Nira Arora, co-host, Jonny, Holly & Nira on 94.5 Virgin Radio
“Our hike is definitely less of a hike and much more of a walk! It's me and my two little boys: Shae, who is 5, and Aavi, who is nearly 3. We like to go exploring. We pack up our flashlights, buckets, shovels and bug nets. Off on their scooters, we go to the Wills Creek green belt in South Surrey which is just down the street from our house. It's a nicely-shaded, protected green space for the boys to look for natural hidden treasures. It's a great way for them to connect with nature, be gentle with it, learn to protect it and get them outside!
"We always pack goldfish crackers, granola bars and easy-to-manage fruits like grapes, oranges or berries. Afterwards, a trip to Menchie’s is an added bonus!”
Fiona Forbes, award-winning host and television producer
“My favourite spot for a spring hike is the grueling Grouse Grind or, as I like to call it, the dirt stairmaster! It’s a rite of passage to do the Grind and it marks that spring is officially here when it’s open. I usually go with a couple of friends but we tend to separate so we can each go at our own pace (Who has the breath to talk when you’re working that hard to get to the top?).
"As it’s a quick and literally dirty hike, I don’t usually pack a snack for this one—just my iTunes and a bottle of water. And don’t forget your bug spray if the mosquitoes are out. Otherwise, you’ll quickly regret it!
"Although there’s not much of a view as you're taking the trek, the reward is at the top. There is nothing like the vista from the top of the Grind and perhaps a quick pit stop for a nice glass of wine before you hit the gondola to get back down!”
Erin Cebula, reporter/producer, Entertainment Tonight Canada
“The Chief has been my go-to hike to kick off the spring season since I was a wee one. I love it because I get to breathe in the forest, scramble up ladders and be rewarded with an awe-inspiring view of Howe Sound at the top. I still dangle my feet off the edge like I did when I was a fearless kid.
"A Chief-top picnic is mandatory. I normally hit Whole Foods for goodies like roasted artichokes, candied salmon and Saltspring Island goat cheese. After I make my way down, my wobbly knees and I usually enjoy a cold pint at The Watershed in Squamish. I seek out new hikes weekly during the spring and summer months and I share a lot of my discoveries on instagram, so follow me at @celebula if you like to get outside and have fun!”
Jonny Staub, co-host, Jonny, Holly & Nira on 94.5 Virgin Radio
“I am all about North Vancouver these days. We bought a place in Lynn Valley and love all of the trails around Mt. Fromme and, of course, Fisherman’s by the reservoir—plus they are dog-friendly which is an added plus!
"I always leave a large jug of water in the car for myself and the pups. They can drink the natural stream water on the hike, of course, but there’s nothing worse than feeling parched yourself and having to drive to get water. I also pack protein bars (Premier Protein from Costco) and an apple... easy sugarswith protein and fiberafter a challenging hike.”
Jay DeMerit, ambassador and former captain, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
“My wife and I have recently moved to our cabin in the Pemberton Valley so there are lots of beautiful hikes. My favourite is to a local waterfall not far from the village. The lungs get just enough of a workout. The sound of the waterfall is always in the background and the scenery is beautiful. We actually got engaged there as well so it's a pretty special place!
Holly Conway, co-host, Jonny, Holly & Nira on 94.5 Virgin Radio
“I'm a proud North Van-ner so Lynn Headwaters is always my go-to hike spot. There are lots of different trails depending on how hard you want to go or what you're carrying. I love to hit The Juice Truck if I can on the way home. I highly recommend the ‘Almost Chocolate’ smoothie. Add spinach. Then it's basically like having a salad.”
L-R: Sophie Lui, co-anchor, Global News Hour at 6; Samantha Folk, anchor/reporter Global News (Centre); Marsha Gabriel, producer, Global News Hour at 6
“I have a love-hate relationship with the Grouse Grind. I hate it for obvious reasons, but I love it because it's such a great workout and it has a clear beginning and ending, with potential for a well-deserved adult beverage at the top. Sometimes I even grab a Pinkberry frozen yogurt from Park Royal on the way home.”
Grueling and gripping or serene and simple, get outdoors now by treading the paths made by local celebrities
There’s nothing better in spring and summer than celebrating the natural beauty that makes British Columbia a “supernatural” place to call home. Hikes in the Lower Mainland range from adventurous to awe-inspiring.
Here, a handful of local celebrities share their favourite springtime strolls—and tell you just where to reward weary feet and hungry stomachs afterwards.