the Chevron property. The rest of the trail to Boundary Road is Montrose Park with an interesting interpretive sign about Crabtown below the North Burnaby Burrard escarpment. Follow the TCT signs.
Boundary to New Brighton Park pier - 18.5k at pier for 1.5k - Snack time
This is the start of the trail in East Vancouver. It features spectacular views from an overpass taking us over a rail tunnel where two railroads cross over each other with one crossing Burrard Inlet. It is also a great vantage point to observe the Iron Worker Memorial Bridge (Second Narrows) as it frames the Lions among the north shore mountains. New Brighton could be considered the birth place of Vancouver - read the interpretive bronze plaque at the monument near the washrooms.
Portside, Lakewood, and Adanac Bikeway - New Brighton Park to Gastown at the 26k for 7.7k - lunch time
From New Brighton Park access the bottom of the overpass on the east sidewalk to the traffic light. Follow bikeway signs to Wall Street interesting for its small parks and views over Burrard Inlet.
At Lakewood take a trail through a small park and follow it through the Templeton School yard.
At the end of Adanac (Canada spelled backwards) go north to Keefer and take it through Strathcona and Chinatown.
At Carroll St. turn right going north to Gastown (Old Vancouver Center).
Coal Harbour - 29.4 at Stanley Park for 3.4k
From Gastown head to Canada Place and the Convention Centre. Follow the TCT signs on the walkway around the Convention Centre and continue along the Coal Harbour Seawall to Stanley Park.
Stanley Park - 37.8k past Second Beach for 8.5k
The photos in the PDF version speak for themselves.
English Bay and North False Creek - 44k past Science World for 6k
Features views of Kitsilano, ships coming in from Georgia Strait, sailboats, Granville Island and Science World. Along the way starting with English Bay the route passes Sunset Beach, waterfront restaurants and the Yaletown waterfront, site of Expo 86.
Central Valley Greenway - for15.8k
This new pathway takes us back essentially following the Skytrain and Still Creek to Winston Ave. after going over a pedestrian bridge over tracks and Winston (see photo). Still Creek starts at Central Park and flows through John Hendry Park and heads east to Burnaby from there to end up in Brunette River.
Easier Alternative Route forks over to the Burnaby Urban Trail 1k from the start and is 6k long. It meets the other route at the Hastings pedestrian overpass. From where this pathway meets the TCT at Hastings you need to subtract 4k from each of the total distances in the descriptions above. Follow the well signed Burnaby Mountain Urban Trail (BMUT) all the way to Hastings. This is basically a pleasant greenway along roads and parkways.
Another great and shorter possibility is to leave out Burnaby Mountain by using the Burnaby Urban Trail and the City of Vancouver core with Stanley Park. This loop is 39 km long.