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A Stroll Along North Vancouver's Trans Canada Trail

Updated on August 23, 2017
Sign Indicating the Start of the TransCanada Trail in North Vancouver
Sign Indicating the Start of the TransCanada Trail in North Vancouver

A Cool Green Haven Running Through A Residential Neighborhood

The TransCanada Trail crosses Canada from sea to sea. Part of this trail runs through a beautiful park setting in North Vancouver, BC. This article describes the trail and the park and includes an array of photographs taken along the trailway.

Who likes the woods? If you do, please join me for this pictorial walk along North Vancouver's Mosquito Creek Trail.

Who would believe it? Right smack in the middle of the bustling city of North Vancouver, we find a wonderful, secluded, wheelchair- accessible walking trail that follows a creek through the forest. It is cool, green, and verdant year round, resplendent with birds and other wildlife.

The trail is popular with dog walkers, joggers, bicyclists and those who are walking for exercise, as well as with those who are simply wanting to relax and commune with nature.

The Mosquito Creek segment of the Trans Canada Trail starts on Marine Drive in the City of North Vancouver, winds through a forest and takes you to Queens Avenue in the District of North Vancouver.

As to the unfortunate naming of the trail and the creek -- I can only say that I have lived here more than twenty years and have walked this trail multiple times a month. I have yet to see, hear or feel a mosquito in that area!

Unless otherwise stated, all photo credits are to June Campbell.

Do You Enjoy Nature Trails?

Snowdrops Among Ferns  Along the TransCanada Trail
Snowdrops Among Ferns Along the TransCanada Trail

Do you use or enjoy nature trails? If yes, what do you enjoy most about walking through natural surroundings?

See results

A Crooked, Moss-Covered Tree on the Trail

A Crooked, Moss-Covered Tree on the Trail
A Crooked, Moss-Covered Tree on the Trail

Debate: The Bright Lights or Mother Nature? - What's your pick?

Vancouver's North Shore, which includes North Vancouver and West Vancouver, touches the ocean on three sides and is backed up against the North Shore Mountains. We can choose between the ocean and all that it has to offer -- or, we can opt for skiing, snow shoeing, snow boarding, hiking and nature trails within a few minutes drive or walk. Many residents of the North Shore prefer to live here because of the close proximity to nature.

The City of Vancouver is located across Burrard Inlet. Vancouver is a wonderful, cosmopolitan, world class city. People live there for the shopping, the art and culture and the trendiness and excitement that is part of that culture.

So where would you prefer to live?

Moss Covered Tree Trunk on the Trail
Moss Covered Tree Trunk on the Trail

The Mosquito Creek Trail

The trail follows a bubbling creek running through a residential neighborhood. Although this trail is smack dab in the middle of a populated city area, large trees block the residences from view. Although you may sometimes see a rooftop peeping through the greenery, the sensation is that of being in a wilderness area far removed from civilization. (Except for the other humans and their dogs -- this is a well used path).

The trail itself is well developed and is accessible to those using wheel chairs. However, some chair users may find the terrain to be a little too rough for their comfort.

The trail habitation includes trees of various varieties, ferns, moss and other plant life. Vancouver is situated in a rain forest. While we enjoy complaining about the rain, we appreciate the year round lush greenery that we also enjoy. :-)

Birds are plentiful, as are squirrels and other small animals. From time to time, a coyote or a bear is spotted.

See the photos below for trail pictures taken in the month of March.

Trail Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mossy Trees and RocksView of Mosquito CreekThe Mosquito Creek TrailBoardwalk Over Wet Area of TrailOpen Area Leading to Seats and BenchesTrees Along the TrailwayFence at Entrance to Trail WayView Facing the CreekSign Warning of Coyotes and Bears Boardwalk Ahead
Mossy Trees and Rocks
Mossy Trees and Rocks
View of Mosquito Creek
View of Mosquito Creek
The Mosquito Creek Trail
The Mosquito Creek Trail
Boardwalk Over Wet Area of Trail
Boardwalk Over Wet Area of Trail
Open Area Leading to Seats and Benches
Open Area Leading to Seats and Benches
Trees Along the Trailway
Trees Along the Trailway
Fence at Entrance to Trail Way
Fence at Entrance to Trail Way
View Facing the Creek
View Facing the Creek
Sign Warning of Coyotes and Bears
Sign Warning of Coyotes and Bears
Boardwalk Ahead
Boardwalk Ahead
Snowdrops and Purple Crocuses Blossoming in March
Snowdrops and Purple Crocuses Blossoming in March

One Woman's Legacy: Snow Drops

In March, snowdrops and a few crocuses blossom along the trail. The white flowers are stunning set against the lush green ferns and moss. It is a joy to see them heralding the first signs of spring.

