18 January, 2024

Trail Profile: City of Vancouver Trail

Sunset over the downtown Vancouver skyline

The City of Vancouver Trail winds through the city, hits several major attractions and is a popular active transport hub, tourist destination and thoroughfare through the West Coast’s biggest city. Spanning almost 34 kilometres from the edge of Gastown to East Vancouver, the Trans Canada Trail section in Vancouver is ideal for walking, cycling, rolling and jogging, and for exploring everything the city has to offer. A significant portion of the trail has been accessibility-mapped – find more information on the AccessNow map. This trail section follows popular cycling routes in the area and is a well-used route for both commuters and recreational visitors.

What we love about the trail

A women jogging the city of Vancouver trail by the waterfront

It winds along the city’s major highlights and tourist attractions, including the Stanley Park Seawall, Coal Harbour, Chinatown and more.

It’s ideal for a range of activities and serves as an active transportation hub for commuters, year-round.

It passes through the heart of the city, adjacent to restaurants, cafés, museums and shops.

West Coast wonderland

City of Vancouver Trail Waterfront Station

The City of Vancouver Trail starts at Waterfront Station and heads west on a paved route. Walk alongside Canada Place, where you can pause to watch the seaplanes, then continue along through Coal Harbour and then to the Stanley Park Seawall, where you loop around the edge of the park over 10 kilometres, taking in the exceptional views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains. Stop to view the nine totem poles at Brockton Point on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish People, the Prospect Point Lookout, or take a short detour to the Vancouver Aquarium. In English Bay, enjoy beach time – and maybe even a dip in the Pacific – in the warmer weather. Continue through the West End to the Burrard Street Bridge (hello, photo op!), where the trail heads to Vanier Park before heading east along the seawall through the Olympic Village to Science World – a sure hit with kids and lifelong learners – and eastward to the border of Vancouver and Burnaby.

Restaurants, cafés, museums, shops… yes, please!

City of Vancouver boardwalk

Pop on and off the trail for snacks, drinks, shops and more. Vancouver is known for its delectable culinary scene, and for good reason! From sushi to seafood to vegetable-forward fare, you’re sure to find delicious options for all tastes. You’ll also pass several museums and attractions en route, like the Museum of Vancouver, the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and more. In East Vancouver, the trail passes by Hogan’s Alley, an area that was home to a thriving Black community in the Strathcona neighbourhood of the city, established in the early 20th century; and Chinatown, where you’ll find the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese garden and tons of great food, shops and historic sites.

Vancouver-area trails – from the North Shore to Burnaby … and all points east

If you’re looking to explore the Trail further, this section links to the Vancouver Translink Seabus, a water route on the Trans Canada Trail and part of the Lower Mainland’s public transport network that travels between Gastown and North Vancouver, bringing you to Lonsdale Quay and beyond. Note: the North Shore has tons of hiking trails ready to be explored! On the eastern end of the City of Vancouver Trail, link up with the City of Burnaby Trail and continue all the way to Burnaby Mountain, the Tri-Cities and eastward.

Thank you