If you’ve lived in Vancouver for any amount of time, you’ll know that it rains, a lot! Especially in the winter, the cold and wet days can seem to last forever, but that doesn’t mean that we should just sit at home. Here are some of my favourite gloomy day trails and parks to explore in and around Vancouver.
All of these are suitable for you to bring your cat!
Rainy Day Parks
1. Barnet Marine Park, Burnaby
Barnet Marine Park is one of my favourite gloomy day parks, especially when the low clouds partially cover the surrounding trees and mountains, like a mysterious fog. The park itself has an off-leash dog area on the east end, so make sure to stay on the west side of the park if you are bringing your cat. There is an easy trail that takes you on the water’s edge, with some beach areas. It is more of a park than a trail.
2. Stanley Park, Vancouver
Stanley Park has a nice trail on the perimeter with views of the city and ocean, as well as inner park trails which are more of a forest experience. When its gloomy and rainy, forested trails are a great idea, as there usually won’t be much of a view anywhere you go. Stanley Park is a popular tourist destination so it does get more busy, but you can also find quiet areas along the trails. Parking here is unfortunately not free, but it is park wide, meaning if you drive to another parking lot within the park, you won’t have to pay again.
3. Capilano River Regional Park, North Vancouver
The Capilano area includes the paid Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, and the free Capilano River Regional Park. I would recommend to visit the free Capilano River Regional Park, and parking is located at Cleveland Park on Google Maps. From here, you can walk down to the trails near the canyons. The mossy rocks and trees look extra moody in the rainy days.
Note that there are a few off leash trails in this park so make sure to consult a trail map before heading out, if you are bringing your cat!
4. Belcarra Regional Park, Anmore
The Belcarra area includes a large area with many hiking trails, but for a easy rainy day adventure, I would suggest Sasamat Lake and the trail that runs around the lake. When its rainy and you can’t see much of a view anyway, the low fog over the lake looks scenic in a mysterious way. Parking in this area is a seasonal parking rate of $2 per hour between April 1 and September 30, and free during the winter months. Please also note that dogs (and likely cats) are not allowed in the White Pine Beach area.
5. Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver
My last suggestion for a rainy forest walk is the Pacific Spirit Regional Park, near UBC. This is a maintained trail area with tall trees, and good for a rainy day walk. There isn’t much of a view here as the trails don’t lead anywhere, but if you’re looking for an easy walk, this is a great area. There is a short boardwalk in the area called Camosun Bog – this is actually one of my favourite places to take a cat since they do very well on boardwalks!