Lynn Valley really is blessed with some incredible things to do. As well as the abundance of natural beauty, trails and attractions in the park, there are activities for all the family in and around the charming town centre. Let your day go from the wilderness, into a local cafe and then wind back time through the history books. We didn’t struggle putting this list together, if you have recommendations let us know!
In North Vancouver, one of the most popular tourist destinations is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. But did you know that there was another park on the North Shore with its own suspension bridge along with several other attractions, all for FREE? Lynn Canyon park is a 617 acre natural forest located in Lynn Valley. Opened in 1912, this park has continued to grow over the years and is now an ecological sanctuary where locals can explore West Coast wilderness right in their backyards.
Lynn Canyon park includes attractions such as the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, which sits 50 metres above a roaring river. A short distance from the bridge, you can also visit the breathtaking Twin Falls, a wooden boardwalk path that crosses over the river and the falls. Nearby, you can also head to calmer waters for a relaxing picnic and a cool dip on a hot day. For a true swim, check out the 30 Foot Pool, located along the path to Lynn Valley’s Pipe Bridge. The 30 Foot Pool is one of the most popular destinations for locals in the summer, looking to cool off in a natural environment. The Pipe Bridge is also another great destination in the park, one that can be easily accessed by road as well. Originally a pipe that crossed the canyon, it also served as a pedestrian bridge. Today, the old bridge is not accessible, but a new one displays gorgeous views of the canyon and a glimpse of the historic pipe itself!
Although exploring the park and its many hiking trails is usually the plan for most people, there are also a number of other indoor attractions for those rainy days. Check out the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, a place where visitors and families can learn more about the park they’re visiting. Educational exhibits showcase the natural history of British Columbia, and teach you how to keep an eye out for local plants and animals in the area. There’s even a Children’s Gallery for your little ones to learn more about eco sustainability and the natural environment.
For a bite to eat, head to the nearby Lynn Canyon Cafe, or visit the End of the Line General Store, located a short drive up. This store is located at the historic end of the Lynn Valley Trolley line, the final frontier before entering the wilderness of the North Shore. Here, travellers would stop for goods before embarking on toward logging routes and other destinations. Today, the End of the Line General Store sits on the same street corner, representing over a hundred years of history. In addition to snacks and coffee, this is also a great place to grab some souvenirs if you’re visiting!
Hiking and biking in Lynn Valley are a must, whether you live here or you’re just visiting. One of the best places to explore the local trails is the Lynn Valley Headwaters. This area, a little quieter than Lynn Canyon Park, is filled with interlacing trails and lush forests that place you right in the middle of nature.
Here, you can visit natural landmarks such as Norvan Falls and Rice Lake, or hike up local peaks like Lynn Peak and Coliseum Mountain. The Baden Powell trail crosses this area, and those looking for a challenging hike can choose to travel between Seymour and Grouse Mountains. The diversity of trails here provides options for hikers with varying experience, although some of the more popular trails tend to be designed for advanced hikers and can even take a full day just to finish! Be sure to check out the safety advisories and recommendations if you’re planning to hike deeper into the park.
Aside from its natural attractions, Lynn Valley is also a vibrant community with a thriving art scene. A great place to experience this is Waves Coffee House, found right at the major intersection of Lynn Valley Road and Mountain Highway. A proud West Coast chain that started in 2005, Waves Coffee Houses act as community hubs for people to meet, relax, and enjoy great coffee and food. The Lynn Valley location is particularly popular as a destination for Live Music. Featuring local talent, Waves Coffee House is a great place to relax at the end of the day or if you need a change of scenery while you work. Call ahead or check out the onsite posters to find out about the latest scheduled events.
Waves Coffee House is also located right next to Lynn Valley Village. In the summer, you can enjoy the popular outdoor live music concert hosted in the Village every Friday night in July and August. There’s absolutely no cost for this event, so prepare yourself to enjoy some tunes on a summer night in the heart of Lynn Valley.
The North Shore was home to some of the earliest modern settlements in the area, and has a rich history as Canada’s major Western hub. From gold mining to logging to ship building, North Vancouver has been heavily involved in shaping Metro Vancouver into what it is today. Discover this important history through the informative and educational exhibits found at the North Vancouver Museum and Archives. The NVMA is the recordkeeper of the city, and it houses innumerable artifacts and records from the area. Carefully curated, this museum is a treasure trove of culture and history. It’s a one-of-a-kind resource that anyone who lives in the area needs to check out, especially before it moves into its new location in Lower Lonsdale!
Even after hiking and learning, there still needs to be time for some retail therapy. Lynn Valley Village and Lynn Valley Centre are shopping centres found right next to each other. This area of the neighbourhood serves as the central point for anything you might need. Here you’ll find restaurants, medical centres, services, and retail stores. You’ll also find the local library branch which often hosts community events and activities. A veritable agora, a visit to Lynn Valley Village or Lynn Valley Centre will keep you occupied, even if you just needed a quick stop at the pharmacy.