The Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a 673-hectare forest that separates the University of British Columbia from the rest of the city. Why go there? Because it’s one of the only places where you can have a true West Coast adventure and be within a 30 minute walk (or 5 minute bus ride) of excellent pubs and restaurants.
What is a West Coast adventure? It’s going out to explore nature, and in this case Pacific Spirit park has forests, bogs and beaches to explore. Out of the 33 marked trails, my favourite is the foreshore trail around the university. Not because it passes by Vancouver’s only clothing optional beach (Wreck Beach), but because it is a fun (and sometimes challenging) adventure that is full of wildlife sightings and amazing ocean scenery. And, if it’s warm enough, swimming!
The rest of Pacific Spirit Regional Park is also well worth exploring; the whole park has been created in part to preserve Vancouver’s ecological history, and walking through it you certainly feel as if you are in a time before modern civilization.
A few notes of caution: mobile phone coverage in the park is spotty so make sure to print out the park map to bring with you, and also make sure to bring some food and water with you, as some of the hikes (especially the foreshore trail) are deceptively long. And remember to bring a towel and a raincoat just in case!