Looking to spend more time in the great outdoors this summer?
Roy Jantzen, a faculty member in tourism and outdoor recreation at Capilano University, has written a guidebook for you.
Active Vancouver (Rocky Mountain Books) features dozens of beginner-friendly outings in and around Metro Vancouver, involving trail running, hiking, snowshoeing, cycling, paddling, picnicking, and other activities.
Jantzen, who has lived in Whitehorse for the past three years but is moving back to Port Moody this summer, told the Georgia Straight that one excursion perfect for summertime is a bike trip up the Seymour Valley Trailway in North Vancouver.
“People in Vancouver don’t realize they have such great access to beautiful old-growth forest,” the 49-year-old author said by phone from Whitby, Ontario. “After a 12-kilometre, undulating, hilly ride up from the gatehouse in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, they can be walking around on boardwalk in an old-growth forest at the edge of the Seymour River. And it’s stunning.”
Subtitled A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Recreation in the City’s Natural Environments and spanning 296 pages, Active Vancouver includes statistics, directions, maps, and images by a variety of photographers.
Most of the day trips are within Metro Vancouver—such as hiking on Black Mountain and kayaking to Jug Island—but the “Go Further” adventures will have you snowshoeing on Paul Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park and cycling the Lochside Trail on Vancouver Island, for instance.
Excursions come with an “Eco-Insight”, which Jantzen described as a short essay aimed at getting readers to “expand their awareness and perhaps their curiosity” about natural history.
“It’s one thing to learn it in the living room while you’re watching the Discovery Channel on TV, but it’s another to be out in the forest and reading a 250-word essay and having it connect to that area,” Jantzen said.
For example, Jantzen noted that many people are aware that bears catch salmon in rivers, but not everyone knows that bears often leave the carcasses on the forest floor, which enriches the trees with nitrogen.
“We’ve always thought that the rivers send nutrients in a one-directional flow from the land to the ocean,” he said. “We’ve never thought—and I think most people haven’t realized—that sometimes you can get nutrients from the ocean coming back on to the land. So it’s really a bidirectional flow.”
Jantzen noted he wrote Active Vancouver because he loves the outdoors and is passionate about the environment.
“I really tried to make the book seasonal,” Jantzen said. “The idea is to use it all year.”