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Located in the Little Mountain-Riley Park neighborhood, Hillcrest Park is a public recreational center which is home to the Vancouver Curling Club and Little Mountain Baseball club. This sports facility is equipped with a ballpark, clubhouse, curling arena, library, ice rink, gymnasium along with an indoor/outdoor aquatic center. This fitness center is also equipped with treadmills, stationery bikes, an indoor cycling arena, sauna, steam room and a swimming pool. While being wheel-chair accessible, Hillcrest Park also provides child-care services, WiFi and a cafe on its premises.
Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park is a myriad of awe-inspiring sights rolled into one. This verdant retreat is the crown jewel of Vancouver's urban landscape, perched at the city's highest point, in full view of the North Shore Mountains and the city itself. The park is a diverse tapestry of luxuriant spaces, each a cornucopia of delights. At the Quarry Garden, the former wasteland has been transformed into a lush garden complete with a babbling brook and cascading waterfall, while the Rose Garden abounds in variously hued floral displays. Nearby, the Arboretum shelters a collection of native and exotic trees, interspersed with sculptures and public art by the likes of Henry Moore. The Dancing Fountain is another popular feature, as is the Painters' Corner where local artists can be seen working on picturesque landscapes, their original artwork on display. For the more actively inclined, the park also features sports facilities like tennis courts, mini-golf and lawn bowling.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden is the first classical Chinese garden built outside China. It employs the ancient techniques of the Ming Dynasty, condensing the serenity of the mountain, streams, valleys and hills into an urban sanctuary. Every niche and arch of the garden is meticulously laid out. Each plant, rock and piece of architecture is selected for its symbolic meaning and mood. The Chinese lettering at the entrance reads 'Garden of Ease'. A place filled with lush green grass and tranquility.
Corraled by the English Bay on one side and the Vancouver Harbour on the other, this stunning stretch of land was declared the city's first public park in 1886. Unlike most city parks, Stanley Park was not laid-out by a landscape architect, but instead, grew organically over the years. The rainforest forms the core of Stanley Park, with trees towering to a height of 76 meters (249 feet) and close to 100 years old, while the seawall hems the park's waterfront. Scattered throughout are monuments, landmarks and public art, as well as gardens with vivid floral displays and totem poles; a tapestry of varied habitats teeming with native wildlife that is held together by a network of trails. The park is also home to attractions like a miniature railway, the Malkin Bowl and the Vancouver Aquarium.
A walk through Stanley Park guarantees getting acquainted with nature in just two hours. Rough it out on the trails, drink in the pure forest atmosphere, study the diverse flora and fauna and learn about the various trees in the park. The park guides are informative, so save all your nature queries for them. These discovery walks take place every Sunday. Do check the website for rates and discounts.
The Everett Crowley Park is a great place for walking, cycling, bird-watching and walking your dog when in Vancouver. The huge old trees and the lush greenery will make you feel like you are in a green heaven. The spruce, cherry blossoms and weeping willows only form a part of the diverse plant life in the park. Birdwatchers will be interested to know that migrating birds as well as local species like black-capped chickadees and Steller's Jays can be spotted here. This park also has a separate area for dog walking.
Famous for the thrilling and one of the oldest attractions of North Vancouver called the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the park also features other attractions. These include the 'Treetops Adventure' where you can walk across from one Douglas fir tree to another on bridges and walkways that are attached to tree trunks 30 meter (98.43 feet) above the rain-forest floor. For those enthused with regional folk-art, the cluster of totem poles made by First Nation people is located inside the remote section of the park. The carvings on the trees are breathtaking and according to popular belief, the intricate carvings offer stories of their own.
Opened in 1912, the Lynn Canyon Park covers an area of about 250 hectares (617 acres). A respite from the grey jungle of the city, this park is home to century year old trees and in terms of activities, the park is covered with multiple hiking trails. The Baden-Powell Trail being the most challenging for its passage across the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. And for the more daring, cliff jumping is also organized during the summer months. So for a walk back to nature, load the car and head off to Lynn Canyon Park.
This park is considered one of the most ideal places to have a picnic. Built in 1912, Point Atkinson Lighthouse is a wilderness area close to the West Vancouver city center. Easily accessible by car and public transit, it is a favorite day hiking spot. The park trails take you through huge Douglas firs, rocky cliffs and a granite shoreline. Be on the lookout for the bald eagles that nest in the Douglas firs. Call or see the website to know more.
With sweeping ocean and island views, this park is a photographer's paradise. Take a picnic basket along and lay down a blanket and enjoy the fresh air. The area's calm waters make it a popular spot for scuba divers. The cobble beach is great for beachcombing, and there are secluded spots among the rocky cliffs for picnics. There are various short, well-worn trails that lead to view points on the cliffs overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Summer weekends are the busiest. It is easily accessible by public transit bus from Downtown.