True North - Page 5
Lynn Headwaters is a local hotspot you can customize for any kind of trail experience. A short scenic drive down a slightly exposed road adds to the rugged and wild atmosphere, and will eventually deposit you smack dab in the rain forest. Alpine routes are fully accessible, although most runners choose the riverside, dog-friendly, groomed trails. Numerous bridges, including a 50-meter-high suspension bridge, and wildlife encounters make for great photo opps along the way. Black bears and whitetailed deer are common in the summer months, and bald eagles hunt the waterways in the fall; in fact if you venture onto the lesser-traveled trails you may encounter more wildlife than people.
If you’re looking for an easy, non-technical run, try the Lynn Headwaters Connector Trail to Varley Trail for a five-kilometer forested and undulating river run. It’s a favorite amongst walkers and those not wanting to stray too far from home.
To truly thrash your legs, the 30-kilometer Hanes Valley Loop can be completed in less than three hours by speedsters and offers significant climbing and descending capped off by views across the volcanic summits south of the border. You can even attach the Grouse Grind for a really big day out.
Or, while easing into your technical trail initiation, pack a camera and check out Norvan Falls. The trail is a wonderful out-and-back of 12 kilometers with minimal elevation gain, a suspension bridge, a waterfall and its fair share of rocks and roots to test your proprioception skills.
For a lung burner with a little less traffic, head to Lynn Peak. A technical 3000-foot ascent stands between you and a sun-drenched rocky plateau with a view—see the glorious summit of the volcanic Mount Baker, and all of Vancouver and neighboring Burnaby sprawled out in a vast silence below.
Says local speedster and 2010 11th-place WS finisher Nicola Gildersleeve, “Lynn Peak is a favorite training route. The climb and descent demand attention and condition your quad strength, the views are fantastic and, 90 percent of the time I’m the only one on it.”
The Headwaters also act as a central intersection along the Baden Powell Trail, which means that with only limited trail knowledge you can easily enjoy an entire day of pure singletrack.