According to information provided by a local resident, a woman planted the snowdrops along the trail. What a beautiful legacy to leave behind.

The photos below do not do them justice.

Snow Drops Along the Trail

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Snowdrops and MossFerns and Snow DropsSnow Drops in Full BlossomPurple Crocuses and Snow DropsSnowdrops Blossoming Among FernsSnow Drops Among RocksSnow Drops Under a  TreeBrilliant Vegetation on a Gray DayFlowers Under Moss Covered Trees
Snowdrops and Moss
Snowdrops and Moss
Ferns and Snow Drops
Ferns and Snow Drops
Snow Drops in Full Blossom
Snow Drops in Full Blossom
Purple Crocuses and Snow Drops
Purple Crocuses and Snow Drops
Snowdrops Blossoming Among Ferns
Snowdrops Blossoming Among Ferns
Snow Drops Among Rocks
Snow Drops Among Rocks
Snow Drops Under a  Tree
Snow Drops Under a Tree
Brilliant Vegetation on a Gray Day
Brilliant Vegetation on a Gray Day
Flowers Under Moss Covered Trees
Flowers Under Moss Covered Trees
Photo Credit: June Campbell
Photo Credit: June Campbell

Trail Sub-Section: A Fish Habitat

Salmon Alert!

Walkers have the option to leave the main trail and walk through a more rugged area. This area follows a part of the creek that is a sensitive fish habitat. Salmon and other species spawn along this area.

The sensitive area is more secluded and private. As you may expect, it is a marshy, wet region, especially during the rainy winter months. The trail developers have added a series of boardwalks to help us keep our feet dry.

Dogs and bicycles are not permitted. Some of the loveliest views are in this section. I usually walk one direction on the main trial and take this section on my return.

Refer to the photos below for pictures taken along this area.

Photos of the Sensitive Trail Area

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wet Area with BoardwalkMarshy Area of Fish Habitat TrailMarshy Area on the Mosquito Creek TrailBy Mosquito CreekSign Advising the Public of the Environmentally Sensitive Area Along Mosquito Creek
Wet Area with Boardwalk
Wet Area with Boardwalk
Marshy Area of Fish Habitat Trail
Marshy Area of Fish Habitat Trail
Marshy Area on the Mosquito Creek Trail
Marshy Area on the Mosquito Creek Trail
By Mosquito Creek
By Mosquito Creek
Sign Advising the Public of the Environmentally Sensitive Area Along Mosquito Creek
Sign Advising the Public of the Environmentally Sensitive Area Along Mosquito Creek
Photo Credit: June Campbell
Photo Credit: June Campbell

Mosquito Creek Trail Under the Trans-Canada Highway

Mosquito Creek trail runs under an overpass of the Upper Levels Highway. The Upper Levels is a stretch of the #1 Highway (also known as the Trans-Canada Highway, also known as the 401). The Upper Levels on the North Shore begins at the Second Narrows Bridge, crosses the Districts of North Vancouver and West Vancouver and ends at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. (The Trans-Canada officially begins on Vancouver Island).

The part of Mosquito Creek Trail that crosses under the highway has an eerie, other-worldly feel to me. It is particularly poignant because of a memorial honouring two men who lost their lives by falling off the bridge and landing in the creek bed below.

Refer to the photos below for pictures.

