If your family likes the outdoors, trains, bridges, and waterfalls, British Columbia is a Canadian hot spot for your family holidays in Canada! With trails for any age and experience, these are my favourite places to go hiking with my children!
Fintry Falls is at the top of my list for Okanagan hikes! For 7 years, we lived a short 5-minute drive from these majestic falls and spent a considerable amount of time in the park. We found that the best time of year for viewing the falls is April when the mountain runoff is at its peak. There are several viewing points along the staircase for great photo opportunities. Once you’ve climbed up 400 steps, the staircase ends, but your journey doesn’t need to. A quick jump over the staircase leads to walking paths that take you higher up the waterfall. Children should be steady on their feet, and confident in their climbing abilities. There is a steep portion of the hill that can be difficult and slippery due to its sandy nature.
Another great way to view the falls is from the bottom! By the time August rolls around, the water has stopped raging down the falls, and one is able to travel the creek bed at the bottom. A foot trail is located to the left of the staircase entrance that leads you to the creek. From there, you can walk a short distance through the water to reach the bottom of the falls. This is a little more difficult for children as there are pools to travel through on the way, but with adult assistance, it can be done. Once you reach the base, there is a lot of exploring to do and some natural rock slides to ride on.
Our family along with some friends also hiked the falls from the top! 10/10 do not recommend it as it became dangerous quickly for the kids! Have a look at all the things Fintry has to offer here!
It may be hard to see in the picture, but that is a look of sheer terror on my son’s face! I took this picture after we realized this hike was too difficult to take our little one on, and my husband was bringing him back up the mountain! Christie Falls is one of the best-kept local secrets, and secret it is! I considered not including it in this post due to how difficult it is to find, but realized that makes it that much better! The road to Christie Falls can be found off of the Okanagan’s Westside Road just south of La Casa. If you enjoy back-country hiking and living, this is a place you have got to find. Make sure you have a higher clearance vehicle as you make your way down the road to the trailhead.
Once you find the trailhead, you can expect to walk for a few kilometers. This part is great for taking the littles on! When you reach the edge of the mountain, you will find a series of mountain climbing ropes. These ropes will lead you to the base of the falls. It didn’t take long to figure out it was not child friendly, even for the most adventurous kids! However, it would be a great place to take adrenaline-junkie teenagers! The base of the falls is awe-inspiring! The water flow off the falls is fairly low, but the elevation is very high. Behind the falls is a giant cave, and a rope swing that takes you through the waterfall! The beginning portion is a great place to go hiking with children, and the remainder is great for the adults and adventurous teenagers in your group!
Lynn Canyon Park is located in North Vancouver and is easy to access from Highway 1. It is home to several trails that lead visitors into the temperate rainforest, beside the creek, and over waterfalls. Trails in the canyon can sometimes be rough and muddy, so wear appropriate clothing and hiking shoes. Besides that, the trails are fairly easy to navigate and have areas for kids to explore like heading to the waterfront or climbing on boulders. The park also houses an ecological center and cafe. The best part of Lynn Canyon is its suspension bridge that hangs 50 meters over the canyon on the Baden Powell Trail. Click here to learn about all the things you can do at Lynn Canyon.
The Panorama Trail is a great place to go hiking with children, as you can see, it can be done with littles! You can find the Panorama Trail at the top of the Sea to Sky Highway Gondola near Squamish. Squamish is home to coastal forests, wild berry bushes, and mountainous regions. There are countless trails ranging in difficulty, that will be sure to bring joy to each member of your family!
A part of Whistler’s historical and cultural identity, the Train Wreck site is a popular attraction and is located near the Cheakamus River. In 1956, a lumber train that was traveling from Lillooet at more than double the posted speed limit derailed due to rock cuts on either side of the track. The boxcars were moved further into the forest so as to not be in the way of future transport.
This short hiking trail follows the Sea To Sky Trail and crosses a suspension bridge, offering scenic views of the Cheakakmus River rushing below and colourfully painted box cars. Artists have been spray painting the boxcars over time, and mountain bikers have added ramps for riding. This is a fantastic place to go hiking with children!
When planning your family holidays in Canada, British Columbia is the best place for outdoor enthusiasts. With so many things to see and do, you will have a hard time deciding which will be the most memorable for your family!
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