Amidst our much busier second week of vacation, I managed to duck out for a quick trail run in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. I picked the Norvan Falls route as it seemed to be an appropriate distance (I had less than 2 hrs to run) and looked to have some nice trails with a bit of climbing. Again I was blown away by the fact that I can be in frustratingly busy highway traffic one minute, and then 30 minutes later I am running through old growth forest with no one else around. Its so easy to appreciate this place as a “tourist!”
The park is close to the city and had lots of (free!) parking the day I was there (Tuesday afternoon). The trails were well marked and easy to find. They had a hiker check in station which I used (just in case!). They also had lots of map brochures to take with you (helpful for me rather than depending on my iphone which was limited in this valley).
I started out on the Lynn Loop Trail and took the first cut off to the Headwaters trail. The Lynn Loop trail was uphill but really wide and smooth – basically like an old road which it likely was. The cutoff up to the Headwaters trail was short and very steep as you climb up and away from Lynn Creek. Once on the Headwaters Trail the path was much less steep but much more rugged. There were lots of roots, rocks, with some short ups and downs and bridges to cross. The trail was definitely runnable but still challenging. The last 1/3 of the Headwaters Trail seemed to flatten out and was a nice quick run towards the Falls. The Trail leads to a cool suspension bridge that allows access to more trails, but the cutoff to the Falls took me up and to the right.
The short climb to the falls was steep. There wasn’t a whole lot of water anywhere in the Park when I was there so the falls were much less spectacular than I imagine they could be, but were still a nice sight. I snapped a few pictures and then headed back down to the trail. I took a walk across the suspension bridge and then started my run back to the parking lot.
On the way back I followed the Headwaters Trail until the cutoff to the Cedar Mills Trail. This was marked as an easier path and I was in a bit of a rush to get home (I also thought it would be nice to see a different view on the way back.) This was a nice trail along the creek which was fast but still small enough that it didn’t feel like running on a gravel road. Eventually I connected back to the Lynn Loop to get back to the trail head.
I remembered to deposit my hiker registration return slip (yeah!) and then headed for home. This made for a great afternoon run – a short drive, well marked trails so I didn’t waste time route finding, and a nice location. My Suunto tells me the route was just over 14km with about 340 m of climbing (see the data here).
Next time I am in Vancouver I definitely want to do it again, with the addition of the Coliseum Mountain climb. I’ll be back Lynn Creek!
Update – I ended up doing this route again 2 days later with my brother who was also in Vancouver… here’s a double self portrait!