Photos Under the Upper Levels

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mosquito Creek Trail Approaching the OverpassTrans Canada Trail Under the Highway OverpassTrail Under the Highway OverpassMosquito Creek Trail Under the Trans Canada Highway OverpassFlower Memorial of Two People Who Lost Their Lives HereMemorial Flowers Planted Where Two Men Lost Their LivesWhite Space Shows Where Men Must Have Fallen to their DeathsMemorial Mounted on the Concrete StructureAnother View of the Structure of the OverpassCloseup of the Memorial Message
Mosquito Creek Trail Approaching the Overpass
Mosquito Creek Trail Approaching the Overpass
Trans Canada Trail Under the Highway Overpass
Trans Canada Trail Under the Highway Overpass
Trail Under the Highway Overpass
Trail Under the Highway Overpass
Mosquito Creek Trail Under the Trans Canada Highway Overpass
Mosquito Creek Trail Under the Trans Canada Highway Overpass
Flower Memorial of Two People Who Lost Their Lives Here
Flower Memorial of Two People Who Lost Their Lives Here
Memorial Flowers Planted Where Two Men Lost Their Lives
Memorial Flowers Planted Where Two Men Lost Their Lives
White Space Shows Where Men Must Have Fallen to their Deaths
White Space Shows Where Men Must Have Fallen to their Deaths
Memorial Mounted on the Concrete Structure
Memorial Mounted on the Concrete Structure
Another View of the Structure of the Overpass
Another View of the Structure of the Overpass
Closeup of the Memorial Message
Closeup of the Memorial Message

Public Art at the End of the Trail

The trail ends at the back of the William Griffin Recreational Center on Queens Avenue in the District of North Vancouver.

A display of public art awaits the trail users as they enter the center's parking lot.

The art sculpture is named Eventually. The artist is Adam Kuby.

It is one of three pieces of commissioned public art that appears across North Vancouver.

The Office of the Art has this to say on their web site:

... Working with the theme of city grid to natural patterning, the artist laid out ten large granite blocks, in a linear grid-like pattern. As the blocks advance away from the city they physically transform from smooth cubes to rough naturalized formations. The native trees interwoven into the piece will interact with the slabs causing heaving and cracking over time..

For full details of the art, please refer to this link: Public Art Collection.

Refer to pictures below.

Art at Trail End

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This Plaque Explains the Art. The Title is "Eventually".Second Section of Plaque Introducing the Public ArtAnother View of "Eventually".
This Plaque Explains the Art. The Title is "Eventually".
This Plaque Explains the Art. The Title is "Eventually".
Second Section of Plaque Introducing the Public Art
Second Section of Plaque Introducing the Public Art
Another View of "Eventually".
Another View of "Eventually".

Video: Trans Canada Trail Through British Columbia - Check Out the Eye Candy

Geocaches Along The Trail

If you're into geocaching, you'll be happy to know that there is a series of geocaches hidden along this trail. Find them all at once or come back several times. Its a cool spot to walk on a hot summer day, and in the rainy season, the tree cover offers some protection from the raindrops.

Books About Vancouver - Informative, Entertaining and Sometimes Thought Provoking

There are plenty of books about Vancouver, both fiction and non-fiction.

This book to the right that I am so strongly recommending will be of interest to the physically active resident, whether long term or new to the area, or to those who are thinking of relocating here or who are coming for an extended visit.

© 2013 June Campbell

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    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      4 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      People I know live in Vancouver, but I've never been there. This trail looks to be a beautiful place to enjoy nature.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I enjoyed my walk in your lovely country.

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @MrAusAdventure: Hope to see you here one day soon! I would love to visit your country also.

    • MrAusAdventure profile image

      Bill 

      5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I would love to visit the west coast of Canada someday, it looks amazing!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 

      5 years ago

      great lens, thanks for sharing...

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Blackspaniel1: Perhaps some day you will visit us. Vancouver is a long way from Quebec, though.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 

      5 years ago

      I would like to get to Canada, it looks so beautiful. And, when we went back in an ancestry search I found many of my ancestors came to Louisiana through Quebec, from France.

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you Tipi. Wish you were here. We would do just that.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I would seriously love to go for a walk with you in your stomping grounds. Beautiful place and lens. :)

    • junecampbell profile imageAUTHOR

      June Campbell 

      5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @moonlitta: So happy you came to take this stroll with me.

    • profile image

      moonlitta 

      5 years ago

      The walk was a true pleasure:)

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