- KML/KMZ files can be opened in Google Earth, and many smartphone apps.
- GPX files can be opened by most GPS software apps when KMZ cannot. Note, GPX files do not contain custom colours and icons that we use on our maps; all tracks and icons will appear the same colours and styles. We recommend using KMZ instead when possible.
- GPX-Garmin are GPX files that we have optimized for older Garmin units that only display tracks that contain 500 points or less (such as Garmin eTrex units).
Visit our GPS & Navigation page for instructions of how to use your smartphone as a GPS device (even when outside of data coverage) or how to import data to your Garmin unit.
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About the Journey:
The South Vancouver Loop takes in: the north arm of the Fraser River along a series of parks; the Southlands with the Musqueam Lands; the Pacific Spirit Regional Park on the UBC campus; the beaches overlooking the Salish Sea as it enters Burrard Inlet; False Creek with Granville Island, the Olympic Village, and Science World; and returns to the Fraser River via the Central Valley Greenway and the BC/7-11 Parkway, much of it in parks and greenways in Burnaby. See the full description in 'Directions' below. Go to the following links for:
Note that the orange track is the complete cycle route described here. The 'Downloadable' section gives instruction on how to download the tracks using your smartphone or Garmin device.
Metro Cycle Trail Loop
South Burnaby - South Vancouver - Point Grey - BC Parkway
Distance: 64k loop (including Fraser River Park)
Suggested Starting and End Point: Burnaby Foreshore Park at the south end of Byrne Road.
Connecting Roads - 13.5k
Trails and Pathways - 44.5k
Mode of travel: Well maintained Mountain Bike
Level of Difficulty: some slightly challenging terrain, long distance, and hills
Altitude - 0 to 134 m/446 ft
Time allowed: 7 to 8 hrs including lunch
Fitness level: Should be in good physical condition and have experienced cycling over 40k
Features and Descriptions
Burnaby Foreshore Park
This is the suggested starting point. Please park along the road near the park instead of the park parking lot.
It has a playground and a washroom. This is a lush shoreline trail with several waterways along the Fraser where river traffic can be observed.
At the Boundary of Vancouver the trail heads east:
A temporary pathway has been opened along the riverfront from Boundary Road to Kerr Street as part of the anticipated development of the East Fraserlands.
Riverfront Park (Killarney) - Washrooms
Riverfront Park’s rose- and poplar-lined pathways are its biggest draw, but the park also offers picnic and play areas, all with breathtaking views. This river front trail runs into
Gladstone-Riverside Park (Victoria - Fraserview) -
Gladstone features a popular walking trail and pier, both with many opportunities to view the Fraser River. A Natural forest is also part of the park.
Industrial Activity - Kent Ave. cycle route
From just before the Knight Street Bridge to the Canada Line Skytrain and to the Oak Street Bridge there is path and road along East and West Kent Ave. following the cycle commuter route. This is a highly industrial corridor for 5k.
Queen Elizabeth Park and the Ridgeway Bikeway
From the Kent Bikeway head north on the Ontario Street Bikeway to Queen Elizabeth Park. It is worthwhile to go up to the top of this park for its great views and botonical gardens. After this visit take the Ridgway Greenway all the way to a path that starts in Comosun Park takes you on the Salish Trail though Pacific Spirit Park.
Alternative to Queen Elizabeth Park and the Ridgeway Bikeway
Arbutus Corridor - 11.6k (with the detour to Fraser River Park - add 2k from here on)
Follow the abandoned Arbutus rail corridor for 3k. It is recommended to leave the corridor at the first road encountered and turn left to experience Fraser River Park and get back on the rail corridor – see map. This unofficial rail corridor is narrow, on an upward incline, somewhat rough, and overgrown in places. It is becoming a greenway with many people using it for community gardens. One could continue on this trail to Granville Island. Hopefully, one day, it will be developed as a parkway.
Leave the arbutus trail at 51st Ave.
Connector roadway to the Southlands with Maple Grove Park en route.
From Maple Grove Park head for the Southlands back on the other side of West Marine Drive. The area has equestrian centres and golf courses. Back on the Fraser River, the route consists of trails or paths to Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
The next 3.4k equestrian path in the Musqueam Wetlandss and can be muddy in spots.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park – the Salish Trail
In this mature forested parkland cross the park iby first following the Salish Trail then veer to the right on the Spanish Trail. It is a 7k parkland trail from the Camosun St. entrance to N.W. Marine Drive near Spanish Banks.
Spanish Banks -
Named by the earliest European Spanish explorers in the 1770s, Spanish Bank is home to three of Vancouver's popular beaches and offers great views of Vancouver City skyline as well as views of the north shore mountains.
Jericho Beach Park
Known as "Jerry's Cove", the name evolved into the now familiar "Jericho". This once was the site of Vancouver's first golf course but was taken over by the National Department of Defence in the late 1930s for a seaplane base with numerous hangars lining the shoreline. The eastern section of the beach caters to swimmers and the western one to sailboats and windsurfers. It is the site of the Annual Vancouver Folk Festival.
Kitsilano Beach and Hadden/Vanier Parks
The beach offers the best view of English Bay and the West End of Vancouver City. This park has many amenities including a large outdoor pool, tennis courts, community centre, etc. and is neighbor to Vanier Park the home for the Vancouver Museum and the Macmillan Space Centre.
Famous for artisans, market, restaurants, and theatres, it is the home of B.C.'s most popular Trans Canada Trail Pavilion with about 12,000 names and 400 messages.
South False Creek Path
Great Views of Yaletown and the north shore along this extraordinary seawall that eventually passes the former 2011Winter Olympic Village.
Central Valley Greenway
Just before coming to the Science Centre head for the Central Valley Greenway and take it up to Lakewood Drive and turn right to access the BC Parkway.
BC Parkway/7-11 Trail
From Lakewood Drive at John Hendry Park/Trout Lake, pick up the BC Parkway and take it all the way to the boundary of New Westminster and Burnaby. The 7-11 Trail/BC Parkway mainly follows the Skytrain all the way to New Westminster. There are washrooms at Slocan Park a little later on. Enter Burnaby via Burnaby Central Park to eventually pass Metrotown at 51.3k. A bit past Metrotown the height of land is reached to start heading mainly downhill.
Leave the 7-11 Trail/BC Parkway near the Edmonds Skytrain Station and take the Byrne Creek Trail to Southridge Drive.
Head downhill on the west pathway right up to and across Marine Way.
Head west on the Marine Way path to where the trail turns left or south along Byrne Creek and take it all the way to our starting point at the Fraser River waterfront, the Burnaby Foreshore Park. The trail is broken up at the Golf Course entrance. Here continue on a short single track trail almost hidden in vegetation to the railroad tracks. Carefully cross the tracks to where the trail continues on the other side. It heads all the way to the park where you started. If you are not inclined to take this more adventurous route you can head to Byrne Road, turn right and head all the way back to your vehicle.