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tæt på Upper Lynn, British Columbia (Canada)
In North Vancouver's Lynn Canyon at end of Lynn Valley and Rice Lake Roads, this hike is accessible by transit, bike, or car. Parking on summer weekends beyond 11:00 AM, can be difficult; you'll be parking along Rice Lake Road almost all the way back to Lynn Valley Road, and thus with a slightly longer approach walk.
This is an easy, mostly flat 9.5-kilometre (RT) walk along the shores of Lynn Creek in deep forest and on generally wide trails with secure footing. This walk was done by returning on the same route, but circular routes of two different lengths are possible, albeit on more tricky and steeper paths deeper in the woods. This is a very popular trail-runners route, and also a popular path for walking dogs off-leash.
This route follows the Varley Trail from the first real parking lot off Rice Lake Road, connects with the Lynn Loop Trail and then the Cedar Mills Trail. It is a 2-3 hour walk, depending on your walking speed and how much time you sit on the many beautiful benches on the way, most looking out over the wide creek.
Public restrooms are available at the start of the Lynn Loop Trail, at the end of Rice Lake Road.
The Varley Trail entrance from the middle parking lot on Rice Lake Road is a steep staircase down to a lovely walk just above churning Lynn Creek. It has boardwalks, bridges, benches, and large nurse trunks (left over from the logging of over a century ago), and ends at the parking lot at the north east terminus of Rice Lake Road.
All along the trail, there are views down or across to Lynn Creek.
Walking along and over bogs and stream-beds while keeping your feet dry...what's not to like?
The first of many on the route.
This is the end of Rice Lake Road and the farthest one could drive into Lynn Canyon (if you didn't sleep in). This parking lot is full by 8:30 or 9:00 on a summer weekend.
BC Mills House is an old, restored house dating from the logging era in this area.
There is a trail map across from the BC Mills House, and hand-outs (usually) of the same map to take with you (free).
This is the only crossing of Lynn Creek on this hike, and the river roars through the ruins of some old dam and sluiceway. A large cistern prominently displays "Danger Keep Off" warnings. In Canada this means, "skate or play hockey on me."
The trail at the start is wide, flat gravel, plenty wide enough to walk 3-4 abreast. The grade follows the river and rises just 120 metres over 4 kilometres.
This was presumably a machine-hauled trailer for transporting logs down the road. The mechanism does not look like anything one could attach to a horse, but it has been here a LONG time. Note the trees that have grown through the chassis.
A place to sit and watch over the creek.
The babbling sounds of the creek are ever-present.
A right turn here, leading up higher on the canyon side, will turn back to the parking lot, or continue higher on the canyon side upriver. A left turn (actually straight) continues on the Cedar Mills Trail another 2 kms along the creek.
The wide road trail narrows down and becomes a more traditional forest trail in this section. Watch your feet for roots and stones.
I couldn't find a good avatar for stairs, and these are safe and welcome. Clearly someone put in a LOT of work improving this trail, and the carpentry is excellent.
I feel like I am at home, with stairs and bridges making everything easier.
Just a few pics of the trail underfoot and the vistas along it.
From here, you can turn around, go back via a loop trail, continue forever into the backcountry (still on trails for some ways), or sit by the river.
Here's where the original Cedar Wood Mill was located, operating between 1919 and 1928.